Flat Roofing Installation: Top 5 Materials, Their Cost, Benefits And Drawbacks

Utilized in both residential and commercial roofing, flat roofs offer both aesthetics (a unique architectural looks and styles) and convenience (a place to install HVAC units, for example). They also come with a bit of a reputation for causing problems, however.

Flat roofs are often more prone to leaks and damage than their sloped counterparts, and as such, both homeowners and commercial building owners tend to look after them with a little more care and caution. That extra care and caution carries over to the choices you’ll need to make when replacing your home’s flat roof.

When installing a flat roof, your main goal is to create a barrier that will be impenetrable to water. Flat roofing, also called low-slope roofing, is not entirely flat – they are slightly angled to allow water and melting snow flow into a downspout. Still, they must be able to handle pooling water, snow and ice.

Flat Roofing Installation: Top 5 Materials, Their Cost, Benefits And Drawbacks by LGC Roofing

Flat Roofing Installation: Top 5 Materials, Their Cost, Benefits And Drawbacks

Popular options include felt and bitumen, built-up roofing, single-ply PVC roofing, and EPDM roofing, but which of these is best? What are their advantages and disadvantages? How much do they cost? Below is an overview of most popular flat roofing materials.

Single-ply PVC Membrane Roofing

Single-ply PVC membrane roofing is one of the most popular flat roofing material. This option is made up of a PVC membrane base, which are sealed together to form a watertight barrier that is practically maintenance-free once it’s installed. PVC membrane roofing are especially strong and durable, and energy efficient (especially white-colored ones), as they reflect heat away during the summer and help keep it inside during the winter. PVC roofing often comes with lifetime warranty.

The down side? PVC membrane roofing is one of the costlier options, though it does provide excellent long-term value.

Cost of Installation: $7.00 to $10.00 per square foot.

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years.

EPDM Roofing

Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) roofing is another option. These rubber roofs are highly durable, lightweight, and energy efficient. Since it forms an insulation barrier, EPDM rubber helps prevent heat transfer, keeping your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. They are low-maintenance and resistant to wind, hail, fire and ozone damage.

EPDM roofing is easy to install, which can be done in one of three ways: it can be attached mechanically, installed fully adhered, or ballasted together. The EPDM roofing membranes are sealed off with specially formulated tape adhesives or liquid bonding agents.

EPDM roofing is also less expensive on average than single-ply PVC membrane roofs, but at the same time, their welded seals are not quite as impenetrable. They also don’t trap heat inside your home very well, which can contribute to rising home heating costs during the winter months. EPDM is also more vulnerable to punctures than other choices.

Cost of Installation: $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot.

Lifespan: 15 to 30 years.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing

TPO is a single ply membrane consisting of a polymer base, mesh fabric reinforcing layer, and tough thermoplastic polyolefin top layer. TPO membranes can be adhered, fastened or ballasted. When adhesive is used, the membrane is chemically bonded to either the roof decking or to an insulation layer. Likewise, the membrane can be mechanically attached to either the decking or to an already fastened layer of insulation. In a ballasted installation, the membrane is laid down and then covered with a layer of river rock or pavers to hold it down.

Like other roofing membrane systems, TPO is an ideal choice for application on commercial buildings which have expansive roofs with little or no slope, combining the strength of EDPM rubbers with hot-air weldable seams. It’s durable, highly reflective and energy efficient, UV and heat resistant, also resistant to chemicals, dirt, and biological degrading. It’s also recyclable. A properly installed and maintained TPO roof has a lifetime of 10 to 20 years, and most manufacturers offer a full warranty.

On the downside, not all TPO membranes are created equal, and some perform a lot better than others. Longevity varies, so purchasing from a high end supplier is critical. They also don’t stand up to heat well.

Cost of Installation: $6.00 to $8.50 per square foot

Lifespan: 10 to 20 years.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a multi-ply roofing material. The traditional material used to cover a flat roof consists of a felt underlayer, which includes a fiber or paper base that is coated with bitumen. This underlayer is then covered over with a top coat of gravel to protect against weather elements. The main advantage of this option is its low cost; felt-bitumen flat roofing materials are cheap and easy to install.

Torch-down application used in their installation is a fire hazard, however, and not recommended for occupied buildings. These roofs are also prone to damage over the medium term, and most felt-bitumen flat roofs have maximum lifespans of 10 to 15 years. They can also be easily damaged, and often require intermediary repairs.

Cost of Installation: $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot.

Lifespan: 10 to 25 years.

