The Environment and Your Roof
The conditions found on your roof are perhaps the most hostile environment on your building. All the elements that make northern Michigan such a challenging place to live and play wreak havoc on your roof. Our area is famous for both beautiful summer days, and winters that are measured by the foot. Both subject a unique stress on a roof. Even harder on your roof are the transitional changes caused by a warm day temperature followed by a nighttime plummet of well below freezing. This condition is referred to as Thermal Shock.
Roofs without flexibility built into them will, sooner or later, fail because of this condition. By design, the darker the roofing membrane, the larger the temperature swings (a black membrane can have a surface temperature of nearly 200ºF during hot weather). Add to this mix the fact that a large percentage of flat roofs do not drain properly. Ponding water breaks down roof coatings, membrane seams, unprotected roofing felts, and other roofing elements.
So What Works?
Bloxsom Roofing installs what we feel is a superior roofing system, Sarnafil. Sarnafil from the start chose to use high quality plasticizers (in fact, because of their manufacturing process, low quality plasticizers cannot work), and Sarnafil has always utilized reinforcements in its membranes. Because of these and other high manufacturing standards, Sarnafil offers a roofing system that has lasted over 40 YEARS. That is a track record that is unprecedented in the single ply industry. It has always been recommended to keep roof tops free of standing water. While Sarnafil shares this thought, they are one of the few manufacturers confident enough not to exclude (in their warranty) any areas that pond water.
EPDM roofing differs from PVC in both color and application. The majority of EPDM roofing membranes are fully adhered, PVC roofing can be adhered, but is mostly mechanically attached, fully adhering many times will make installing EPDM roofs during marginal weather almost impossible. That is one reason that much of our preferred membranes lean toward PVC, it is just hard to have a block of days coming together with the right weather conditions, preventing down roof time. That being said, many customers and roof specifiers, have a comfort level with EPDM that they wish to stay with. Again, Bloxsom Roofing when choosing EPDM Product lines Utilize a few top line manufacturers products rather than installing everything out there using price as a reason to go with a product. By selecting a few choice products our technicians know the membrane and the manufacturers requirements for proper installation.
Johns Manville, and Versico are both companies which have been in the roofing business pretty much from the start of EPDM’s earliest installations. EPDM roofing products have been used for many years, applications have changed. We have found through the years the larger well know manufacturers are quicker to make changes giving their roofs extended trouble free service. As with other product lines EPDM has a wide array of warranties, some extending out to 30 years, however, warranty coverage may result in higher costs and a requirement that all of the product be bought with that manufacturer. (ie: metal, fasteners, roof insulation) plus the roof laps need to be stripped in with additional rubber (kind of a belt with suspenders approach).
So when EPDM is the roofing system you want, why choose Bloxsom Roofing? We make our choice of manufacture and personnel the most important considerations. The manufacturer especially, because we demand and receive strong support.
There are many EPDM systems out there, all having their unique applications and accessories, it is better to stay with one or two and install these well, rather than many (perhaps driven by pricing) leaving our employees confused with too many roof details. Versico and Johns Manville fit the bill with us, giving our company and crews valuable support and training. Because we do less EPDM roofs than say PVC we keep those trained, with the best expertise doing these projects. When choosing Bloxsom Roofing you will always get the best worksmanship for the roofing material that you chose.
Metal roofing has been used for centuries, however modern roofing practices and products have brought many changes to this portion of our industry. One of the largest advantages metal roofing has is the longevity and durability of the metal roof panels. Modern roof clips and fasteners, underlayment allowing better ventilation and movement of the roof panels, ice and water shield at eaves and in valleys have all improved metal roofing performance. Different metal alloys, better paint finishes, clear coating, will help that new metal roof keep the look you paid for. In Northern Michigan we continue to see growing interest in metal roofing, some used as accenting mansards, both commercial and residential customers wanting metal on their roofs.
Advantages of Metal Roofing
- Long lasting
- Many color and finish options
- Strong hail resistance
- Beautiful accent material
If you plan on having a metal roof on your building/home you should give serious consideration to removing the old roofing. This allows you to add ice and water shield to the eaves and valleys, proper underlayment, allowing the roof panels to expand and contract without restrictions, and proper ventilation can be checked and, if needed, added.
Proper roof installation is very critical with metal roofs. Proper cuts, bends measurements, and termination details are a must. Mistakes happen, an improper measurement and/or cut renders an expensive roof panel many times garbage. A conscientious contractor will start over with another roof panel, many will however reach for the caulking gun, a short term solution leaving you a maintenance headache that shows up long after he has cashed your check. So you can see that much more than a price is involved when choosing a metal roofing contractor.
Things to consider with metal roofing
- Color fastness
- Metal gage
- Type of fasteners to be used
- Metal roofing manufacture
- Choosing the right contractor
Many people consider metal roofing to be expensive, however, when considering the cost of a roof over time, some believe metal to be a great bargain. Honestly, nothing is worse than paying top dollar for a roof and being disappointed in the aesthetics or performance of that roof. You will see it every time you pull into the driveway, or are reminded of it when your spouse calls you at work to remind you that the ice back up has caused “another roof leak!” Choose a contractor that will use the right materials, and install the roof correctly, choose Bloxsom Roofing.
