Watch Our 10 Step Cool Roof Process
The cost of re-roofing or repairing a roof can vary depending on the size of your roof. As a building owner, you don’t want to spend more than you need on a new roof only to find it may not be all you hoped for. We provide a transparent process. We want your roof work and can provide you with economical, long term, leak free solutions that save you time, money and future roof maintenance.
Step 1: Tenant Friendly Delivery System
Some forms of traditional roofing can be extremely disruptive to tenants and businesses. Noise, dirt and dust finding its way inside, hot tar kettles pushing toxic fumes into rooftop ventilation and inside the building or the use of high liability open flame roofing methods is not only annoying, disruptive but in some cases can result in having to temporarily shut down portions of a building or business.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems, our aim is to be tenant and business friendly, allowing businesses to operate as usual while working on your roof, causing the least possible amount of disruption and inconvenience and we have a very high success rate. We provide a clean, fully self-contained delivery system, nearly odorless with minimal noise and space consumption fitting any sized job, building location or design.
We have dealt with hundreds of different business types at a variety of locations some of which were open and had easy access with others having limited space for any construction vehicles or activity. Because of these differences, we can customize our set-up to fit the location, at times we’ve adjusted our schedule to fit client business needs and situations. With the versatility of our cool roofing delivery system we are able to accommodate virtually any building access or roofing issue.
Step 2: Roof Preparation Cleaning and Washing
A vital, fundamental step we take on your roof is to remove any trash and debris build up. It’s surprising how much can accumulate on your roof over the years. This accumulation comes from many sources; trees shedding their leaves, discarded items from previous workers, empty tar cans and roofing debris, items being tossed up on the roof or the roofing material itself falling apart in addition to a lot of pollutants and dust settling on the roof.
Some roofs are more professionally maintained than others. At Commercial Cool Roof Systems we know and appreciate the value of a well cleaned and organized roof. It doesn’t matter how high the quality of a coating or adhesive product is, nothing sticks or adheres well or long to a dirty roof. Applying any coating to a dirty roof can void the manufacturer’s product warranty.
Depending on the Cool Roof System we’re installing, you’ll see a number of cleaning steps to ensure we get the best results and follow manufacturer’s recommendations in product application. Yes, it does take some extra man power, cleaning equipment and effort to do a thorough cleaning on a roof but when this cleaning step has not been done well or short cuts taken it can cause product failure.
There are a few steps to our cleaning standard at Commercial Cool Roof Systems. First, we go over the entire roof and remove all larger items, bag debris and trash, then sweep and remove built up accumulations of dust, dirt and roofing granules. In many cases we find there are non-functional items on the roof; old satellite dishes, disconnected cables, dead air conditioners and so on, which we will remove from the roof with the owner’s consent.
This is followed with a power washing to remove the dust and pollutants. Large amounts of pollutants build up and collect within the coarse texture of the roof and surfaces to be coated. Washing is the only way to effectively remove this accumulation to ensure the best possible surface for any adhesives or coatings applied. You can feel confident that Commercial Cool Roof Systems gives every effort and attention needed to ensure that we meet or exceed manufacturer’s cleaning requirements before going on to the next preparatory step.
Step 3: Roof Preparation Repairs
As no two roofs or buildings are exactly the same, a building will present its own set of preparatory steps and situations to resolve such as upgrades in the form of ventilation, new skylights or sheet metal work. Some roofs may have developed chronic problems over the years or have deficiencies that need to be resolved before you can proceed with a Cool Roof system or any roofing system.
A basic step for any building would be repairs to any known structural issues, such as rotted and delaminated plywood, beams or rafters, damaged fascia boards or any damaged or missing sheet metal work pertinent to the roof’s water integrity.
Repairs may involve the removal of any past poorly done roof repairs that are detrimental to the water flow and drainage of the roof. The roof drains themselves may need to be replaced where they have ceased to work. In actual fact, most roofs usually only have a couple minor problems to resolve before installation. Catching details in this preparatory step always makes the difference in how long the roof will last and reducing your future roof maintenance but most importantly, being leak free for the longest period of time possible.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems we lay out all roof preparation steps, clearly written, in our scope of work, with accompanying pictures so you, as an owner or manager know what to expect with no surprises or hidden costs. Staying within budget, transparency and honesty with what we deliver is important. As part of our service, we take pictures of the job from start to finish showing all key steps of the scope of work and provide this in the form of a progress report to you at the end of the job.
Roof preparation is a critical step to a well executed lasting Cool Roof system and is the real difference between companies or tradesmen. With over 30 years experience, we’re very aware of the necessity of good roof preparation and it’s value to manufacturer warranties and a long term, leak-free roof.
Step 4: Resolving Water Ponding and Drainage
The majority of commercial and industrial buildings have “flat” roofs. This is a bit of a misnomer however because they’re not completely flat. They appear to be flat when looking at them but in actuality have built-in varying degrees of slope to ideally get water to run towards the drains, gutters and downpipes. Unfortunately, some flat roofs develop water ponding issues and in some cases the water ponding is very severe and is a big problem.
