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The very last layer of almost every type of roofing material (foam, metal, asphalt, modified bitumen, shake, tile, etc.) is a coating substance. These coatings can be composed of a wide variety of materials including acrylic, aluminum, rubberized aluminum, polyurethane, asphalt, polymers, cement, granules, rock — the list goes on and on. These coatings tend to be extremely durable and elastomeric. Elastomeric simply means that the material is very elastic (resembling rubber) and resumes its original shape after an impact. In short, it rebounds from hailstones, branches or debris falling on the roof.

Why Coat A Roof?

Since most roofs are generally comprised of three or more layers (a waterproof membrane, insulation, the roof material, and an adhesive) you would think roofing material would be tough enough. So why bother adding a coating? The simple answer is to prolong the life of the roofing material.

Reasons for Coating

Prevention of Roof Degradation

The main purpose of a roof coating is to prevent the metal, foam, asphalt or whatever roofing material has been selected from degrading due to weather and general wear and tear. For instance, a foam roof often receives a tough rubberized coating that makes it even more resilient to storm damage. The coating of granules on asphalt shingles protects the shingle from UV light, adds color and beauty, provides fire resistance, and also ensures the shingles don’t stick together when they are packaged. In short, a proper coating can add life to your roof.

Improving Energy Efficiency

Roofing professionals are finding that coatings are offering another very important secondary advantage. By selecting a coating that reflects heat, for instance something with aluminum flakes in it, roofs can be kept cooler during the heat of summer. Reflecting heat not only helps the roofing material last longer, it also offers terrific energy saving to commercial and residential property owners.

Reducing Urban Heat Islands

In urban areas, reflective coatings can help make a dent in the problem of urban heat islands. Due to the high concentration of concrete, asphalt, metal and masonry, urban areas absorb heat and retain it, releasing it only very slowly during the night hours. The temperatures in an urban area can be 10 – 15 degrees hotter than the surrounding countryside. Proper reflective coatings for roofs can help cut down on this problem.

Coatings Are The Keys To Maintenance

When professional roofers talk about roof maintenance, they are often referring to refreshing the coating on the roofing material. Adding a new layer of coating every so often will prolongs its life, protects it from damage and often help save on energy costs.


Sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF or just “foam”) is one of the most common roofing materials used on commercial buildings, particularly those with flat or low slope roofs. The foam is a combination of isocyanate and polyol. These two components are fed through a spray gun that heats and pumps the materials onto the roof surface. As it is applied, tiny air bubbles are trapped within the foam, making it particularly effective at insulating the roof, both from heat and cold. Studies have shown that foam roofing frequently produces energy savings of 30% or greater when compared to other roofing systems.


Flexible and Seamless

Because foam roofing is applied as a liquid (which expands during application), it forms a continuous, seamless, protective barrier around vents, pipes and other protrusions through the roof. This is particularly handy on commercial buildings where many perforations are necessary. It is also self-flashing, thereby eliminating the need and cost of flashing materials.

Environmentally Friendly

Foam roofs require a minimum of upkeep, which means less waste and repair. In addition, with the proper coating, foam roofing reflects heat, thus reducing the amount of heat trapped in urban areas — an effect known as an urban heat island.

Cost Effective

Foam roofing is one of the least expensive alternatives for commercial roofing application. It is also one of the easiest to apply thus reducing labor costs.


In combination with a protective coating, foam roofing is very resistant to weather and storm damage, and requires minimal maintenance and repair.

Light Weight

Foam is about one-eighth the weight of traditional roofing materials. This allows more flexibility in architectural design and a terrific cost savings since it eliminates the need for structural reinforcement of a building to carry the weight load of other types of materials.

Foam Roofing Repair and Maintenance

Foam roofing requires infrequent maintenance checks, and repairs are minimal in most cases. Depending on the foam roofing material and roof surroundings (trees, vegetation & debris) a roof inspection may not be necessary for 5 years. The protective coating may need to be reapplied periodically depending on wear. Should the foam roof become damaged — perhaps from storm debris — immediate repair is recommended to avoid leaks and other problems that may compromise the building envelope.


