Green roofs are an ideal way for building owners to lower their heating and cooling costs, provide additional insulation, help manage storm water and transform an ordinary roof into a nature retreat for tenants.
And while the demand for green roofs has steadily increased since 2004, particularly in densely populated metropolitan areas, there are several factors building owners should consider before investing in a green roof for their structure.
"Government entities and large corporations are the primary purchasers of green roofing systems, however, there is a growing trend for green roofs within
the condominium, loft and apartment building high-rise market segments," said David Bade, owner of St. Louis-based Bade Roofing Company. "These owners
are looking to convert their less appealing, old roofs and patios into lush living spaces."
A large percentage of the green roofs that Bade has seen in the St. Louis area have been concentrated primarily in metropolitan areas where a green roof is tied to refurbishing an existing structure. Such was the case in 2014 when Bade Roofing was contracted to install a green roofing system on a historic building in Downtown St. Louis that was being redeveloped. Bade crews helped install the rooftop garden courtyard on the building's 5th floor and re-roofed its 6th floor. The green roof boasts views of the Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium and the Old Courthouse and incorporates three-color concrete pavers, various trees and shrubs, a fescue lawn area, lighting, seating areas, watering system and a gas fire pit.
On a green roof retrofit, Bade says it's important to keep in mind that the existing structure was likely not designed with a green roof in mind. The components that make up a green roofing system can be very heavy. Stone ballasts, pavers, trays, trees and soil that become saturated after a rain all contribute to the load that the roof deck and building itself will have to endure. Bade recommends that the building be analyzed by a certified structural engineer during the planning of any green roof project.
Another important factor that building owners should consider is "what happens if there is a leak in my green roof?" Unlike a conventional roofing system where the roof is exposed, the waterproofing components of a green roof are often buried underneath the stone ballast, pavers, growing trays, trees and soil. Bade says an owner and their architect need to be cognizant of repair factors when designing a green build.
"It's best to use light-weight components; ones that don't penetrate the roof system, can be easily moved and don't interfere with roof drainage," said Bade.
When it comes to the roof top vegetation, Bade said building owners need to remember one very important tip, "the taller a plant grows up, the deeper the roots grow down." Bade recommends using growing trays, planter boxes or plants with shallow root systems, as vegetation should not be in direct contact with the roof membrane.
"I have seen plants growing in the dirt and debris that collects on roofs and I have actually seen the roots growing down right through the roofing itself," Bade said.
Finally, Bade recommends that building owners check with their local governments for green building incentives and funding to assist with construction costs.
Spring in the Midwest can be soggy which is why it’s important to take advantage of those token sunny days in April and May when it comes to maintaining your roof.
Here’s a tip to prevent ponding on your roof so it can better protect against leaks before the next wave of thunderstorms hits.
The best thing you can do to prevent ponding on your roof is remove debris from around drains. Often significant ponding issues can arise from drains that don't function properly. A large volume of water can be very heavy and crush the insulation underneath forming a low spot on the roof. Once this happens, water will always pond there. This water can also find its way into the building if a seam or hole opens up. What may have been a small leak, if the drains functioned properly, can quickly become much more significant and damaging.
April showers are inevitable, but they don’t have to cause any leaks.
Check out this article by Construction Forum St. Louis about our work at Mineral Area College!
Over the course of winter blustery winds and cold snow ravage the exterior of buildings and accelerate the aging process. That’s why maintenance in the spring is so important when it comes to protecting your roof and getting the most out of your investment. It’s also why so many St. Louis businesses turn to Bade Roofing for maintaining their roofs.
Every spring Bade Roofing specialists inspect roofs, documenting defects, points of deterioration and compromised roof accessories and assemblies that are in need of repair. We conduct debris removal, clear drains for proper water flow, caulk terminations and pipe seals as needed, document roof surface defects, water-entry points and damage. After each inspection we provide a detailed written assessment of your roof with photographs along with suggestions for cost-effective repairs and replacement solutions.
