The Top Trends to Watch in Commercial Roofing

As technology continues to develop, the commercial roofing industry develops along with it. Technology advancements have made roofing work safer and more efficient. By following the top trends, roofers can stay ahead of the curve, providing their customers with the highest quality service. Here are five of the top trends in commercial roofing technology that your roofing contractors should be aware of. 

5 Trends in Commercial Roofing Technology

1. Project Management Software

Software engineers have made it possible for roofing contractors to track and quote their projects, communicate with their customers, and keep a close eye on their progress from start to finish. Top companies utilize the latest software that can help them to improve their processes and pass that efficiency and cost-savings along to their customers.

One tool used by Maxwell Roofing is The EDGETM, an innovative estimating tool that allows for efficiency and consistency in our quoting process. With this software, we’re able to streamline project estimations to provide customers with fast and precise quotes.

2. The Increasing Use of Drones

The demand for drones is on the rise within the commercial roofing industry. They allow roofing companies to identify and analyze damages without sending roofers on the job. By using drones, roofers can quickly see parts of a building that may usually be difficult to access and can keep a roofer from being in a potentially dangerous situation. This process is also much faster than a person climbing on top of the roof to search for and investigate an issue. Overall, we’ve seen the use of drones increase exponentially in the past few years and can only expect that as drone technology becomes more advanced, that the increase will continue.

3. Solar Panels on Commercial Roofs

The solar power industry has been on the rise for the past several years, and, with that, solar roof panels have become a widespread trend across the country. Commercial buildings of all sizes have used solar panels and even solar shingles to reduce their carbon footprint and energy expenses. As solar energy becomes more mainstream, the options for solar power integration become more cost-effective and accessible in the commercial roofing industries.

4. Cool Roofing

Another environmentally-conscious option, cool roofs are an increasingly popular choice among developers. Cool roofs are more reflective and absorb less heat than other roofs, lowering the internal temperature of a building while decreasing energy expenses. This type of roof offers building tenants increased comfort thanks to lower internal temperatures, and building owners enjoy the decrease in HVAC expenses usually related to extreme heat.

5. Green Roofing

Green roofs are a trend among many urban, environmentally-friendly buildings. This type of roof incorporates soil, vegetation, and waterproofing layers to add live trees and other plants that will grow on the rooftop. Much like a cool roof, a green roof can protect a building from high temperatures, due to the insulative qualities of its vegetation and layers. With green roofs, companies can lower the internal temperature of their buildings, lower energy expenses, and make a statement to its environmentally-conscious audience. 

Your Source for Commercial Roofing Technology

Got questions about how commercial technology can help your company’s roofing needs? Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn more about our commercial roofing technology services.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

As we’re enjoying the mild temperatures of spring, summer is right on its heels. It’s getting warmer by the day, and soon enough, the extreme temperatures of summer will be here. Now is the time to consider how you will prepare your commercial roof for the summer heat and humidity—before they begin to deteriorate your roof’s materials. In this article, we’ll share how the summer heat can damage your commercial roof and what you can do to protect it.

How Summer Heat Can Damage Your Commercial Roof

Summer heat and humidity pose a significant threat to the integrity of your commercial roof. Here are a few of the issues that you must be on the lookout for throughout the summer:

Thermal Shock—Summer temperatures rise quickly during the day, and fall quickly at night. Severe temperature changes, known as thermal shock, can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.

Sun Damage—The sun degrades roofing materials if they aren’t properly treated, which can cause bleaching or blackening of the roof.

Drying—When roof linings or structural materials dry out from the heat, they become brittle and crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials.

Moisture Retention—Where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.

Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

Your primary defense from the summer heat is a regular roofing inspection. Important throughout the year, inspections allow your roofer to mitigate issues before they snowball into serious, and costly, damages. An inspector will look at the interior and exterior of your building to identify signs of weather damage and normal wear and tear. 

We mentioned a few potential heat damages in the section above. Here are other signs of damage an inspector might find:

  • Water stains on the walls and ceilings
  • Cracks in the walls or roof materials
  • Loose or buckled flashing
  • Gaps in caulking around penetrations or masonry panel joints
  • Cracks or blisters in the membrane
  • Loss of UV reflective granules

Any of the damages we’ve discussed could have been caused by heat or will be made worse throughout the summer as temperatures increase. Regular inspections are crucial to catch these issues early and extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. Proactive maintenance like this allows your business to get more value out of your roofing investment, saving your budget. 

