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Building Is Our Passion

Building Is Our Passion

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Have you been thinking about updating your roof, but don’t know where to start? Take a look at the top roofing materials and see what might be right for you!
  • The 5 Best Roofing Alternatives

    Not all roofs have to be the same. The market has so many great options that you might want to rethink what you are proposing and consider an alternative roofing material. Many lesser-known options can outlast asphalt shingles and other conventional materials, and some can even lower your electric bill! And if you’re planning a low-slope roof, chances are that shingles won’t work anyway. Contact us for more information.

    Stone-Coated Metal

    Slate roof against blue sky, Gray tile roof of construction house with blue sky and cloud background
    Pramote Polyamate / Getty Images

    Stone-coated metal roofing, or stone-coated steel roofing, has a deep, architectural profile and can mimic the look of asphalt shingles, wood shakes, or clay tiles. This premium roofing material comes with warranties up to 50 years and is rated highly for resistance to winds, hail, and fire. It is made with corrosion-resistant metal coated with crushed granite that is permanently bonded to the metal. The granite coating is not designed to slough off over time, as with the mineral coating on asphalt shingles.

    Stone-coated metal roofing typically is installed over wood strips, or battens, that create air channels between the roof deck and the roofing. These air spaces serve as insulation to help keep the roof deck cooler in summer and help minimize ice dams in winter.

    Built-Up Roofing

    Roofing
    Michael Bodmann / Getty Images

    Built-up roofing is the most popular roofing material used on low-sloped roofs. Made of several layers of bitumen surfaces, built-up roofing is finished by applying an aggregate layer or coating as the top layer. This top layer normally is tar, over which the gravel is laid.

    Types of built-up roofs include smooth asphalt (either hot or cold) and ballasted asphalt. All types generally comprise four parts: decking, insulation, ply sheets (reinforcing fabrics), and one or more surfacing materials. The layers are bonded together with asphalt (tar) or other bitumen material. The type of surface coating used can have a significant impact on the cost and durability of the roof.

    Most built-up roofs installed today include a layer of rigid insulation for energy performance. The ply sheets are commonly reinforced with fiberglass mats or organic mats, depending on their application.

    Solar Shingles

    modern solar panels
    Alistair Forrester Shankie / Getty Images

    Solar shingles offer an alternative to conventional rooftop solar panels, while also serving as a roofing material. While early versions of solar shingles and other solar roofing products used flexible “thin-film” solar technology, today’s solar shingles typically are made with rigid materials, such as tempered glass. This makes them look and perform more like conventional shingles, and most can be installed similarly to shingles and without special installation crews.

    Of course, the greatest benefit of solar shingles is that they create electricity during daylight hours. As a result, roofing starts paying for itself from the day it is installed and over the entire lifetime of the system. It’s the only roofing material that offers a financial return on your investment.

    Single-Ply Roofing

    Workmen carrying rolls of insulation to install into factory roof
    Monty Rakusen / Getty Images

    Single-ply roofing is a popular option for commercial buildings and can be used on any slope of roof. There are two main types of single-ply roofing: thermoset and thermoplastic. Thermoset membranes are made with layers of synthetic rubber polymers, such as EPDM, CSPE, and Neoprene. They are commonly used for large roof areas because their large size minimizes the number of seams.

    Thermoplastic single-ply membranes often are hot-air welded together to form cohesive laps. When the thermoplastic material cools, it returns to its original state, forming a permanent bond. Thermoplastic membranes typically include a reinforcing layer of polyester or fiberglass for strength and stability.

    Standing Seam Roofing

    Copper Roof
    Craig Cozart / Getty Images

    Standing seam roofing is a type of metal roofing made up of vertical panels with two seams per panel that stand up vertically. They offer a more finished appearance and better durability than traditional corrugated metal roofing. Standing seam roofing is commonly available in galvanized steel, Galvalume, and copper materials.

    Standing seam panels are installed over standard plywood roof decking and an approved underlayment, such as ice-and-water shield. The panels are typically 12 to 24 inches wide and run parallel to the slope of the roof.

  • Roofing Tips For First-Time Homeowners

    Roofing Tip #1: Spring Clean Your Roof

    Don’t just spring clean the inside of your house! Making sure that your roof is free of debris is essential. Fall, winter, and, spring can wreak havoc with mountains of leaves, snowstorms blowing down branches, not to mention bomb cyclones carrying shingles off to Oz.