Carpets and interiors in your home collect winter’s dust and grime and your roof is no different. Roofs and roof accessories get dirty from environmental exposure. In order to retain their energy-efficient benefits, photovoltaic solar panels, reflective roof systems and coatings, skylights and light tubes will all require cleaning. With a spring roofing maintenance schedule in place you’ll be able to restore your commercial roofing system to its optimal performance. Bade Roofing’s spring maintenance programs restore, protect and maintain the energy-efficiency and R-values of your roof while keeping your roofing system code-compliant.
Here are a few of the items our inspectors are looking for when they inspect your roof:
• Water standing on the roof surface (Within 48 hours of the most recent weather event there shouldn’t be any standing water on the roof surface.)
Any of these conditions will be noted in the inspector’s report and submitted to building management so these issues can be addressed.
Spring roofing maintenance is something you can do today that your future self will thank you for.
Commercial Construction & Renovation talks about the TPO roofing system Bade Roofing installed at Wexford Science & Technology.
Click here to read the full article...
None of us want to get old. We do things to delay the inevitable, laying off sweets and working out more to insure we don’t have any serious problems. Better to take care of the small stuff now then to discover serious issues later that can shorten our lifespan.
Maintaining a roof is no different. Wear and tear from everyday exposure to the sun and rain, along with air conditioning repair people, ages the roof membrane until its service life ends. Every extra year you can get out of your roof is that much more money you can spend on other things. So how do you get your roof to last as long as possible and save money over the long term? With regular check-ups in the form of regular inspections, maintenance and prompt repairs.
Studies show that when roofs aren’t maintained they only last around half of their expected service life. “That’s why I have a warranty,” you say. Unfortunately, a warranty doesn’t always help, especially when nearly all manufacturers of roofing materials specifically state in their warranty that the warranty is void if the roof is not properly maintained.
To maintain the warranty and keep their roof alive as long as possible, experienced facility managers turn to Bade Roofing for inspections, maintenance and roofing repairs. Bade Roofing performs roofing inspections year round because of severe weather changes. Last month’s record rainfall and flooding has many St. Louis facility managers concerned about how well their roofs will stand up to the severe weather to come this winter and the extreme heat typically experienced during St. Louis summers.
Think this is nonsense and scare tactics? Let’s do some math. If the cost to install a 50,000 square foot roof with a 20-year design life costs $10 per square foot to install, the total installation cost is $500,000 and the cost per year of the roof is $25,000 per year. But, if the roof is not maintained, and it only lasts half of its design life, then the yearly cost of the roof jumps to $50,000 per year and in 10 years you’ll need another $500,000 to replace it.
On average, it costs 2 percent of the roof installation per year to maintain a roof. Using the same example in the previous paragraph, that amounts to $10,000 per year. Over 20 years, that’s $200,000. So even though you will have spent $200,000 over your roof’s service life, you save $300,000 by doing the maintenance necessary and avoid having to replace your roof prematurely.
Bade Roofing takes a proactive approach to assisting you in establishing a 20 Year Budget Forecast when it comes to roofing and maintenance needs. We provide customers with added value of roof asset management along with cost effective inspections, maintenance and repair programs that provide roof surveys, budgeting and planning tools. Our program helps you more effectively manage your roof, maximize its value, and spend less time addressing roof problems so you can save money over the long term.
With tax season upon us, it’s also important to remember that maintenance isn’t the only way to get the most out of your roof. Money you spend on roofing maintenance can be deducted from your taxes.
Call Bade Roofing today to set up your maintenance program.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks about
the green rooftop garden Bade Roofing
installed at 700 Market.
Click here to read the article...
They say “One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
That’s certainly the case where your building’s roof is concerned, especially when it comes to being prepared for this winter.
When colder temperatures arrive membrane roof systems become harder and less flexible and as a result are more susceptible to damage by puncture and sharp objects.
Because roofing technicians and specialists are trained in how not to damage the roof surface, many building managers and owners turn to Bade Roofing each season to service and prepare their buildings’ roofs for winter. Here are some things to keep in mind.