As you plan for your next building project or your next roof replacement, talk to your roofing professional to choose the best materials for your region and the typical weather conditions.

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to get a quote on your next commercial roofing project. Our team of experts is here to help you choose the materials that best fit your building’s needs.

5 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options

When companies make the decision to go green, roofing is probably not the first thing on the list. However, the materials used on a commercial roof can have a big impact on the overall eco-friendliness of a building. 

Here are a few options for creating an eco-friendly commercial roof:

Green Roofing

Possibly the most eco-friendly of all commercial roofing types, green roofs put vegetation directly on the roof surface over a waterproof layer. These roof plants have a number of environmental benefits, including air purification, carbon sequestration, and purifying runoff. The main advantage of green roofs, however, is that they help reduce the temperature of the building and the surrounding area, making them great for urban areas that have problems with heat sequestration. These roofs can also help regulate building temperatures and lower electricity bills.

Cool Roofs 

Cool roofs are one of the fastest growing segments of the roofing industry. The term “cool roof” refers to a roof painted white or a very light color. This color reflects sunlight better than darker roofs, keeping buildings cooler and allowing them to become more energy-efficient.

Rooftop Solar

Solar panels allow buildings to generate their own electricity and can sometimes even pump additional energy back into the grid. Over time, solar panels can also help companies save money. Adhering solar panels to a roof can be a complex and expensive task that should always be done under the supervision of a roofing professional.

Recyclable Materials

Many of the materials used for roofing can come from recycled elements like metal, which can be taken from the scrap yard and repurposed for a roof. Old roofing materials, such as reclaimed shingles, can often still be used on a different building. Rubber roofs are often made from old belt tires. When using new materials is necessary, choose one that can be recycled or sustainably disposed of after the roof needs to be replaced, like metal or rubber.

Durable Materials

The longer something lasts, the better that is for the environment. Using durable roof materials generates less waste and requires the use of fewer prime resources. A long-lasting roof is also a huge financial benefit to businesses, as they won’t need to replace their roof as frequently. Durable roof materials include metal, rubber, and a number of other options.

Your Trusted Partner for Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has experience with all types of eco-friendly roofing options. To learn more about using your commercial roof to go green, contact the Maxwell team today.

What to Know About Commercial Rooftop Bars or Decks

Rooftop bars and decks are becoming popular features in city buildings, as restaurants and hotels look for new and creative ways to provide their guests with a unique experience. Rooftop patios are appealing, but they can put additional strain on a commercial roof.

 For building owners planning a rooftop bar, there are a few additional things to consider when planning for roof construction: 

Maintenance is still important.

Rooftop bars are doing double duty as a commercial roof and an entertainment space. It needs to be water-tight, fireproof, and support certain equipment like a regular roof, while also being able to accommodate large amounts of people. While it may be tempting to treat a rooftop patio like an extension of the interior of the building, it needs to be maintained by a roofer. Only a roofer will know the proper way to check for leaks and maintain other roofing equipment.

It’s not the same as a ground-level patio.

Designing an outdoor roof space isn’t the same thing as designing one on the ground level. Designers must ensure that the roof itself has enough support before they even start laying plans for the deck. For this reason, rooftop decks should be planned with the help of a roofing company and a structural engineer to ensure the structure can handle the projected plan.

Rooftop features are exposed to the elements.

Just like regular patios, rooftop patios are constantly exposed to the elements. Outdoor spaces need to be constructed from materials that can stand up to rain, snow, and wind. This is doubly true of a rooftop patio, which is generally more exposed and needs to be durable enough to protect the structure underneath it.

Drainage can be difficult.

Commercial roofs typically are not completely flat. It’s best that they have at least a slight slope, so that water will drain off the roof. Moisture pooling can damage a roof and eventually lead to leaks or other damage. This drainage requirement limits design options for rooftop decks and can make it difficult to plan them properly.

Rooftop patios are expensive.

Creating a rooftop deck or patio can be very costly for the building owner. While this expense can be daunting, it’s important to remember that rooftop patios add value to the building and can help attract additional customers. Some studies also show that patrons on rooftop bars stay longer at a bar or restaurant than they do at venues without a rooftop space.

