Commercial roofing applications cover both flat or low slope roofs and sloped roofs. If your commercial property has a low slope metal roof, here are some things to consider.

Metal roofs have weak points in them that can cause the system to fail. Popped screws and weak seams create problems down the road through foot traffic (like HVAC technicians walking on it) and weathering. Every screw and seam is a potential leak hazard on a metal roof. Additionally, metal is not an effective roof for low-slope and flat roofs, as it requires adequate drainage to keep water from ponding on the surface. Water is the primary source of corrosion on metal roofs, and with so many penetrations in metal (thousands of screws, AC units, plumbing pipes, etc) it is nearly impossible to keep all the water out.

The Duro-Shield Metal Roofing Retrofit system is the long-term way to protect your building against rain, temperature changes, interior drips, ice build-up, and rust and corrosion. If time has caught up with your metal roof, it’s time you consider the Duro-Shield roofing system. Contact us today to find out how a Duro-Shield metal retrofit roofing system can help you lock out leaks and lock in your investment.

Duro-Last protects commercial and industrial installations with a comprehensive 15-year warranty. This warranty is transferable and provides maximum protection, including coverage against consequential damages that may result from defects in the Duro-Last material, which are very unlikely. This warranty also offers a feature that is unique among roofing systems; there is no exclusion for ponding water. We also place a 15-year warranty on our labor. Forster Construction is a Lubbock roofing company prepared to meet all your roofing needs.

With more than 30 years of commercial roofing experience, we have the knowledge and expertise to install any kind of roofing application you desire. However, our primary concern is customers who have the best products, installed by knowledgeable roofers. We’ve seen every roofing system there is, and based on our experience, the Duro-Last roofing systems are unequaled in the warranty and their quality.  Based on these factors, our top choice is the Duro-Last system. However, we list here our top four recommendations for low slope roof systems in order of preference.

Best Option for flat or low-sloped roof

DURO LAST – The GKS team takes pleasure in introducing you to “Duro-Last, the World’s Best Roof©.” Thanks to hundreds of satisfied Duro-Last customers, Duro-Last has become the largest manufacturer of prefabricated, thermoplastic, single-ply roofing systems in the country.

  • Duro-Last is the only roofing application pre-fabricated in the factory specifically for your building
  • Designed to eliminate causes of roofing failures: Poor workmanship, design, and material White color helps lower your utility costs
  • Unrivaled 15-year warranty, with no declining value, and no exclusions
  • Easily and quickly installed
  • Heat-fused at all seams, strongest roofing seams in the world. 85% of seams done in factory
  • Serviceable: modifications to your building can be heat-seamed into existing Duro-Last roof
  • Highest (Class IV) Impact Resistance rating
  • Duro-Last helps save utility costs for heating and cooling of your building
  • Each section of the Duro-Last material is prefabricated to fit each roof precisely
  • All projects are pre-engineered, designed, and manufactured to address the specific needs of each roofing application
  • All of the material is then heat-welded into large sheets ranging in sizes up to 2500 sq ft
  • By performing 80-85% of membrane seaming in their controlled factory environment, Duro- Last reduces the potential for rooftop installation errors and leaks that can occur from poor installation
  • Duro-Last produces a complete line of standard and custom prefabricated accessories. The standard accessories include round pipe flashings, two-way vent covers, roof drain liners, termination bars, drip edge, gravel stops/covers, fascia/covers, and two-piece (compression) metal edge systems
  • The custom accessories include large, round pipe flashings, parapet wall flashings, scuppers and flashings for all types of rectangular roof penetrations such as HVAC units, skylights, and chimneys

These accessories are prepared at the factory based on the measurements given by the installer (us); therefore the Duro-Last material fits exactly over every vent and penetration on the roof, preventing any possible leak or problem. This custom-made fabric goes around the bases of air conditioning units, vents, and curbs; flashings are tightly sealed to the Duro-Last material making the roof look nice and professional as well as preventing it from water intrusions. The custom-fabricated stacks and curb flashings eliminate the majority of on-site work from the most critical areas, like roof-penetrations and transitions. Duro-Last’s custom flashing resists ponding water and helps prevent roof problems.

Another benefit of Duro-Last is that the white membrane color (Duro-Last comes in different colors, but white is always recommended because of the energy efficiency of the color) has the highest reflectivity of any single-ply membrane roofing system rated by the EPA’s Energy Star Roof Products Program®, saving significant energy and money for building owners all over North America. In other words, the white membrane reflects the heat and the light away from the building, thus lowering the temperature of the roof. This also saves money on electricity bills because a cooler roof means the interior stays cooler, which, in turn, means the air conditioner runs less.

Second Best Option for flat or low-sloped roof

TPO (Thermoplastic PolyOlefin) roofs – TPO Roofs are similar in form to Duro-Last, but lack some of the technology involved in the manufacturing. Where a Duro-Last roof can be punctured but will not enlarge the hole, a TPO roof hole can become larger due to wind or other conditions.