    Cleaning your roof is important. If your pitch is low enough, you may be able to handle that task on your own, but keep in mind, that roof is a lot higher than you think. Not to mention, shingles and other roofing material can be very slippery when damp, so if you attempt to remove branches and leaves on your own, wait until it is good and dry. When you are getting the leaves off your roof, make sure and sweep in a downward motion and make sure that you are secure on your ladder or scaffolding.

    Roofing Tip #2: Gut Your Gutters

    Full gutters are a huge factor in leaks and roof damage, so making sure those are clean after the fall colors have faded is equally important. Likewise, gutters may end up pulling away from your house and in the long run, will lead to water running down into your foundation.

    Before those April showers and for your own peace of mind, you might schedule a standing appointment with a roofer at the end of a long winter to give your gutters and roof some spring cleaning. At the very least, get an estimate. It might just be worth your time and your money to let someone else handle sweeping the roof and cleaning the gutters.

    Roofing Tip #3: Roof Mold, Moss & Algae

    Other types of debris that are common in areas where lots of trees grow, like Michigan where I live, are mold, moss, and algae. Allowing these to continue to grow on your roof will shorten the longevity of your roof and allow water to pool which is never a good thing. You don’t want to use a power-washer nor do you want to use a stiff bristled brush or broom because it will damage your shingles and will shorten their life.

    Find a good cleaner for moss and use it to kill the moss before sweeping it off, or better yet, call someone and have your roofer do that dirty job for you.

    Roofing Tip #4: Inspect Your Attic

    After you have checked your roof on the outside, make sure and periodically check the inside of your roof.  If your roof has any leaks or damage, sometimes the easiest way to spot it is from the interior.  Check out your attic spaces for any water damage, the smell of mildew or mold, and any visible signs of light from any small holes in the roof. Include this task with your monthly or bi-monthly to do list. 

    Roofing Tip #5: Go Looking For Trouble

    One of the most troublesome areas in roofing, along with the gutters, is the chimney. The chimney often has flashing around it and roofing materials butted up against it as well. Checking to make sure the flashing and shingles are up tight against the chimney and waterproof is an important part of roof maintenance.

    Because of the height of most chimneys, this might be something you will want to leave up to the professionals.

    Roofing Tip #6: Look For Small Aesthetic Flaws In Your Roof

    When you are inspecting your roof, you need to look for small superficial flaws that can lead to huge, costly issues. Look for shingles that are bald. Also, be on the lookout for any nails that have come up and that are protruding. A good pair of binoculars is not a bad tool to have when examining your roof.

    Keeping your roof on your mind is an important part of being a homeowner, but it doesn’t have to be an all-consuming or daunting task. Put it on your calendar and keep these tips handy as you do your inspections. If your roof needs some upkeep, then you have another decision to make. If you decide to do the maintenance on your roof yourself, please take all the safety precautions you can.

    When choosing a professional, make sure you have a reputable contractor. Check with vetting agencies, like ImproveNet and get recommendations. Roof repairs are important, so you want the best to help you avoid any large costs in the future. An ounce of prevention not only keeps the doctor away, but it will keep your roof looking good and functioning at its best because we all know, there really is, “no place like home.”

  • 5 Types Of Commercial Roofing

    When we meet with future clients, they are usually comparing several types of roofing systems. We are always asked: What are the most popular types of commercial roofing? Which is better? Which is more reasonably priced? In this article, we will cover 5 types of commercial roofing.

    At West Roofing Systems, we have been helping customers for decades choose the right roof for their building and their budget. We want everyone to feel empowered when they start getting quotes from their contractors.

    In this article, we break down the five most common types of commercial roofing along with their average costs* and advantages.

    Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

    Commercial Roofing Cleveland

    Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is an eco-friendly roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities.   Spray Polyurethane Foam, more commonly referred to as SPF, is a material that is sprayed as a liquid so it can expand into a foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof.
    While SPF roofing is not the most known type of roofing material, the technology has been around since the early 1960s for industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. An SPF roofing system can be used in any climate, and when correctly installed and maintained, can last over 50 years.
    For an average 20,000 sq. foot commercial roof, it will usually cost between $4.00 and $7.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical SPF roofing system. This price range is for an SPF roof of average thickness and building structure.