Don’t forget the special equipment.

Commercial roofs often house special equipment like HVACs, but adding a patio or deck opens up even more options for the type of equipment a roof may need to house. Rooftop pools, hot tubs, or fountains can be especially challenging to design and maintain as they can create moisture that may damage the roof.

 While construction and maintenance on a rooftop patio can be challenging, the rewards are often worth it. Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to start designing your outdoor rooftop space with the right roofing partner.

How Commercial Roof Diffusers Can Help Regulate Building Temperatures

Heating and cooling a large commercial building can be a daunting and expensive endeavor. But managing temperature in a building doesn’t have to involve creating an entire duct system to move air.

 By making some simple changes to a commercial roof’s HVAC system, a building can use a diffuser system to pull air into a room for a single point and spread it around a room. Here is what air diffusers can do to control the temperature in a large building:

Conditioned Air In, Building Air Out

Rooftop air diffusers are used to bring conditioned air into a building from an HVAC unit and then return air back to the rooftop. Diffusers are an excellent delivery system for air and an alternative to a complex duct system.

Different Styles for Different Rooms

Every type of room is unique, and air may need to spread throughout an open space in a different pattern depending on its use. Air diffusers come in a number of different styles. The main types include slot diffusers that distribute air evenly along one strip, jet diffusers that push air into a room, and cone diffusers that release air in a radial pattern outward from the vent.

Simplifying Ceiling Installation

Unlike vents, diffusers can be combined with multiple pieces of overhead equipment in the same area. This makes it easier to install diffusers than other types of heating and cooling equipment.

More Temperature Control

Many heating and cooling systems require that several rooms be incorporated into the same temperature zone. In some types of buildings, this can cause discomfort to occupants. Certain types of electronic diffusers can allow for more flexibility in air control with a thermostat in each individual room.

Consistency

Because diffusers provide air from a single source, it provides more consistent air flow than other types of ventilation systems. Consistent air flow typically means more consistent temperatures, which keeps building occupants more comfortable. 

Expert Knowledge for Commercial Rooftops

Like all heating and cooling equipment, rooftop air diffusers require specialized knowledge to install. Because diffusers require the use of a rooftop HVAC system, it’s essential to consult a professional roofer when designing and installing it. Only a roofer has the necessary qualifications for installing a roof curb for a diffuser.

 To learn more about rooftop air diffusers and how to regulate the temperature of a commercial building, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

Commercial Roofing Terminology 101

As in any industry, roofers like to throw around specific terminology when they talk about their craft. Because roofing is so complex and specialized, roofers need to use this language, but it can be difficult for customers that are unfamiliar with the industry to understand.

Before you start working with a roofing company, it’s good to brush up on some basic terminology. Here are some of the most useful roofing terms and their definitions:

Roofing Materials and Components

Bitumen—Bitumen is a component of asphalt or coal tar, which keeps the roof waterproof. And while it is flammable, it does have a decent fire rating.

Built-Up Roof Membrane—Known as BUR for short, built-up roofing has been around for more than 100 years and uses multiple layers of bitumen in order to increase waterproofing and durability. BUR is not as popular in today’s construction, due to costs. Single-ply membranes are much more cost-effective than BUR installation.

Curb—This is a raised roofing component that is used to raise equipment above a roof surface. These typically surround things like fans, HVAC units, vents, or skylights. Curbs need to be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that they remain in good condition.

Deck—The roof deck is the surface that everything else goes on top of. It’s the first layer that sits right on the joists. This material is often made of concrete, metal, or plywood. Protecting the roof deck is critical for the health of a commercial roof.

Envelope—The envelope refers to the waterproof seal that protects the base of a roof and a building. A building’s envelope is adhered onto a roof itself and is a crucial component of any roofing system.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer—Also known as EPDM or rubber roofing, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer roofs are a cost-effective approach to a new roof system and are composed of recyclable materials. Though cost-effective, EPDM is not necessarily known for its durability in the same way as BUR roofs.

Flashing—Usually made of sheet metal, flashing is used on the edge of roofs to keep it covered and weatherproofed. Flashing is also used around roofing equipment like HVACs or near drains and skylights to keep those areas watertight.