  • Comes in ten foot wide rolls, spread out to cover roof, and heat-welded together on the job site, leaving a lot of seams for the installers to protect
  • Designed to protect adequately, but the material is less advanced than Duro-Last, allowing untreated damage to expand
  • White color helps lower utility costs by reflecting summer heat and light
  • A 20-year prorated warranty is available for purchase, but it does have many exclusions
  • Easily and quickly installed at the job site, with no business closing or stoppage required
  • No in-house manufacturing; all components are assembled on-site by the installation crew
  • Heat-fused at seams by installers with no seams pre-manufactured, meaning the installation crew must be extremely proficient
  • Serviceable: modifications to your building can be heat-seamed into existing TPO roof without problem
  • No Class IV Impact Resistance availability, as this material does not hold up to flying debris and heavy or jagged hail

TPO roofs have no pre-manufacturing before they are installed. All the material is brought to the job site in rolls, and then spread out and heat-seamed together onsite to cover the roof.

Overall, however, a TPO roof performs rather well. The material provides even, consistent coverage, and its reflective ability helps to keep utility costs low. Any damage to the roof (including potential damage like a hail storm) should be reported to the installer, including air conditioning and heating technicians who drop tools on the roof.

The warranty available for a TPO roof must be purchased, and it sometimes excludes certain conditions and problems, like ponding water. The warranty, additionally, declines in value over time.

Third Best Option for flat or low-sloped roof

Modified/Built-up – Modified/built-up roofs are considered traditional roofs by many construction companies. The material is heavy, thick, and dirty, with multiple problems and concerns on the material and the installation as well.

  • The under-layer comes in three foot wide rolls, leaving many more seams than TPO or Duro-Last. (Seams are the weakest point of this type of roof)
  • Long-time performance if installed correctly, but few companies install it correctly currently
  • Does not improve utility costs; in fact, in the summer, this roof absorbs large amounts of heat, transferring it to the attic area of the building
  • 20-year prorated warranty available for purchase, but many exclusions apply, including ponding water.
  • Slow and dirty installation; toxic fumes and higher injury risk during installation; business may have to be closed during installation (many schools close during installation)
  • There is no manufacturing in-house. 100% of the material is assembled and installed at the job site
  • 100% on-site seaming and layering; with every layer assembled onsite, there are many opportunities for problems and mistakes
  • Dirtier expansion process if modifying your building and more potential for problems as seaming and depth between old and new material is inconsistent
  • No Class IV Impact Resistance availability. Heavy or jagged hail can damage the overlayer and underlayers of roof, while gravel top layer may cover and hide damage from inspection

This type of roof was the favorite installation in the 1950’s, and is still relatively common today. Problems abound with modified/built-up roofs, as they aren’t reliable under extreme weather, durable in the sun, or cost effective with utilities.

Although this roof is moderately durable, finding holes and damage can be challenging, as can repairing them. The tar used as a water sealant does not hold up under the sun, and this tar is the primary component covering every penetration in the roof, making those penetration points weak and easy to damage.

Fourth Best Option for flat or low-sloped roof

Spray Foam – Spray foam roofing is a new product, developed originally in the 1960’s, and used for roofing beginning in the 1970s. After its discovery many businesses, architects, and engineers thought spray foam roofing would be a cost-effective solution for flat roofs. But the failure of spray foam roofing has recently forced them back into finding smarter, more durable solutions for problem roofs.

  • Comes in 2-part chemical, combined on-site to form polyurethane underlayer. A thin coating is applied over this for waterproofing
  • Not reliable for long-term performance. Must be re-coated every few years as damage can occur regularly in all types of weather
  • Improves utility costs by insulating the roof, but the insulation is porous
  • Short-term warranties are available, but they have multiple exclusions, and the material is expected to be re-coated (at consumer’s expense) every few years
  • Has a fast installation process, but with a high probability of problems and mistakes, including thinner layering over penetrations and inconsistencies probably on all parts of the roof. Usually, all existing components of your current roof system are left in place without little prep work before applying the SPF causing failure.
  • 100% assembled on-site, no manufacturer oversight or support. The install team is fully-culpable
  • Installed 100% on-site, mixing and coverage fluctuate, leaving gaps in solid coverage, weak spots, poor penetration coverage, and inconsistent results
  • Easy expansion if modifying your building, only involves more coating over seam from old to new
  • No Class IV Impact Resistance, hail damages the brittle overlayer easily, and penetrations are especially vulnerable

Spray foam roofing is a mixed bag of benefits and problems. While the roofing system does insulate the building efficiently, it has a thin coating and is commonly flawed with installation errors. A leak into the building might be caused by a penetration 20 feet, or more, away. In many cases, a full resealing is necessary just to correct one leak, and that resealing is at the customer’s expense.

Spray foam is easily installed, contains only a minimal chance of affecting businesses (through overspray or windy installation conditions), but can have inconsistent installation, even with a relatively skilled team.

There is no way to make this roof Class IV Impact Resistant, so insurance discounts are not obtainable.