When your rooftop is covered with snow and ice finding annoying roof leaks is close to impossible. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to check ceilings and interior walls for signs of leaks (stains) and seal all roof leaks possible before the weather gets bad. Late summer and early fall is the ideal time to check exterior walls for leaks, stains, cracks in bricks and any missing mortar. Sealing these will keep the cold air out and the heat pumped from your furnace in.
Cold weather has a tremendous effect on loose mortar and composite building materials because these materials contract if the material is already loose. In fact, these materials can separate and leave gaps that will collect water or provide wind access points into your building. This is why checking any roof deck and fascia/coping for signs of deterioration before the first snow or ice storm hits is crucial. Look for any deteriorated caulking around loose metalwork, for thin sections of membrane, or signs of excessive movement and splits at expansion joints.
You’ll also want to check all penetrations on your roof, i.e., pipe boots, pitch pockets, and vent pipes, the regrets areas for flashings, deteriorated caulking and voids in the caulking, chimney flashings as well as brick and mortar joints. To prevent contamination, any point of air or water infiltration should be checked and restored to a properly sealed condition.
Another cause of roof failure during winter months is drainage problems. This is why checking and clearing all gutters, downspouts and scuppers is imperative. All drains should be cleaned out so drainage water can move freely. Strainers and clamping rings should all be checked. Water weight in a dysfunctional gutter system loosens the attachment of the guttering to the structure.
Your roof can also leak if snow accumulates on the roof up and over flashings. This is why you’ll want to check all attachments of base flashing and counter flashing. Many building managers and owners turn to Bade Roofing to have the field of the roof membrane checked and to redistribute all ballast across any bare spots. If there are any tears or holes in the membrane, these should be repaired immediately.
Every winter is different in St. Louis with more snowfall some years than others. This is why it’s a good idea to have several thick brush brooms ready in the event you need to remove ice or snow from around roof top units. Wind-driven snow can pile up against curbs and walls and if the snow is higher than the flashing it can create a real problem when it starts to melt. If there is a major snow event, then it is best to contact a roofing professional to remove snow and ice in these critical areas.
Finally, before the snow hits make sure you inform all personnel that walking on a membrane roof or modified roof is dangerous during winter because ice forms on the roof surface creating fall hazards. Let personnel know that no one should walk on the rooftop after dark or before 10:00 a.m. as this is when icy conditions are more likely to occur.
By taking these steps you’ll keep personnel safer and warmer and your roof will be better prepared for snow and ice this winter.
As a facility manager you’re familiar with the old adage, "There are only two types of roofs—those that leak and those that will leak."
Plant engineers, property managers, and building owners alike have come to accept that their roofs will all eventually fail which is why they buy the best new roofs they can afford and make the most of their existing roofs to lessen the impact on their bottom line.
As a facility manager, the last things you want are leaks and compromised relations with your buildings’ occupants. Experienced facility managers know the best way to make the most of their roofs is with an effective roof management plan. Here are some things to consider.
When you select a roof that follows good roof design and installation practices your roof stands a better chance of reaching its potential design life. Quality products, appropriate design and material selection along with care and quality of installation are what make for a good roof.
Finding the best product and roofing contractor takes time and research which is why many facility managers are tempted to choose the same product for all their facility roofs. Problem is, choosing the same quality material for a different roof forces designers and roofers to “make” a material work when other products or materials would work better. Rarely, does one product fit every need. This is why defining and understanding site-specific design requirements and selecting the roofing solution to best meet those requirements will prevent leaks and further problems from occurring in the long run.
Good roofing design considers building code requirements (wind, hail, fire, energy ratings), slope/drainage issues, roof traffic/roof durability, climate exposure, construction access (getting equipment and materials on and off the roof) occupancy issues (noise, dust, fumes), your long-term goals and your budget. A complete roof design also provides detail drawings of how all the various building components connect and shed water which reduces the number of RFOs (Roofer Figure Out).
St. Louis commercial roofing specialists, since 1954