Galvanized Steel—Iron in steel will rust if it isn’t coated. Galvanized steel is coated in zinc so that it does not corrode or rust. Many metal roofs use galvanized steel due to its strength and durability.

Polyvinyl Chloride—Also known as PVC, polyvinyl chloride roofs are a plastic material that sits on top of a roof and has some of the highest ratings for durability, fire-resistance, longevity, and waterproofing. These types of roofing systems tend to be more expensive than other options. PVC is valuable on roofs that contain grease emissions, as the grease will not eat through the membrane like other single-ply roof systems.

TPO—Short for short for Thermoplastic polyolefin, TPO is one of three single-ply roof systems, along with EPDM and PVC (mentioned above). TPO is a more cost-effective alternative with potentially high-energy ratings due to its white reflectivity.

Vents—Vents are any opening used to allow air or vapor to leave a building. Vents should be carefully planned out with roofing contractors, so they don’t become blocked or made ineffective.

Roof Problems

Ice Dam—Ice dams are walls of ice that form on a roof when water or snow freezes. They can cause leaks in a building if left unmanaged.

Thermal Stress—When temperature changes, roof components will expand and contract. This can lead to damage over time.

Water Infiltration—When water or even a small amount of moisture gets into your building, it’s called water infiltration. These leaks require immediate attention.

Wind Uplift—Strong winds can cause a section of a roof to rise. If the roof is not properly sealed, it can cause a section of the roof to blow off.

Your Roofing Terminology Interpreters

Roofing terminology can be useful to anyone investing in a commercial roofing system, but the  Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. team is happy to walk you through every component of your roof in more accessible terms. To learn more about how we can help get you acquainted with the roofing business, contact us today.

A Look at the Various Types of Commercial Roof Materials

No two businesses are alike, and neither are any two commercial roofs. Commercial roofs will differ from each other from the equipment they hold to the type of materials that make up their composition. Every kind of roof and roof material has its pros and cons. 

Here, we will look at some of the most common types of materials used on commercial roofs and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each one:

Polyvinyl Chloride Membranes

Known in the roofing business as PVC, Polyvinyl Chloride Membranes are one of the most popular commercial roofing materials. PVC roofs are made up of two layers of roofing material with a polyester layer in the middle for reinforcement. PVC is popular because it is extremely durable and long-lasting. It is also resistant to fire and moisture. The main downside is that PVC can be expensive compared to other roof materials. The material can also be difficult to repair when it ages.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer

EPDM is commonly known as rubber roofing. This roofing material is easy to install, lightweight, long-lasting, and is one of the most inexpensive roofing materials. While EPDM roofs will last a long time in perfect conditions, they do puncture easily. Rubber roofs can also spring leaks easily if they are not properly adhered and leaks are difficult to detect in this material. EPDM is also not considered to be very aesthetically pleasing for buildings where the roof will be visible.

Metal Roofs

Many different kinds of metal can be used in commercial roofing from copper to galvanized steel to aluminum. Each type of metal has its own advantages and disadvantages but, generally, metal roofs are among the most durable and long-lasting roof options. Metal opens up a whole world of design options for a building, and the material is usually used for buildings where looks are a concern. Metal roofs also tend to be more fireproof than other types of roofing material, but it can be expensive.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin

In most cases, thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, is the cheapest roof material available. TPO is similar to both PVC and EPDM, but it is 100 percent recyclable. TPO is a lightweight membrane that is typically heat-welded at the seams rather than adhered like EPDM—however, it can also be mechanically fastened. This welding makes TPO more resistant to leaks than EPDM, but the material also has many disadvantages. TPO is prone to shrinking and cracking. The material is also not fire-resistant. 

Spray Polyurethane Foam

SPF is a plastic that is sprayed out as a foam that then solidifies and expands over a rooftop. This foam seals off gaps on the roof and is extremely insulated, helping owners save on energy bills. SPF is typically layered onto a roof underneath another roof coating. Applying SPF is a specialized skill, and not all roofing companies offer it. Applying and maintaining this material can be expensive.

Because this type of roof is difficult to repair and replace, Maxwell strongly recommends against having this type of roofing material installed. 