Whether you’re putting a roof on a new home, or your existing roof requires a total makeover, there are many materials available. But no matter what roof style you have, metal roofs can be an attractive option because of their longevity, minimal maintenance, and energy efficiency. And you can choose from tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel — just make sure your metal roofing material is tested and labeled by UL, FM Global, or the equivalent, and that you check with your local building department for any code requirements.



Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.


Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant (depending on which metal you choose). In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.


Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.

Energy efficiency

Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%

Environmentally friendly

Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.

Modified Bitumen (MB)

Modified bitumen (MB) is another excellent roofing alternative, used regularly on commercial properties ranging from retail centers to multi-family apartments. It is an extremely economical and flexible roofing system for low-slope or flat roofs. One of the oldest of the “modern” roofing methods, it has been time-tested. And with the new advances in technology, it has become a long-lasting and safe roofing material for single and multi-family dwellings.

Modified bitumen is asphalt with modifiers added to it to give it plastic or rubber-like properties making it much more durable. It is made of six basic layers that can be assembled in a number of different combinations.

The 6 basic layers MB can be assembled


Provides protection around the edges of the roof as well as around perforations in the roof created by vents, AC/Heating units, etc..

Modified Bitumen Membrane

A sheet of modified bitumen reinforced with either polyester (we always knew there was a good use for this besides leisure suits), fiberglass or a composite carrier.


A layer that offers R Value. R Value helps keep heat out in the summer and in during the winter months. The insulation also offers a stable base for the other layers.

Base Sheets

Either modified or unmodified sheets or plies used under the membrane.


A surface coat to protect against UV rays and weathering, and also offers cool roofing options.


A layer that offers R Value. R Value helps keep heat out in the summer and in during the winter months. The insulation also offers a stable base for the other layers.



Modified bitumen roofing has superior fire resistance and waterproofing characteristics.


MB offers a broad range of application methods including heat welded, cold adhesive and hot asphalt. It also offers a wide choice of top-surfacing, including “cool roofing” options.


MB has a very high tensile-strength and resists thermal shock and splitting. MB can be made extremely resistant to fire, wind and hail with the proper surfacing or coating.

Low Cost

Modified bitumen is some of the lowest cost per square foot material you can use for commercial roofing applications. Because it is easy to install, labor costs are less expensive as well.


Modified bitumen requires little maintenance over an average 20 year lifespan. Toward the end of the 20 years, coatings can be applied to extend its serviceable life even more,


Asphalt shingles are the most common form of roofing material used in the United States, primarily because they are so affordable. With a wide variety of colors and styles, new asphalt shingle roofs are an economical and attractive way to spruce up your property.

Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural or laminated shingles, are asphalt shingles with a twist. Regular asphalt shingles have three regularly spaced asphalt tabs, giving the roofing material a very repetitive pattern. Dimensional shingles have two layers of shingle material bonded together. However, random notches have been taken out of the shingle, exposing the bottom layer. This gives these new shingles a three dimensional look, with different high and low tabs.

Because of the double bonded layer, dimensional shingles actually offer more protection from wind and hail — with the heaviest grades able to withstand 120 mph winds. They also have a longer lifespan — 40 years compared to the average 20 years for the single layer asphalt shingles.



A big advantage of asphalt shingle roofs, including dimensional shingles, is their cost. Because they are easy to manufacture and to install, asphalt shingles are inexpensive compared to other roofing materials.

Easy Installation

Asphalt shingle roofs are easy to install, flexible and sturdy, making them compatible with many roof designs.

Light Weight

Asphalt shingles come in dozens of designs and textures, including the new dimensional asphalt shingles. Also, asphalt roof shingles can be manufactured to look like more expensive, natural materials. You can have a roof that looks like cedar shakes, slate, tile, or wood.

Looks Great

Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%

Easy Maintenance

Some roofing materials require regular maintenance (like shake shingles), whereas asphalt shingles require almost no maintenance. While they aren’t as tough as tile shingles, they do hold up fairly well to the challenges of Mother Nature. If they are damaged, asphalt shingles are easily repaired and inexpensive to replace by qualified roof replacement and maintenance experts.