Some of the reasons for water ponding come from poor building construction, the building settling over time, heavy weight loads from HVACs or mechanical installations. Water ponding on a roof can be very problematic if not catastrophic inside the building if the roofing system fail near or under a ponding condition. It doesn’t take much of a hole, or crack, developing in the roof to allow large amounts of water inside if the hole is near a large water pond. Also, water sitting on the roof’s surface for long periods of time tends to adversely affect the roofing membrane. Dirt, dust, pollutants and debris also tend to accumulate in these locations making it even harder for these roof sections to dry out.
Commercial Cool Roof Systems has a very simple, inexpensive solution for this problem using a proprietary lightweight roof leveling compound. This compound is sandwiched in between layers of waterproof membranes effectively accomplishing positive water drainage and minimizing any standing water. We developed this because we wanted a better roof system for our clients that would hold up longer than our competitors and we wanted to accomplish this inexpensively. This simple, non-invasive solution takes care of some major problems, which are often just roofed over by other roofing companies or is very expensive if dealt with in a structural manner.
Commercial Cool Roof Systems developed this proprietary product and it’s been used by us for years with excellent results. Our product is ideal for all the unusual shapes and sizes in which ponding occurs.
Step 5: Air Conditioners Sealing Metal Ducts
Most commercial buildings will have the air conditioning units on the roof. Many of these units will have metal ducts coming off them which penetrate the roofing membrane and into the interior of the building. Some of these exterior duct systems can be quite extensive. These ducts joints, when initially installed were waterproofed by the installers using the standard and proper sealants but over the years, due to exposure, break down and eventually lose their water integrity. As the metal expands and contracts the waterproofing and air seals developed splits and holes allowing water and dust into the duct and eventually into the building.
Some of these duct systems get beaten up being subjected to a number of re-roofings and repairs. Unfortunately, one of the most commonly applied resealing or repair material used by roofers or maintenance personnel on these duct joints is tar. Tar is a very short term fix and the poorest repair material to use on metal. It dries out quickly, splits open and usually just makes a mess of the duct work and in many cases, causes premature duct replacement, which is expensive.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems, we have very thorough resealing techniques for duct joints which hold up well over time and won’t continually open up on the joints. This technique of using reinforcement fabrics and weatherproofing sealants on the joints has saved many building owners having to replace major duct work and has resolved countless chronic leaks.
In addition to resealing the joints, we install new support legs, which have gone missing from prior re-roofings or repairs. One of the reasons we include the duct work into each job is to be sure they’re very thoroughly sealed up. Any water getting inside a duct will usually follow the duct’s interior wall leading to the inside of the building. To the untrained eye, this will resemble a roof leak and is often assumed to be a roof issue rather than the aged out or badly repaired duct work causing it.
The holes and splits that we find are quite often very small, but can result in fairly large amounts of water getting into the building.
After resealing all joints, the ducts receive multiple coats of reflective coats of reflective elastomeric, which reflect over 80 percent of the heat and UV, assisting in the AC’s efficiency. Metal ducts are always included in our scope of work when present on a building.
Another aspect of exterior metal ducts from AC units is that they absorb the sun’s heat. Duct metals get very hot. You could cook an egg on them in the summertime. The insulation on the inside of a duct is not that thick and given the length and distance the air needs to travel to the interior the AC needs to work harder and run longer to compensate for the external heat. With the white, elastomeric coatings on the ducts, substantial savings in air conditioning costs have been reported.
Step 6: Installation of New Water Proofing Membrane
A roof that is very old and in a dried out and brittle condition will not benefit well from a roof coating alone. Unfortunately we see the white coatings promoted by some as the “fix all” for all flat roofing situations. This is not the case. A roof that is aged out and damaged needs much more than just a white roof coating.
What is needed is a fluid applied, reinforced roofing system. This is a built-up system using commercial-grade asphaltic emulsion. The emulsion is pumped to the roof cold and applied at specific rates of coverage and thickness which saturates the layers of commercial-grade roof reinforcing fabrics. This is similar to a hot mop but without the odor and danger.
After roof preparation and repairs, the reinforcing fabric plies can be installed from a single layer to multiple plies. Each ply compounding the strength and durability of this seamless waterproof membrane.
As with most materials, there are a number of different grades of this reinforcing fabric, some much stronger and more durable than others. At Commercial Cool Roof Systems we use commercial grade polyester reinforcing fabric in all our asphalt emulsion work, creating and long-lasting, seamless, waterproof membrane over your entire roof.