Asphalt

Asphalt is an older method for commercial roofs. The material is rolled out and pressed onto a roof deck. Asphalt roof systems are typically more expensive than PVC, EPDM, and TPO but are also more durable and long-lasting. They are very tough and puncture-resistant due to the multiple plies included in the system. This type of material is recommended for manufacturing plants or any roof that will have roof traffic or penetrations. 

Our roofing experts at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. are committed to helping every client figure out the best type of roofing material for their project. To learn more, contact Maxwell today.

Common Questions About Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal is the hidden champion behind many construction projects. The material supports buildings, makes machines work, and comprises important mechanical structures. If you’re in need of sheet metal for a project, then customized fabrication might be the best option. Here are the answers to some frequent questions about sheet metal fabrication.

What Is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Fabrication is the process used to cut, assemble, or otherwise form sheet metal into a finished product. This can be done in bulk in a factory that produces identical parts or in a custom shop that creates unique pieces designed for a specific need.

How Is Sheet Metal Manufactured?

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of different metals depending on its intended purpose. Copper, aluminum, and steel are all popular materials in sheet metal and can be combined with other types of metal in the same sheet. After selecting the material for the sheet metal, it’s melted down in a crucible and then poured out into rectangles. From there the sheet metal is cleaned and rolled out into sheets.

How Can I Get Sheet Metal?

Sheet metal can be bought from a hardware store, or even online, but this uncut sheet metal can’t be used for much. In most cases, going through a fabrication shop is the best way to get sheet metal. A fabrication shop can make sheet metal customized to any use and then cut and shape it into a final product.

What Kind of Machines Are Used for Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Industrial sheet metal cutters aren’t something you just pick up at the hardware store. These large and expensive machines can only be found in machine shops. Industrial machines like water jet cutters can make precision cuts through almost any type of sheet metal.

What Is Customized Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Unlike mass produced sheet metal components, customized sheet metal fabrication creates individual sheet metal components for a specific project. For almost any project, customized sheet metal is going to be more effective and of a higher quality than mass-produced sheet metal. 

Do Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication Shops Help with Design?

Not all custom sheet metal shops help with design, and most charge for design services. This can be difficult for customers with little design or construction knowledge. That’s why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. never charges for design services, providing them free with all custom sheet metal fabrication.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help with your sheet metal job, contact us today.

Best Practices for Gutter & Roof Drain Debris Removal

Leaves and small debris may not seem like something that can damage a hardy commercial roofing system, but if left alone these little messes can turn into major problems over time, causing leaks and other damage. Regularly cleaning gutters and roof drains should be an integral part of any roof management program. Here are some tips for keeping those roofs sparkling clean:

Know your draining system

You’ve probably heard of gutters, but what is a roof drain? Roof drains are typically used on large commercial roofs to drain from the interior part of the roof and not just the edges. Whether you have gutters or a roof drain will change the frequency and type of debris removal that your roof requires. A professional roofer should be able to immediately identify which type of draining system a roof uses and to remove debris accordingly.

Safety first

Whether you’re the one going up on the ladder or you paid a professional to do the job, safety is the most important consideration when removing debris from a roof. Proper safety gear like goggles, gloves, and safety tie offs should be employed during the entire process. It’s also important to consider how the debris will be removed. Throwing leaves and sticks off the side of a roof can be hazardous to people below and workers should consider using bags to store the debris and remove it safely.

Watch out for clogs

A debris cleaning is a great time to examine the gutter and drain systems for clogs and wear and tear. When cleaning a roof, you should also water-test drains and gutters to ensure that moisture on the roof is able to escape properly. Check for loose bolts and screws on gutters, and examine flashings, sealants, and seams for problems. Not just any maintenance worker can do this kind of detailed inspection so it’s important to call in a professional at least a few times a year to make sure everything is working properly.

Prepare for winter

What is just a pile of damp leaves in the fall can become a frozen drain blockage during the winter. Small amounts of water pooling can also become an issue as water seeps into a roof and then freezes and expands. Just because roof debris seems innocuous in the summer doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue later on. Anticipating the change of seasons is an important detail in roof maintenance.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal can help keep your commercial roof debris-free, contact us today.

What to Know About Roof Curb Installations

For commercial buildings, a roof is much more than just a protective covering. Large industrial and commercial roofs need to do more than provide a ceiling; they also must support heavy equipment that is critical to the function of the building. To handle this extra hardware, many commercial roofs should have one or several roof curbs.