Built-up Roofing

If you’re looking for a comparable option that’s got a lot more durability, built-up roofing (BUR)–also known as  tar & gravel roof–is comprised of similar elements. However, BUR is much thicker and more durable than standard felt-bitumen roofing, enabling it to withstand more damage and last longer. Consequently, BUR roofs can withstand heavy foot traffic. Its drawbacks: relative to standard felt-bitumen flat roofing products, BUR is more expensive. It is also a lot heavier, making for a more difficult installation and introducing more weight pressure on your roof, the added weight often requiring reinforcement to the supporting structure.

Cost of Installation: $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot.

Lifespan:  15 to 20 years.

Installation Quality Matters

The advantages of each option should be carefully weighed against their drawbacks, taking factors like local weather and climate patterns into account while considering your budget. Remember that the up-front cost of a flat roof replacement only tells part of the story; the longer your roof lasts, and the more energy it helps you save, the greater the long-term value it will deliver.

This article was provided by Lukasz Sobczuk, the owner of LGC Roofing, a NJ  & PA contractor with over 30 years of experience in residential & commercial roofing. Call (609) 712-8157 or (215) 932-7850 for your FREE ESTIMATE!

Leak-Free Skylight Installation Tips From a Roofing Contractor

Skylights are designed to be both functional and attractive. Essentially a window installed in the roof of your home, a skylight provides the interior room with natural light and heat.

As beautiful and functional as they are, skylights are behind many common roof leaks. A poorly installed skylight can allow moisture into your home and can cost you thousands of dollars in roof repairs later. Additionally, diagnosing & repairing skylight leaks can be tricky.

Many homeowners attempt to install skylights on their own only to find out how difficult the task can be. Skylight installation is a serious business and should be left to professionals. However, for those brave (and handy) enough, the tips below should offer some basic guidance, when it comes to proper skylight installation.

Leak-Free Skylight Installation Tips From a Roofing Contractor

Leak-Free Skylight Installation Tips From a Roofing Contractor

The following tips from your Delaware roofing contractor can help you avoid costly mistakes when considering the installation of a new skylight.

  1. Follow directions exactly as specified. If you are installing your own skylight, follow the manufacturer’s directions to a T. You may be tempted to cut corners to save time or money, but resist the urge. Product installation per the instructions optimizes the skylight’s performance, leak-free. Consult a professional contractor if you do not feel confident about your installation abilities or if you have questions.
  2. Proper mounting. Skylights should be mounted above the roof’s surface to ensure they remain leak-free. Mounting a skylight flush with the roof or recessed under the roof’s surface can compromise its watertight seal. Be sure to seal all joints thoroughly to prevent water from seeping through the cracks. Water damage can cause premature deterioration of shingles, leading to roof repairs or replacement.
  3. Install extra protection. Consider adding a raised lip –called a curb—around the skylight in addition to flashing. The curb acts as drainage system, directing water away from the skylight.

Again, skylight installation can be tricky and requires extensive knowledge & experience to be handled correctly. We strongly encourage all homeowners to contact a local roofing contractor for help with any skylight installations & repairs.

An experienced roofing contractors will have the skills necessary to handle such projects and guarantee leak-free system for years to come. Additionally, your local roofer will help you choose a skylight that is compatible with the slope of your roof and the type of roofing materials.

Only Hire Local Reputable Contractors

Invest in your home, and your community, by hiring local contractors!

If you need a contractor with solid experience and reputation, All Roofing Solutions is your roofer. We’re a family owned & operated reputable local roofing contractor with nearly two decades of experience in roofing inspections, repairs & installation in Delaware & Southeastern Pennsylvania. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, or to request a Free estimate for your skylight installation.

Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania today!

Winter Roofing: Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Now

Many homeowners encounter a variety of roof problems during the winter, including the formation of ice dams, condensation and damage to structures such as shingles and flashings. Typically, fall is the time to prepare your roof for winter, but if you’re facing issues now don’t despair – certain roofing repairs need to be handled as soon as possible, even if they occur in the winter.

Whether you’re behind on maintenance or your roof developed a leak, we have tips to get you through winter months without a hitch.

Winter Roofing: Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Now


Winter Roofing: Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Now

1. Winter roof maintenance

Inspect the roof and gutters for damage and any signs of ice dams and icicles forming – especially after a windstorm, snowstorm or particularly cold streak. If too much ice builds up, gutters can become too heavy and rip away from the home, leaving you with damage and hefty gutter repair bills.

Additionally, clogged gutters and downspouts can’t channel water and snowmelt away from your home which can lead to serious damage. Ensure your downspouts and fascia are not clogged by ice, snow or other debris such as stray branches or dead leaves. Remove excess snow buildups with a roof rake, and use a hammer and chisel to carefully chip away the ice if you need to.

2. Flashing and chimney repairs

Many roof leaks occur in places where the roof meets up with the home’s siding, chimneys or skylights. Inspect these connection points – check the flashings for holes, cracks, or other signs of damage or deterioration. This is critical – if chimney flashing pulls away or is damaged by wind or hail, water may leak into your attic and your home’s interior.