This asphalt emulsion virtually has no odor to disrupt tenants or businesses. No hot kettle is used or potentially dangerous flames as in torch down application. Asphalt emulsion is widely used in the waterproofing arena. This system of reinforcing fabrics, embedded into emulsion requires no old roof tear off, adds no appreciable weight changes to the roof, is very flexible to building movement and durable to foot traffic. This system also lends itself to any future changes the roof may have with any new penetrations or installations.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems we give additional attention and application to key failure points that are common to all roofs. Our detailed work is second to none and this makes the difference of years of additional roof service life for your building.
Step 7: Sealing Roof Penetrations
Many roof leaks will usually originate from roof penetrations and stress points which are high maintenance areas. Typically most roof penetrations have tar applied around them, but his tends to dry out quickly in hot climates and not hold up well to the stresses and roof movement that a roof undergoes.
There are more superior products to use on roof penetrations that outlast tar by at least five to one, thus reducing roof maintenance and creating better penetration seals that hold up well to roof movement and climate conditions.
Commercial Cool Roof Systems uses a commercial-grade elastic cement which has about the same consistency as tar but dries as a thick, tough, flexible rubber which is white in color. It can also be used with reinforcements or just on its own. We feel this product the best on the market after trying and comparing many competitor’s products of similar nature.
Commercial Cool Roof Systems strives to use the best available commercial grade materials to ensure the longest roof service life possible with the least maintenance for your Cool Roof system.
Step 8: Preparation for Roof Coating Washing
Up to this stage we’ve shown the initial cleaning and preparation of the roof including any repairs and the installation of the waterproofing membrane.
Your roof is now completely waterproof and has it’s seamless waterproof membrane in place and almost ready to receive it’s final white elastomeric coatings. On this step we will lightly pressure wash the roof again, removing any dust and film, ensuring a clean surface that will bond well to the first coat of the commercial-grade white elastomeric roof coating.
One of the main reasons a coating or adhesive will fail is from improperly cleaned and prepared surfaces. Cleaning and washing are a basic standard to any Cool Roof system.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems we ensure the manufacturer’s standards as well as our own high standards are kept in or exceeded to produce the best results possible and to avoid coating failure due to unclean, dusty or contaminated conditions.
Step 9: Application of Final Roof Coatings
Having completed all the previous steps in the scope of work, the roof is now ready for the application of the final coating. This particular coating is what is called an elastomeric roof coating and is white in color.
The commercial grade white elastomeric roof coatings will reflect over 85% of the sun and UV rays and will add an additional waterproofing layer. It also acts like a reflective shield to protect your roof membrane, drastically reduces roof temperature, improved building comfort and reduces cooling costs.
In the roofing industry there are a variety of coatings one can purchase and apply, but keep in mind that there are different grades, qualities and cost. This will affect how much heat and UV rays are reflected and how long the coatings will hold up to the daily beating that the roof endures from weather and building movement.
This protective roof coating needs to be tough, durable and last… not just look white. Unfortunately, there are white roof coatings on the market that really do not hold up well over time.
At Commercial Cool Roof Systems, we’re proud to use a reliable, commercial-grade white elastomeric roof coating that has been manufactured and produced for this industry here in the US for decades. This coating meets all California Title 24 requirements and is approved by the cool roof rating council, which oversees standards in this field.
Starting with a quality product is our first requirement on all steps. In our application we take even more effort to ensure an even and thorough coverage. We apply two separate coats using a combination of sprayer and a back-roller to ensure a well adhered and evenly distributed coating. We find this to be a superior and much cleaner application compared to those who only use a spray method. We also use hand brushes to get under and around areas that the sprayer alone just cannot get to.
Our application steps and techniques guarantee a coverage that is clean, tight and mess free. We know we can save some time and effort doing it like most of our competitors but it wouldn’t be up to the standard we work hard to achieve.
A Cool Roof system is renewable, which means that with a wash and re-top coating one can keep extending out the roof warranty again and again, resulting in a consistent warranty on your roof, with all of the major waterproofing work having been done on the original installation. This re-top coating is a minimal expense as it is just the white elastomeric coating being done. On average, this could be done about every eight to ten years.
If the roof is maintained in this fashion there is no foreseeable reason for the roof to be replaced. We have many roofs that have been maintained and are well over 35 years old, in great shape and holding up leak free. We also have a number of clients who have re-top coated their roof prior to the sale of a building, passing all building inspections, maintaining roof value and giving new owners a transferrable warranty.
Commercial Cool Roof Systems will provide you with a beautiful economical roof that is easy to maintain and has a long term renewable roof warranty on materials and labor.
Step 10: Benefits of a Cool Roof System
There’s a Cool Roof system for any age roof. Whether your roof is newer and you want to increase its efficiency and double or triple its service life with simple coatings, or you have a roof that is aged out and you’re being told you need to tear off and re-roof, we have an economical, long-term, leak free solution for you.
As you may or may not be aware of, re-roofing costs have steadily risen with with increased labor, material and insurance costs and will continue to do so. A re-roofing project can be very expensive as well as disruptive to tenants and their daily business. No one looks forward to a re-roofing project. You can read more about the benefits of cool roofing here.