What Is a Roof Curb?

A roof curb is an elevated platform on a roof that supports some piece of equipment or roof penetration. Because roof curbs are sometimes a part of a roof, they must be able to keep out moisture and debris, while providing a spot to anchor the equipment.

Most commercial buildings will require some type of roof curb. They are used with everything from exhaust fans and HVAC units to skylights and vents. Each type of equipment requires a different kind of curb, and each type of roof material carries different considerations.

Who Can Install a Roof Curb?

Installing rooftop equipment and roof curbs typically involves more specialists than other aspects of a building’s construction. The general contractor and the equipment manufacturer will likely do a great deal of the work, but to get the job done right, it’s also important to bring in a professional roofer. 

While other specialists may be more familiar with the product going on the roof, only a qualified roofer can ensure that the roof itself will still function as needed once the equipment is installed. Maintaining a weatherproof roofing surface is critical to the health and longevity of any commercial building.

Other Things to Consider with Roof Curb Installation

Some of the most common problems with roof curb installation occur when rooftop equipment is replaced. Rather than call a professional roofer, many facility managers will simply have the contractor use an after-market roof curb. While going this route may save some money up-front, after-market roof curbs can often create airflow and temperature issues once installed. 

To ensure the continued safety and functionality of the roof, it’s best to use a fully-welded and assembled custom roof curb. Though this may cost more money up front, a custom roof curb improves longevity and protects the investment in the roof and the roof-top equipment. Finding a roofer with its own fabrication department is the most cost-effective way to get a quality product. 

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help supply your building with quality roof curbs, contact us today.

Why Rooftop Grease Trap Installation Is a Must

Anyone who works at a restaurant or food processing plant knows that grease can damage the building’s interior and is best addressed by blowing it out of the exhaust fan. However, once that grease leaves the building, it can wreak havoc on the roof outside if not properly handled.

More than 80 percent of food industry buildings are damaged when grease is released from the building without a properly installed rooftop grease trap.

Types of Grease Damage

Without a rooftop grease trap bucket, grease can contaminate or destroy a commercial roof. Here are just a few of the ways grease can harm a commercial roof:

  • Breakdown of tar or gravel roofs—Grease exposure can turn tar and gravel roofs soft. Over time, the roof will start to break down and take on a sponge-like texture, weakening the roof’s structural integrity.
  • Membrane blistering—Roof membranes help keep buildings waterproofed. When grease gets into a membrane, it can cause the roof to blister and crack.
  • Contamination—Over time, grease can seep into a roof so severely that it becomes contaminated and needs to be replaced. Even roofs with a grease bucket are vulnerable to this when not properly maintained. It’s critical to regularly bring in a professional roofer who knows how to clean grease traps on rooftop hoods.
  • Ruptured seams—A roof’s seams, or any other part that involves an adhesive, will deteriorate if grease gets on them. Over time, this could lead to a rupture in the seam and cause a collapsed roof. 
  • Fire damage—When grease is allowed to build up on a commercial roof, it can become a fire hazard. Grease is extremely flammable, and allowing it to build up isn’t just a risk for a roof but for the entire building and anyone who uses it.

Why Grease Traps?

Because the potential for damage is so high, grease traps are a fairly common and inexpensive addition to a commercial roof.  A rooftop grease trap is installed near the exhaust fan and captures any grease and other harmful particulates before it can fall onto the roof or be released into the environment.

Restaurant rooftop grease traps are often required by law, and other types of buildings may need them to be in compliance with EPA regulations in certain states.

Why You Should Work with a Professional Roofer

Only a professional roofer has the technical skills to properly install a rooftop grease trap or a rooftop grease trap bucket. Once installed, your roofer should also be able to perform regular maintenance on the trap to ensure that it functions properly.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has more than 60 years of experience working with commercial kitchens. To learn more about how a rooftop grease trap can help protect your building, contact us today.

