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Types of Metal Roofing Materials: Pros, Cons, and Cost

commercial Metal Roofing project

A roof is a significant investment, regardless of whether you’re building a new one or replacing it. You want it to be durable and last as long as possible, so you need to take into account different factors when you’re installing one.

If you’re looking for a resilient roof, consider a metal roof since they generally last from 30 to more than 50 years. It’s also low-maintenance and energy-efficient. However, there are more types of metal roofs than you may realize.

Here are some common metal roof types and their advantages and disadvantages, listed from most expensive to least expensive.

Copper Metal Roofing

Copper has been used for centuries and is nicknamed the grandfather of metal roofing. In ideal environments, it can last for more than 200 years. However, copper is typically the most expensive material, ranging from $14 to $22 per square foot, since it’s the longest-lasting metal.

Copper is also known for its striking appearance. When oxygen interacts with copper, it forms a greenish coating called patina. Some people find this aesthetically pleasing, while others consider it unappealing.

It’s important to note that copper is a softer metal, and hail or falling debris can dent it. It also expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures, but you can control this using the right panels and shingles.

Aluminum Roofing

Contractors are always ready to install aluminum roofs since this material is Earth’s third most abundant metal. This material is recommended for properties in coastal climates as it has a higher resistance to salt corrosion.

Aluminum is lightweight yet durable, with its strength-to-weight ratio higher than other metal roof types. But this may be more expensive than other metal types, costing about $4 to $11 per square foot.

You can easily configure this material, so there are many designs available. It can even be molded to look like shingles, stone, and clay. If you’re mindful of making green choices, aluminum can also be a good choice because 90% to 95% of it can be recycled.


When people mention “metal roofs,” steel is what usually comes to people’s minds. It is a popular choice since it’s one of the cheapest roofing materials. However, it has a shorter lifespan compared to other metal roofs, lasting around 40-60 years.

Its longevity is shorter because it’s more prone to corrosion, but you can remedy this with coatings, which has three primary types:

  • Galvanized – Made from steel coated with zinc
  • Galvalume – Coated with aluminum and comes painted with a wide range of color options
  • Stone-Coated Steel – Coated with aluminum/zinc and topped with a layer of ceramic-coated stone granules

Depending on which type of steel roof you choose, costs can range from $4 to $16 per square foot. People also go for steel roofs because of their strength. When installed correctly, a steel roof can resist fire and rot as well as withstand hail and other elements. If you’re still unsure which metal roof to get for your property, get in touch with WaterTight  Roofing. We serve clients from more than 14 regions and know what it takes to properly install a roof that can withstand all types of weather.

TPO Roofing Maintenance: How to Repair Water Damage

TPO Roofing Maintenance to repair water damage in dallas

As many as four major hurricanes have slammed the United States within this year alone. NOAA has carefully documented the numerous storms and heavy rainfall that the country has experienced in 2021 and expects more on the way. If you live in an area that experiences this kind of extreme weather, then it’s likely that you have also experienced water damage to your property, especially to your roof.

A TPO roof (thermoplastic polyolefin, explicitly designed to combat heat because of its white reflective surface) can eventually sustain rain and water damage over time. The more the insulating coating gets saturated with water, the more the roof’s integrity gets compromised. It starts to age prematurely, and if the issue does not get addressed, it eventually fails.

So, before things get worse, here’s how you can address water damage on your roof.

Add a Secondary Coating Over Your TPO Roof

TPO roofs are already coated with insulation. But while the substance is beneficial for deflecting heat and improving a roof’s durability, it wasn’t explicitly designed to handle excessive water saturation. Therefore, to maintain your roof’s integrity, you can coat it with another layer of protection.

Use a fluid coating, which has strong waterproofing qualities on your roof. It’s the ideal coating for roofs in areas that experience a lot of rain and water. However, before installing one, check whether or not this second coating will need a TPO primer for the second layer to adhere correctly to the TPO substrate.

Patch the Roof with Elastic Cement

Another typical repair method is to use elastic cement to patch up any fractures or damage in the roof. Waterproofing membranes like this has been getting increasingly popular as a quick DIY solution to roof issues. They’re accessible, easy to use, and convenient in residential and commercial buildings for small fixes.

However, like most quick retail solutions, elastic cement should be considered as more of a “band-aid” solution. As mentioned in the previous option, a secondary coating of professional-grade PVC material as a waterproofing membrane is the better, more long-lasting.