Single ply roofing membranes (sometimes referred to as PVC or TPO) have grown in popularity over the past 30 years for use on commercial buildings, thanks to their flexibility, relative ease of installation and competitive price. Single Ply roofing is composed of four basic elements:

An insulation Layer
A single-ply membrane usually made of plastic or rubber
An Adhesive that melds the layers together

Perhaps the single greatest advantage to single ply roofing is its energy savings. With a proper coating, the light-colored roof surface reflects heat and offers a significant reduction in energy use. Tests show that the surface temperature of a white roof rises only 4 degrees on a sunny 85-degree day, while on a black or dark colored roof, the temperature rises 42 degrees under the same conditions. Over time, the reflectivity can translate into significant energy savings!



Single ply is impact resistant, and also resists tough challenges like intense UV rays, high winds, thermal shocks and chemical residue. It is especially suited for roofs that are exposed to concentrations of grease and oil.


Thanks to ease of installation (no heavy equipment and it can be applied during wet weather) single ply is quick to install, saving on both material and labor costs.

Cost Effective

Foam roofing is one of the least expensive alternatives for commercial roofing application. It is also one of the easiest to apply thus reducing labor costs.


The layers and adhesive help eliminate the danger of fire and smoke pollution.

Light Weight

The thin layers in single ply roofing make it lightweight and easy to install.


Single ply roofing materials can accommodate unconventional roof designs.

3 Types of Single Ply

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyfolefin)

TPO roofing systems offer a fire-resistant membrane with polyester reinforcement to strengthen the bond. The membrane is also resistant to chemical, grease, and punctures, making it a good alternative for rooftop areas with high traffic.

PVC (Poly-Vinyl Chloride)

PVC formulation allows for added long-term flexibility of the membrane making it extremely durable and impact resistant. PVC is pliable with excellent weathering characteristics and resistance to harsh chemicals and industrial pollutants

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber)

EPDM has the appearance and feel of an inner tube, and it rebounds when stretched. It is a highly durable roofing material and can last in excess of 40 years.

Single Ply Roofs Are Low Maintenance

The bonding of the layers makes single ply roofs incredibly durable as well as impact resistant. Its ability to ward off environmental challenges like UV rays, winds and chemicals, means single ply roof repair is rare, and that single ply roof maintenance is minimal.


Tile is an extremely versatile option for commercial roofing, especially when a more decorative and esthetic look is desired. Tile, particularly clay or terracotta, can add an old-world or historic flair to a roof that is very attractive to guests, visitors or clients. With the new shapes, sizes, colors and styles that are available today, commercial buildings can also achieve an extremely modern and updated look. Another bit of good news is that tile also holds its color very well over the years and is not subject to fading.



Because air circulation is enhanced by the spaces under the curved tiles, tile roofs tend have great durability and can last up to 50 years.


Thanks to their composition of stone or baked clay (clay, terracotta, ceramic, slate or concrete are the most often used materials in creating tile roofing materials) tile holds up well under harsh weather conditions, better than almost any other material.


Tile naturally repels insects and is immune to rot.


Due to the unique shape of the tiles, tile roofs shed water extremely well.

Fire Resistance

Because tile is made with clay, stone or concrete it is highly fire resistant.

Low Maintenance

Tile roofing material requires little or no maintenance.

Tile Roofing Repair and Maintenance

Damaged or broken roofing tiles should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the underlayment from water or exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Our roofing technicians have very specialized training in properly traversing and repairing tile roofs. In many cases we solve problems with a tile roof that competitors have recommended replacing.

Regular maintenance will help to avoid costly repairs and ultimately extend a roof’s lifespan. Unnoticed damage or debris build-up can allow water to penetrate and compromise the structure, roof decking or even the attic space below. Regular maintenance by qualified tile roofers will catch minor problems early and avoid more expensive repairs in the future.

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