5 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options to Consider

Companies decide to go green for many reasons. It may be due to a core business value or for a chance to connect with customers. It may just be for the cold hard cash savings that come from energy efficiency. Whatever the reason for becoming more eco-friendly, facility managers shouldn’t overlook the importance of choosing the right type of roof to maximize energy savings and eliminate waste. Here are five environmentally-friendly options for commercial roofs:

  1. Solar Panels—The large empty space on a commercial roof is the perfect place to put solar panels to offset a building’s electricity use. New roofs can be specially outfitted to support the weight of solar panels. Older roofs will likely need some modification to safely secure panels on the roof. Though a solar company may say they can install the panels, it’s important to always use a professional roofer to ensure that the installation doesn’t do any damage.
  2. Green Roof—Not only do roof plants help fight climate change, but they also can help moderate the temperature of a commercial building and improve air quality in the surrounding area. Green roofs are ideal for urban areas where there is little other surrounding vegetation.
  3. White Roof—Roofs with white or light-colored membranes are considered “cool roofs” because of their ability to reflect more of the sun’s rays away from the building. In hot places, cool roof systems can help reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, lowering the building’s electricity bill.
  4. Metal Roof—Metal is one of the most eco-friendly materials for roofs. A metal roof made from recycled materials can last up to 60 years, and the material can be re-used again once it is time to replace it. Metal is also reflective, keeping buildings cool in the summertime.
  5. Recycled or Biodegradable Roof Material—There are plenty of ways to use recycled or biodegradable materials for a more traditional commercial roof style. Reclaimed clay can be used in tile roofing. Sustainably harvest wood shake is biodegradable and can be used for shingles. Old tires can also be made into rubber roofing material that can last for many years.

When choosing the right eco-friendly roofing for any building, it’s important to always use a professional roofing company. Maxwell Roofing has experience with all types of materials and roofing types. We even have our own fabrication department to customize your metal roof or roofing parts. To hear more about how the Maxwell team can help make your roof more eco-friendly, contact us today.

Why Choose Maxwell Roofing for Fabrication?

While every commercial roof contains sheet metal, not every commercial roofing company has the experience and tools to customize the material themselves. Most roofers outsource their metal fabrication, but Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. cuts out the middleman with a sheet metal division of its own.

 Our in-house fabrication department allows us to deliver cost savings to our customers, while also providing the highest levels of customization available. Even beyond your roof, the Maxwell team can provide fabrication services for your building. 

Cutting-Edge Technology

Maxwell Roofing uses a state-of-the-art water jet machine for all metal fabrication. The machine combines a powerful spray with an abrasive material, cutting as strong as a blade while making the most precise cuts possible. Using water jet technology allows our fabrication department to make everything from heavy-duty building pieces to delicate specialty items.

Custom Roof Systems

Maxwell doesn’t simply install metal roofs, we fabricate architectural metal roof systems from scratch. Our powerful cutting machine can work with a variety of different materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, copper, prefinished steel, and galvanized steel.

Specialty Fabrication

Because our fabrication department is fully-outfitted, we can create everything from specialty roof parts to non-roof pieces. Our fine-precision machines can create specialty roof parts, such as spires, weathervanes, cornices, and finials. We work with customers from the very beginning by providing free design services to help turn their vision into reality.

Industrial Fabrication

Maxwell’s fabrication department is also outfitted to produce industrial-grade parts like safety guards, containers, volume pieces, and HVAC curbs. Just like our other fabrication services, Maxwell provides free design services for industrial parts. We produce prototypes before rolling out the final product, so you don’t have to worry that your parts won’t be done correctly.

To learn more about Maxwell Roofing’s fabrication services, contact us today.   

7 Advantages of Metal Roofing for Commercial Business

The options for roof materials are almost limitless—asphalt, concrete, polymers, and gravel. But, there are some types of materials that simply perform better. While choosing certain materials may save money during a building’s construction, they can require costly repairs and extensive maintenance down the line.

Though less conventional than other types of roofing material, metal provides a quality roof that can easily outshine the competition. Here are some of the advantages of choosing a metal roof for a commercial building. Metal roofs are: 

  1. Fire-Resistant

    Asphalt shingles may be a common sight here in the U.S., but in many parts of Europe, they have been banned for their flammability. Metal is among the most fire-resistant materials that can be used on a commercial roof, protecting the facility and keeping it in compliance with fire codes with no extra effort.

  1. Energy Efficient

    By using reflective materials, metal roofs can drastically reduce the costs of cooling a building in the summer. Because the material is so versatile, it can also pair well with a variety of insulation to keep extreme temperatures at bay. Metal is also the best material for affixing equipment like solar panels to a roof, enabling businesses to become even more efficient.