Remove the Damaged Portion & Replace It

Assess the damage to your roof. Consider the area where the damage or leakage has occurred. You might find that the damage is relatively minimal, with water saturation affecting only a portion of your TPO roof. A qualified roofer should be able to assess the state of your TPO roof and take a few samples to determine its condition.

If necessary, the roofer can remove the damaged portion and replace it with a fresh one. You could also look over the rest of the roof and take samples to ensure that there aren’t any other damaged areas you might have missed.

Address Water Damage Before It Worsens!

If water damage isn’t immediately patched, repaired, or corrected, the roof’s damage could become so extensive to the point that you might need a complete overhaul! Immediately after extreme weather, make sure that you look into the damage and call professionals to fix it.

Always conduct regular inspections of your property’s roof following exposure to severe weather. Get your free roof assessment today or contact WaterTight for an in-depth consultation!

What is Single-Ply Roofing And Why You Should Switch To It

new Single-Ply Roofing project in Dallas Texas

According to a 2021 survey by Roofing Contractor, an overwhelming 91% of their commercial respondents prefer single-ply roofing over other types of roofs.

For many roofing contractors, this statistic doesn’t come as a surprise. Over the past couple of years, companies and architects have opted for low-sloped roofs because of their many advantages. When it comes to low-sloped roofs, single-ply roofing systems are almost always the first choice.

In this article, we’ll talk about what makes single-ply roofing unique and why you should consider switching to it.

What Is Single-Ply Roofing?

Single-ply roofing systems are commonly referred to as single-ply membranes. This type of roof is made of sheets of rubber and various synthetic materials or chemicals. Singly-ply membranes are designed to be installed in one layer.

They are fastened, glued, or installed directly over a roof’s insulation to create a layer of protection. Many contractors prefer single-ply roofing on low-sloped roofs because they are easy to install over their current flat surfaces.  

Types of Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing has three major types, each with its unique capabilities. These three types are the following:

●   Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): PVC is known for its longevity, durability, and chemical resistance. It can withstand large chemical build-ups and acidic outflows. PVC roofing is also very easy to manufacture, install, and repair.

●     Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM): This is a flexible and versatile type of single-ply membrane that can be installed quickly. It is resistant to UV radiation, extreme weather conditions, and thermal shocks. EPDM roofing is expected to last for over 30 years.

●     Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO): This is another common roofing material in commercial properties and buildings with flat roofs. It’s designed to reflect UV radiation, have excellent weather resistance, and be 3 to 4 times tougher than EPDM.   

Advantages of Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing has advantages that make it attractive to both contractors and property owners:

1. Easy to Install While Lasting a Long Time

Single-ply roofing is one of the easiest to install, especially on flat roofs. It can be installed in three ways: ballasted, using an adhesive, or mechanically fastened. Whatever you choose, the installation process is still far less complex than other systems.

Single-ply roofing is also known for its endurance. A properly installed and maintained single-ply roof can last between 20 and 50 years.

2. Flexible & Lightweight

Even with multiple layers, single-ply roofing is considered lightweight compared to other commercial roofing systems. A light roof relieves stress on your commercial building.

In terms of flexibility, contractors can use single-ply roofs on any roofing system, even the most complex designs. Single-ply roofs can stay intact even if the building is renovated or expanded. 

3. Extremely Durable

All types of single-ply roofing are durable. They can withstand tears, punctures, and blunt damage. They can also withstand extreme weather like strong winds and sudden temperature changes.

Single-ply roofing resists many kinds of chemical damage, too. It’s also fire retardant and has the unique ability of self-extinguishing.

There are many reasons single-ply membrane is the roofing system of choice for commercial property owners. With its unique features and capabilities, single-ply roofing is something you should consider if you’re installing a new roof.

WaterTight Roofing offers fast, resilient, and energy-efficient roofing systems for commercial properties. If you plan to get single-ply roofing for your property, contact us today to request a quote and have our experts answer your questions regarding our roofing products.

Roof Blisters: Their Causes & How They Are Prevented

new commercial roof without Roof Blisters

The changing of the seasons and the accompanying shifts in temperature and humidity can result in blisters on your roof. Roof blisters appear as raised areas or bumps over voids—empty spaces between roofing layers or underneath roof coating. They can also occur above places where adhesion has been lost, such as if the roof ply or roof coating film has lifted from the underlying surface. 

On flat roofs, blisters appear as small bubble-like protrusions, thin and long raised lumps, or large, spongy areas. While small blisters are generally harmless, ones of a significant size must be addressed to prevent further damage to your roofing system.