Your roofing contractor is likely to be able to handle any repairs of this kind, paying close attention to temperatures so that the adhesives used in repairs do not freeze. Luckily, many Pennsylvania and Delaware winters feature a number of days above freezing temperatures that are conducive to roof work.

3. Shingle repairs

If you have damaged roof shingles, it’s essential that you repair the problem promptly. Otherwise, you could end up with a leaky roof and, potentially, serious structural damage to your home’s roof, attic and frame. Shingles that are nailed down or use other types of metal fasteners can be repaired and replaced at any point in the year. Extra care is needed, however, to prevent cracking or breaking already-fragile roofing materials. An experienced roofing contractor will have no problem with this task.

4. Gutter repairs

Gutters play a huge role in keeping your roof dry and clear during the wet winter months. Gutters that are broken, run-down or blocked can cause water damage to both the roof and interior of your home. As long as the day is dry, gutters can be repaired and installed just as effectively during winter as in the warmer seasons.  Leaks that develop at aging seams may be repaired with silicone sealant. Small holes can be patched with roofing cement, applied with a putty knife. Larger issues may require replacing the leaky section altogether.

5. Roof replacement

Despite a handful of obstacles, many types of roofs, including metal, wood and shingled, can be replaced regardless of the season. With certain precautions the installation can be done without a hitch. Keep in mind that shingles will be less flexible, harder to cut,  and more likely to be overdriven by nails. They may also need to be hand-sealed with roofing cement to prevent the wind from lifting them before there is sufficient heat for them to self-seal.

Flat roofs, especially those made of rubber, however, have to wait until spring. The reason for this is the adhesives used in flat roofing are temperature-dependent. A roof laid during a streak of sub-40-degree weather will not be laid correctly due to problems with the adhesive.

Don’t Postpone Your Repairs Till Spring!

If you’re looking for a contractor with shingle roofing expertise, consider All Roofing Solutions, a family owned & operated Wilmington DE roofing contractor with 20 years of experience. We are fully licensed and insured to do roofing & siding work in Delaware!

Call our DE office at 302-725-ROOF (7663) or our PA location at 610-551-ROOF (7663) for a free price quote or to schedule a roof inspection.

Don’t forget to ask about our discount of 15% off any roof repair job!!!

3 Common Winter Roofing Problems to Watch Out For

3 Common Winter Roofing Problems to Watch Out For

Winter weather can be hard on your roof, especially in the East Coast states like Delaware or Pennsylvania. Several problems can creep up if you don’t pay attention and, if not adequately addressed, may lead to big, costly roofing repairs.

Today, we will discuss typical roofing damage resulting from condensation & ice dams and also gutter problems caused by icicles.

Common Winter Roofing Problems

Here are three common problems your roof may face over the winter.

Problem #1 – Condensation

When a cold surface meets warm air, condensation will occur. Unfortunately, an improperly insulated attic is a prime candidate for the formation of condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew, damaging the interior structure of your home. To prevent condensation, ensure your attic is properly ventilated.

Attic ventilation is a significant part of a healthy roof system yet it’s often overlooked. While you may know that attic ventilation helps control indoor temperature and saves energy costs, you may not realize that improper ventilation can damage your roof, create ice dams and reduce your roof’s overall lifespan.

Problem #2 – Ice dams

Ice dams are a fairly common occurrence over the winter, the result of an accumulation of ice and water on the roof and under the shingles. Ice dams form when the upper areas of a roof are at above-freezing temperatures, and the lower-hanging areas are below-freezing. Melting snow from the upper, warmer sections of the roof flows down and re-freezes on the colder, lower sections of the roof and gutters, creating the ice dam. As water backs up and pools behind the dam, it may leak into your home through cracks and joints on the home’s exterior, causing interior damage.

Ice dams can be a nightmare, potentially causing extensive water damage to homes. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of ice dams, but they can be minimized. Proper roof insulation, as well as a good attic ventilation system, are key elements in an effective defense against ice dams.

Proper ventilation in the attic of your home is an affordable solution that keeps your roof at a stable temperature even on the coldest days of winter. This encourages ice to melt without damaging the roofing materials.

Clearing your roof thoroughly – and safely – after a snowfall can also prevent the formation of ice dams, and protects the shingle roofing from weather-related damage.

Problem #3 – Icicles

3 Common Winter Roofing Problems to Watch Out ForIcicles tend to form in the same weather conditions that lead to ice dams: sunny days and sub-freezing temperatures. Often the result of clogged gutters and downspouts, icicles represent a danger to people and pets. In addition, their excessive weight can cause roofing & gutter damage. To deter icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Remember, when the warmer weather arrives, to attend to gutter maintenance swiftly with the help of your local roofing and gutter contractor to avoid leaking and other problems during spring rains.

