Blackhawk Roofing specializes in single-ply EPDM roofing systems. We can add slope to existing flat roofs, and we offer energy-efficient insulation systems. We can also install shingles, standing-seam metal panels, and exposed fastener metal panels. We have trained technicians for the installation and repair of all types of roofing systems. We can install single-ply roofs anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. We provide a Roofing System Warranty that covers labor and materials for up to twenty years or longer.
Shingle Roofs can be beautiful and distinctive. Several manufacturers offer premium roofing shingles which mimic the look of natural slate tiles or cedar shakes, without their associated maintenance worries and cost. Premium shingles deliver the ultimate in weather protection, and are currently the most popular type of residential roof material. Installation cost is affected by slope of the roof, height of the building, ease of access to the premises, complexity of the project, and the particular type of shingle.
Several highly-successful single-ply roof membrane products hit the roofing market in the 1970's. These single-ply roofs typically contain a rubber or polymer membrane. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Terpolymer, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and Thermoplastic Olefin/Polyolefin Thermoplastic (TPO) roof membranes are flexible-sheet materials that are used in one-ply or one-layer configurations. The roof membrane's chemical and physical characteristics allow it to repeatedly soften when heated and harden when cooled.
Properly installed single-ply roof systems have service lives ranging from 10 to 20 years, depending upon the type of installation and materials used. When deciding whether a single-ply membrane roofing system is right for you, it is important to consider whether the building is suited for a single-ply membrane at all. Generally speaking, single-ply membrane roofing is appropriate when weight is a consideration, the roof has adequate slope, structural movement is expected, the installation involves covering an existing membrane, and installation will take place in cooler weather.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Terpolymer is simply a product consisting of three distinct monomers. EPDM is classified as a Thermoset material, which means it is either fully-cured prior to being installed, or that it cures during natural weathering after installation. EPDM roofs are single-ply membranes — there is only one ply of roofing material, not multiple plies laminated together.
EPDM is a rubber material whose principal components consist of the compounds ethylene and propylene. A flexible rubber matrix forms when a small amount of diene is added to the mix. EPDM is available reinforced or unreinforced with both commonly used; it's also available in either a cured (vulcanized) or uncured (non-vulcanized) state. Vulcanized EPDM is the most common with non-vulcanized often used for flashing purposes.
EPDM has been used in the USA since the 1960's. It is one of the most common types of low-slope roofing materials available, because it is relatively inexpensive, simple to install, and fairly clean to work with, when compared to conventional built-up roofs. There aren't the odors and fumes that accompany built-up roofs, which appeals to many property owners and managers.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) membrane is a roof membrane composed of only one layer of material. PVC roofs are specially designed to withstand ponding water. A PVC membrane is welded together with hot air (no open flame) to eliminate all seams so moisture can not pass through. PVC roofing systems reflect nearly 90% of the radiant heat of the sun, thus lowering energy costs substantially, especially in high-heat and high-sunlight areas such as the southwestern United States.
Thermoplastic Olefin or Polyolefin (TPO) membranes are single-ply roof membranes constructed from ethylene propylene rubber. They are designed to combine the durability of rubber with the proven performance of hot-air weldable seams. They have been tested as having excellent resistance to ozone, are algae-resistant, environmentally friendly and safe to install.
The material's manufacturers are so confident in properly welded seams that the material is sometimes advertised as a monolithic (seamless) roof. Seam strengths are reportedly 3 to 4 times those of EPDM's adhesive and tape seams. TPO is highly resistant to tears, impacts, and punctures with good flexibility to allow for building movement. TPO's are available in white, light gray, and black with thicknesses of either 45 mils (.045") or 60 mils (.060"). The width of the membrane depends on the manufacturer but they usually come in widths of six to six-and-a-half feet and are one-hundred feet in length.
TPO membranes are installed fully-adhered, mechanically-attached or ballasted. Fully-adhered means that the roof is glued to the substrate using a special adhesive. What actually happens is the glue creates a chemical bond with the membrane. Ballasted simply means the membrane is loose laid over the top of the roof, sealed at all penetrations and around the perimeter, and then a ballast is put on it to hold it in place.
Ballast usually consists of smooth, round, river rock 2" to 3" in diameter and is applied at a rate of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per roof square. Sometimes concrete pavers are used in their place. These average 20 pounds per square foot. Mechanically-attached membranes are those that use some type of special screw-type fastener to secure it. The type of fastener will depend on the type of substrate but all fasteners are generally screw-type fasteners.
Asphalt shingles are currently the most popular type of residential roof material, for a variety of reasons. They are relatively inexpensive, averaging around $3.00 per square foot installed. Factors that affect the installation cost are slope of the roof, height of the building, ease of access to the premises, complexity of the project, the particular type of shingle. Asphalt shingles have achieved a class IV hail rating (the highest available), and can be easily repaired and maintained.
Asphalt shingles come in two basic types: glass fiber and organic. Organic shingles consist of an organic felt material, which is generally paper saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. A top coating of adhesive asphalt is then applied and the ceramic granules are then embedded. Organic shingles contain around 40% more asphalt per square (100 sq. ft.) than their glass fiber counterpart, which makes them weigh more and gives them excellent durability and blow-off resistance.
Glass fiber shingles have a fiber glass reinforcing mat manufactured to the shape of the shingle. This mat is then coated with asphalt which contains mineral fillers. The glass fiber mat is not waterproof by itself. It's purpose is for reinforcement. What makes the glass fiber shingle waterproof is the asphalt. However, the asphalt itself will not stick to the mat. For this reason, fillers are used. The fillers in the asphalt cling to the glass fibers in the mat. The asphalt then encapsulates the glass fibers, fills all of the little holes and voids in the mat rendering it waterproof. After this cools a bit, an adhesive asphalt is used to cover the mat and the ceramic granules are then embedded.
The ceramic granules are there for two reasons. The primary reason is to protect the shingles from the sun. The sun's UV rays are very damaging to asphalt and cause it to deteriorate prematurely. This is one of the same reasons that gravel is used on built-up roofs. The second and more obvious reason for the granules is aesthetics. Asphalt shingles are available in a wide variety of colors to match almost any facade or landscape.
So which type is better? By far, the more popular shingles are the glass fiber ones. They are cheaper and easier to manufacturer than organic shingles, making them more cost effective to the homeowner, or it may be that they are easier to work with, or they may simply be a personal preference of the roofing contractor.