What Causes Roof Blisters? 

Roof blisters can occur on any type of conventional, low-slope, and flat roofing system, but they’re most common in membrane systems and built-up roofs (BUR). Errors in the manufacturing process of roofing materials can create voids that result in blisters. 

Moisture and air can become trapped in voids between roofing plies or between the substrate and the membrane. As temperatures rise, the heat causes the water vapor to expand, which in turn causes roof blisters. 

If the blister is punctured, it could expose the underlying surface to the elements. This could result in water getting inside the roofing system and even into your property’s interior, causing mold growth and water damage. 

Preventing Roof Blisters 

Improper installation is one of the main causes of roof blisters, it’s critical that you hire a skilled and experienced contractor to install or replace your roof. The ideal contractor will take the necessary steps to prevent the loss of adhesion that results in blisters, and that the roofing area is clean and dry before and during installation. 

If you already have a roofing system installed, here are some other ways you can prevent blisters from forming: 

Keep the Roof Dry & Clean 

Regularly clear away debris, such as leaves and twigs, from your roof to prevent them from clogging drains and gutters and causing water to pool on your roof. If your property is located close to trees, consider trimming their foliage. 

Limit Foot Traffic 

Stepping on a roof blister can cause it to pop. To avoid this, consider limiting access to your flat roof and allow only those who need to be there, such as roofing contractors and maintenance crew. 

Schedule Regular Roofing Inspections 

According to GAF, a commercial roof should be inspected at least once a year. Annual inspections can help alert you to blisters and other roofing issues before they turn into major problems that require extensive repair. 

When to Call a Contractor for Roof Blisters 

It can be hard to tell by sight alone whether a roof blister is harmless or if it needs to be repaired. However, keep an eye out for the following types of blisters, as these need to be addressed right away by a qualified contractor:

  • Roof blisters in seams
  • Blisters that have broken open 
  • Blisters with cracking around it 
  • Blisters in high-traffic areas 
  • Very large blisters 
  • Widespread blister formation on your roof

The Final Word 

Your commercial roofing system is a significant investment that needs to be protected. Regular inspections, scheduled maintenance, and timely repairs can help prevent roof blisters from further damaging your roofing system and the structure it protects. 

WaterTight Roofing is a trusted provider of commercial roofing, flat roofing, and single-ply roofing solutions. Our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau testifies to our commitment to quality repairs and customer satisfaction. Reach out to us today for information on roof blister repairs.

TPO & PVC Roofing: What Are the Differences?

TPO & PVC Roofing project for commercial roofing

If you find yourself in need of having your commercial property’s roofing system renovated or updated, invest in a roof that will be worth the expense. After the blow that the pandemic dealt, businesses need to be conscious of how they spend their money.

TPO and PVC are two of the popular roofing systems for commercial properties. Which one should you choose? This article provides a brief overview of each and how they can benefit your property.  

TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a type of single-ply thermoplastic membrane. It’s a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, which makes it strong yet flexible. 

  • TPO roofing resists dirt, bacteria, algae, and debris build-up. It’s highly resistant to damage like tearing, punctures, and impacts. 
  • Commercial properties often prefer TPO roofing because of its reflective properties. TPO membrane comes in white, which enables this roofing material to bounce away UV radiation and prevent heat build-up. 
  • Not only does TPO roofing cool down the interior. It also helps in the building’s overall energy efficiency, which can reduce operating costs and utility bills – saving you money!

PVC Roofing 

Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is another single-ply roofing solution that’s been used in construction for many years. These are often used on flat or low-sloped roofs and are composed of vinyl chloride monomers with added plasticizers to enhance flexibility. This roofing material is strong enough to resist tearing or ripping. 

  • One of the advantages of PVC is its high resistance to chemicals. Commercial buildings exposed to grease, oil, fumes, and other strong chemical materials can benefit from a PVC roof. 
  • PVC roofing materials come in various colors, including white and greys. Like TPO, lighter colors enhance the roof material’s reflective features against UV radiation and heat.   

Considerations When Choosing Between TPO & PVC Roofing

The similarities of TPO and PVC make either material a good option for most flat roofing projects. But the following factors will make the selection easier for commercial property owners and managers. 

Cost of TPO & PVC Roofing

On average, TPO costs between $5.00 and $6.75 per sq. ft. While PVC can go from $7.50 to $12.50 for the same size. For the most accurate quote, reach out to WaterTight Roofing – though generally, TPO is the more affordable option.