    Spray Polyurethane Roofing Advantage

    There are quite a few benefits of SPF roofing systems:

    • Energy Efficient – SPF delivers thermal, air, and moisture barriers to provide the highest R-value per inch.
    • Durable – The foam material can expand and contract with the building, decreasing the likelihood of cracks and splitting.
    • Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.
    • Environmentally Friendly – In most cases, there is minimal stripping of the original roof – eliminating the need for costly roof tear-offs and waste. The materials that are used for SPF roofing systems are also environmentally friendly: Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), Low in the Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

    Learn Spray Foam Quickly. Download “The Spray Foam Roofing Cheat Sheet”

    Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

    Single-Ply Roof Membrane

    Single-Ply Membrane is a time-tested roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities.   Single-Ply Membranes are sheets of rubber and other synthetics that can be ballasted, mechanically fastened or chemically adhered to insulation creating a layer of protection on your commercial facility.

    While Single-Ply Membrane Roofing is one of the most well-known types of commercial roofing material, there are several types to fit your budget and facility needs.

    Single-Ply Membrane Advantages

    If properly installed and maintained, a commercial single-ply membrane roof can last 30 years. There are quite a few other benefits of single-ply membrane roofing systems:

    • Proven Track Record – EPDM roofing has been used for commercial flat roofing for over years. This amount of time on the market has allowed various laboratory and field studies to be performed and tracked.
    • Customer Choice of Insulation – Since single-ply membrane roofing does not include the insulation factor, as a customer you have more options to choose from to insulate your facility’s roof.
    • Class A Fire-Rated – TPO membranes and EPDM can achieve Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Class A fire resistance listings by adding fire retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process.
    • Reflective or Retentive – TPO is generally white and highly reflective. On the other side of the spectrum, EPDM is often described as “Black Roofs,” due to the natural dark color of the membrane.

    Metal Roofing

    Top 5 Advantages of Metal Roofs | Crown Roofing | Calls Answered 24/7


    Metal Roofing is one of the oldest commercial roofing systems on the market. Most metal roofing systems use corrugated galvanized steel, although other materials such as aluminum or tin can also be used.
    Since metal roofing material is rather light in weight, it can be installed right on top of the existing roof. After a metal roofing system is installed, a coating can be added for waterproofing, rust protection, and UV protection.
    For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $5.00 and $10.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical metal roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the metal panels you choose.

    Metal Roofing Advantages


    If properly installed and maintained, a commercial metal roof can last 40 years. There are quite a few other benefits of metal roofing systems:
    Design – Variety of material and color choices.
    Stability – Ability to hold up to high winds and snow.
    Energy Efficient – Sheet metal can be made from recycled material.
    Fire Resistance – Metal panels are less prone to fire damage and do not promulgate fire events.

    Shingle Roofing

    Understanding the Life Cycle of Asphalt Shingle Roofing | ROOFWORKS

    Shingle roofing is mostly known for homes and residential roofing, but shingles are very often used for steep slope commercial roofing applications.   Shingles can be made out of a few different materials, including wood, slate, metal, plastic, ceramic and composite material such as asphalt. There are two main types of shingles: Asphalt and Architectural.

    Asphalt Shingles: most common, cost-effective shingle on the market used for applications. These roof systems often come with 15 – 30-year warranties on average.

    Architectural Shingles: multi-layered and heavier to add durability and weatherproofing to the building. Often comes with “lifetime” warranties.

    For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical shingle roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the shingles you choose.

    Shingle Roofing Advantages

    Some benefits of commercial shingle roofing include:

    • Design – Wide variety of colors and designs
    • Durable – Some types of shingles are class IV hail rated
    • Easy Repair – Easy to spot and repair small areas of damage

    Built-Up Roofing

    Built-Up Flat Roofs | Progressive Materials

    Built-Up Roofing Systems have been in use in the U.S. for over 100 years.   These roof systems are commonly referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs. Built-up systems are installed by alternating layers of asphalt or tar and supporting fabrics directly onto the roof.   You can choose the number of layers (or plies) that are installed. The final layer of a built-up roofing system consists of stone or gravel.

    For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between per $5.50 – $8.50 square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical built-up roofing system. This price range can change depending on the materials you choose.

    Built-Up Roofing Advantages

    If properly installed and maintained, a commercial built-up roof can last 40 years. There are a few other benefits of built-up roofing systems:

    • Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.
    • UV Rays – provides ultra-violet protection.
    • Low- maintenance – Minimal upkeep needed after installation.

    As you can see, there are a lot of choices when looking into a new commercial roof. Each of the 5 types of commercial roofing has their benefits and drawbacks, choosing which one is best comes down to a customer-by-customer basis.