  1. Low Maintenance

    With high-quality weather coating, metal roofs will require little maintenance beyond the typical bi-annual roof inspection. Metal roofs rarely fail, and when a repair is needed, it is typically a much simpler job than repairs on other types of material.

  1. Attractive

    Functionality aside, metal roofs are just plain pretty. Instead of a typical flat, featureless roof, metal provides buildings with a little bit of flare. Because metal can be shaped in a variety of different ways, it opens up a whole new world of roof design and penetration options. Roofing companies with in-house fabrication will be able to offer even more customization by making a roof exactly the way the customer wants.

  1. Strong and Durable

    Metal roofs hold up to the daily wear and tear a building experiences better than any other material. Gale force winds don’t stand a chance against a metal roof.

  1. Weather-Resistant

    For places with heavy rain or snow, metal roofs are the best choice for building protection. Nothing holds up to heavy amounts of moisture the way metal does, preventing leaks…and headaches for facility managers.

  1. Long-Lasting

    Some types of metal have an estimated life of up to 60 years—the same lifespan as a typical commercial building. Investing in a metal roof is investing in the long-term.

To find out if a metal roof is right for your business, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn about your options and to get a quote.

4 Things to Know About Rooftop Penetration Installation

The last thing you want to think about with an expensive commercial roof is poking a hole in it. However, roof penetrations are sometimes necessary for other functions in your building. Here is everything you need to know about installing rooftop penetrations the right way.

1. There are many reasons to penetrate a roof. In general, the quality of a roof is partially determined by its ability to hold up when things try to penetrate it. No company wants a tree or a chunk of softball-sized hail crashing down through its roof, but there are types of penetrations that can add utility or value to your building. Here are just a few types of intentional roof penetrations.

  • Chimneys—If you plan to put a fireplace in your building, you’ll need a chimney to help empty the smoke from a fire.
  • Skylights—Skylights can dramatically improve the natural light in your building without taking up valuable wall space.
  • Exhaust Fans—Exhaust fans can help remove steam, odors, or other unwanted pollutants in your building’s air.
  • Vents—Vents suck out moisture or pump air to provide ventilation to a building.
  • HVAC Systems—Large commercial heating and cooling units are often kept on a building’s roof, and a penetration will be needed to bring the warm or cool air inside the building.
  • Solar Panels—Large solar units for a commercial building are best fastened to a roof using anchors, which put small holes into a roof.
  • Pipes and Drains—Some complex pipe systems may be kept on a building’s roof and need entry into the building.

2. Penetrations are best installed during construction. Planning out roof penetrations during construction will save work and time in installing them. A dedicated roofing company will be able to work with other construction specialists to find the best spots for your penetration and to customize the roof’s construction to best accommodate it.

3. Retrofits are possible with penetrations. Not everything about a commercial building can be planned right from the outset. If you wind up needing a roof penetration down the road, you can retrofit your roof, but this is when most things go wrong. Penetrating a roof that’s already constructed requires puncturing your “building envelope,” which refers to the materials that seal a building off from the elements. After installing a roof penetration, this envelope needs to be properly re-sealed to protect the building. Poor craftsmanship at this phase can cause disastrous damage, which brings us to our final point.

4. Use a professional roofer. An HVAC contractor or a skylight installer might tell you that they can penetrate and reseal your roof themselves, but only a specialized roofer knows the best ways to prevent leaks from entering your building. Penetrations are complicated, requiring special metal flashings and seals that few other construction contractors are trained in using. Improper installation can result in corrosion or leaking around the penetration and can result in costly repairs down the road.

If you want to get your roof penetration installed right the first time, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today. Our full-service roofing approach offers everything you need for your roof penetration from installation to maintenance.

There’s No Such Thing as a Roofing Guarantee: Why Building Owners Must Understand Commercial Roof Warranties

Few systems in the average commercial building are more critical and more expensive than the roof. Exposed to the elements for decades on end, a roof is under attack throughout its entire life cycle. What can building owners do to protect their investments? Although there is no such thing as an unlimited roofing guarantee, a roof warranty can protect a building owner against certain types of damage, as well as flawed workmanship or materials. There are different kinds of warranties, however, and it is important to know what these warranties do and do not cover before signing on the dotted line.

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