What Can You Do Now?

If you’re not sure how your roof is handling all that extra moisture, contact the professionals at All Roofing Solutions. Our dedicated staff of roofing professionals will be happy to help you understand your roof’s potential problems and suggest appropriate preventative repairs.

Additionally, performing a spring roof & gutter inspection will ensure that you address any and all problems that might have developed over those harsh winter months.

Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania to schedule your inspection or for free repair estimate.

Budgeting For a New Roof? Roof Replacement Costs in Delaware

When it’s time to replace your roof, the number one question is, “how much will it cost?” And the answer is, it depends.

The cost of replacing a roof is influenced by a variety of factors but mostly by the type of roofing being installed, your contractor’s skill and quality of workmanship, warranty protections, and the physical characteristics of the building. Additional components, such as underlayment and decking, as well as the number of layers being added will also affect the price.

However, consumers in Delaware can use current price range estimates to help them determine the relative value being offered by competing contractors when comparing multiple estimates.

Budgeting For a New Roof? Roof Replacement Costs in Delaware

Budgeting For a New Roof? Roof Replacement Costs in Delaware

A good starting point hen researching prices is to understand the current market in terms of the average price ranges for roofing replacements using specific materials – costs vary considerably, depending on whether you’re installing a shingle roof, a metal roof or a flat roof.

Remember though, the up-front cost is only part of the story. This is especially true with more expensive materials such as metal.  Metal roofing installation costs are higher, but lifespans are longer and they also pay off through energy savings thanks to their ability to reflect sunlight and improve insulation properties. Bottom line: you have to look at the overall cost of the project long term to understand the true cost of your roof replacement.

Current Average Roof Replacement Costs in Delaware Per Material

Most contractors quote prices per 100 square feet of roofing surface area, so if you don’t already know the exact dimensions of your roof, you should begin by calculating accurate measurements. From there, you can use these guidelines to estimate the current average costs of the three most popular types of residential roofs:

  • Asphalt shingle roofs current cost between about $200 and $320 per 100 square feet of surface area, with $266 being the overall average. These estimates assume that you are using standard-quality shingles, and that you are overlaying the replacement shingles atop existing materials. If you’re adding a new underlayment, or if you’ve elected to invest in premium shingles, expect your costs to be higher.
  • Metal roofs show a current range of approximately $950 to $1,250 per 100 square feet, with the average cost coming in around $1,100. Again, this estimate assumes certain parameters – specifically, that you are using standing seam metal roofing tiles and are not completely tearing off the existing roof.
  • Flat roofs are currently commanding between $165 and $275 per 100 square feet, and averaging about $220, assuming no tear-off of the existing roof and that a standard asphalt roll is being used.

If contractors you’re considering charge prices well above or well below these ranges, it’s a good idea to find out why. Carefully research any roofing company you’re considering to see how happy previous customers have been with their work, and whether or not the workmanship has held up for the entire warranty period.

When researching contractors:

  1. Make sure your roofing contractor is licensed by your state.
  2. Check if they carry adequate roofing insurance. Ask about both indemnity (liability) and worker’s insurance, noting the coverage end dates.
  3. Check the length and types of warranties they provide. Both materials and workmanship warranties can vary greatly, and some roofers offer comprehensive systems warranties as well. A minimum warranty of one year is standard for the roofer’s labor, but many roofers offer longer warranties.
  4. Request personal references. An experienced roofer should be able to provide multiple local references. Checking online reviews at sites like Google Local, Yelp, InsiderPages or Yahoo Localis also a good idea.
  5. Ask who will do the actual work: do they have their own team or is there a subcontractor? If the latter, ask the contractor to supply subcontractor contact information, and ask the subcontractor all the same questions.
  6. comprehensive written estimate should detail the start/completion dates, materials to be used, labor cost, permits, workmanship guarantees, material guarantees and cleanup expectations. Getting multiple roofing estimates is key – only by comparing identical information you will know who is the best fit for the job and what the project is going to involve in terms of cost.
  7. Check specific qualifications. Some roofing manufacturers require certification and training in the installation of their products. Make sure that your roofing contractor has a proven experience in installing your particular roofing material. Bonus: trade organizations membership, and a good standing with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Have Your Roofing Installed Right, The First Time!

All Roofing Solutions is proud to be a team of experienced roofers who are committed to helping you with your next roofing project. We’ll consult with you regarding the right roofing material for your home, install your roof with the care and expertise you expect, and back it up with a comprehensive guarantee.

We are a family owned & operated roofing contractor specializing in new roof installation and complete roofing replacements.

Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania with any questions or to request your FREE roofing estimate!

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