Because of our commitment to do the job right, Bloxsom Roofing is choosy about material. We usually utilize metal roofing products from Petersen Aluminum, Centria, and MBCI because they all provide quality metal roofing products together with exceptional contractor support.
Bloxsom Roofing recognized early the advantages of single ply roofing for use in Northern Michigan. Our company has chosen to apply PVC membrane on the majority of our projects since the mid 70’s. Unlike many companies we would rather utilize a few top line manufacturers’ products than installing everything out there using price as a reason to go with a product. By selecting a few choice products our technicians know the membrane and the manufactures requirements for proper installation. The PVC Membranes Bloxsom Roofing installs are, Sika Sarnafil, IB Roofing, and John Manville, each bring different qualities to the table making our reason for choosing one over the other unique.
Sika Sarnafil: has been manufactured for over 50 years and is the roofing membrane Bloxsom Roofing has and continues to install the most projects with. To put it in simple terms it works, over the years the confidence of quality, trouble free installations, and relationships that have been built working together for several decades, continue keeping us bidding most roofs with Sika Sarnafil.
IB Roofing: Most flat and low slope roofing manufacturers do not concentrate on residential roofing. The vast majority of their money comes from commercial applications, the same roofing material installed on a commercial job will be used on a residential job but will not be able to get a manufacturer’s warranty. IB Roofing is different. They not only offer warranties to the residential market, they can go all the way up to a lifetime warranty. IB Roofing has been manufacturing PVC roofing membrane for some time, over 30 years. They have a roofing sheet called Traditions, the look of a shingle roof without the problems of a shingle roof on a low slope application. This is a need-to-see product that really does the job from the curb. Another thing IB Roofing brings to the table is a chemical resistant roofing membrane. Many roofs that are on manufacturing plants, restaurants and others put chemicals & animal fats onto the surface of the roof. This quickly reduces the life of any roofing membrane that is not chemical resistant.
Johns Manville: The name says it all, of all the product lines we use Johns Manville (or as it is known JM) is probably the most recognizable. There is a good reason for that, they have a product line that covers all types of roofing, be it BUR, MB, PVC, EPDM, TPO and other flat roof material. Along with commercial roofing, insulation, gutters, shingles, many parts of the building industry use products provided by JM. So it comes as no surprise that many design specifications ask for a product provided by JM. Like our other PVC membranes we use, JM has been manufactured for many decades, a large company to support us and our customers.
So when it comes to your PVC roofing needs Bloxsom Roofing has you (and your roof!) covered. No other roofing contractor in Northern Michigan has as much experience installing PVC roofing….Over 40 years! With hundreds of thousands square feet installed our company easily exceeds our nearest competitors. Bloxsom Roofing has been awarded with several national awards for roofing excellence. Our employees all go through manufacturers training before ever roof welding equipment, and many of our employees have decades experience installing PVC roofing. So….why should you settle for less? Bloxsom Roofing knows not just how to get the job done…but how to get it done RIGHT.
TPO is a relatively new single ply roofing material. With all of the roofing choices it has been surprising just how strongly accepted TPO roofing membranes has been in such a short period. Prior to its introduction there was some major changes to other single ply membranes, helping TPO roofing to capture more market share. Some PVC manufacturers with weak formulations, and lack of membrane reinforcements had problems forcing either their change or removal from the market. Being that these products were both white and heat welded, the EPDM manufacturers used this to their advantage, stating the only single ply that works was EPDM. Although fallacious, their statement received traction, armed with photos and trade magazine articles of failures, EPDM manufacturers sat at the top of the roofing heap. When TPO was introduced it was hailed as a product with all the pluses of EPDM but yet weldable and white in color. To further sweeten the pot, it was a cheaper alternative to some other single ply membranes. Because of this many contractors, specifiers and customers wanted TPO on their roof. Bloxsom Roofing took a wait and see approach, too many came to the market too fast, there had to be a shakeup. We were right, many changes steered the TPO market in the first 10-15 years, unlike the weaker formulations with PVC and the Hypalon failures the TPO problems effected too many products, too much was invested, it had to be shored up. TPO was strengthened, and for the past decade or so we have a roofing product that is quite stable and seems to be in it for the long haul. It remains a price point product, making it essential to choose a high quality TPO, as we believe with so many on the market weaker membranes still will have problems.
Several years ago, Bloxsom Roofing decided that TPO had come of age, and that we no longer had to be concerned that the product line we installed would prematurely fail. Because of our many decades of experience heat welding PVC membrane the transition to welding TPO membrane was an easy one, as the equipment and skill level is very similar. Because of this many of our early installations received the highest ratings from our manufactures inspection representatives. Product lines that are “installer friendly”, having good welding equipment, generators and of course properly trained employees essential to the good results we expect.
Bloxsom Roofing has chosen to work with three manufacturers that we feel are doing TPO right, JM, Versico, and GAF. Name recognition, manufactures support, years of real application in the field with current membrane formulation, and application friendly material all play a part in our choice.
Bloxsom Roofing and Siding
3733 Blair Town Hall Road
Traverse City, MI 49685
Office: (231) 943-8781
Fax: (231) 943-9146
Toll Free: 1-800-370-0908