Longevity of TPO & PVC

In theory, TPO roofs should last the longest since they are not made of plasticizers that eventually break down over time. TPO roofs are estimated to last around 20 years. However, PVC has been proven to last for decades without failing as well.

However, PVC roofs are the top choice if you’re looking for a material that will last on your property the longest. 

Environmental Impact of TPO & PVC Roofing

PVC materials are made with plasticizers, which are not as environment-friendly and are generally harder to dispose of. They also contain chlorine and other chemicals that could be harmful to human health.

Meanwhile, TPO is completely recyclable and doesn’t emit dangerous fumes when exposed to heat.

Choosing Between TPO & PVC with WaterTight Roofing

Both PVC and TPO roofing materials have pros and cons, and your choice depends on your priority in your roofing project. It’s always a good idea to contact a professional like WaterTight Roofing to help you make the right choice. 

WaterTight Roofing is a commercial roofing specialist that has been helping businesses with their roofing requirements for years. Contact us for inquiries about our roofing options, or visit our service page for a free commercial roof assessment!

Single-Ply vs. Built-Up: Which Is More Energy-Efficient?

Single-Ply commercial Roofing

Cool roofs are a must for commercial buildings because they make the hot weather more bearable for occupants. According to a study, cool roofs can reduce city center daytime air temperature by 32.9 to 37.4 °F and Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) by 23 percent. Energy Star adds that cool roofs can give seven to 15 percent savings in cooling costs and reduce peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent.

So what is a cool roof? We’ll answer this question by talking about one excellent example: single-ply roofing systems.

What Is Single-Ply Roofing?

As the name suggests, single-ply roofing consists of a single membrane made up of various synthetic materials, rubber, and insulation, all put together using chemical adhesives, fasteners, or weighted down with a good amount of ballast (e.g., gravel, stones, pavers).

Single-ply roofing membranes come in two types: thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM). These materials are responsible for single-ply roofing’s reputation as energy-efficient commercial roofing solutions:

  • TPO is a 0.060-mil membrane made up of three bonded layers: thermoplastic polyolefin at the base and top, and a scrim layer or polyester-reinforced fabric at the center. TPO usually has a white surface, which enhances its reflective quality. All things considered, TPO membranes do a good job of reflecting UV rays and reducing heat transfer into the building. So when people speak of a “cool roof,” they are often referring to TPO single-ply roofs because they reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat.
  • EPDM is also synthetic, this time made with a flexible rubber compound. EPDM roofs were widely used in commercial facilities since the 1960s. Since it is made from rubber, it is often black and looks like the inner side of a tire. It is less reflective than the white TPO, but it does an excellent job of retaining heat during the cold season.

Both types of single-ply roofing are energy efficient because they help maintain a cool, comfortable temperature inside the building. Single-ply roofing can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by deflecting UV rays, lowering the UHI during a heatwave, and preventing heat from escaping through the roof during winter.

Old Meets New: How Single-Ply Roofing Compares to Built-Up Roofing

Single-ply is the newer alternative to the more traditional built-up roof system or BUR.

BUR roofing has been used in the U.S. since about a hundred years ago. Many buildings all over the country still have these “gravel roofs,” which is a testament to BUR’s longevity. It just happens that the benefits of single-ply roofing now eclipse the advantages of BUR systems.

What Is Built-Up Roofing?

Built-up roofing is the “tried and tested” commercial roofing option inspired by asphalt roofing techniques. It is made up of many layers of asphalt, tar, and fabrics, then capped off with gravel as the topmost layer. Building owners can decide on the number of layers based on factors like budget, construction time-frame, weight, and ease of installation.

BUR provides excellent insulation and can also improve a building’s energy efficiency. It is a sound commercial roofing solution, but it does come with disadvantages.

The Pros and Cons of Built-Up and Single-Ply Roofing

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of BUR and single-ply roofing systems:


  • Built-Up Roofing: Seamless, waterproof, low-maintenance, UV-resistant, fire retardant
  • Single-Ply Roofing: Cool roofing, heat, and UV-resistant, fire retardant, lightweight, quick and easy to install, more affordable than BUR


  • Built-Up Roofing: Water pooling, blistering, adds immense weight on a building, a bit more expensive than single-ply roofing
  • Single-Ply Roofing: Seams are more vulnerable to leaks, more high-maintenance, UH exposure can deteriorate the adhesives, less durable compared to built-up roofing

Which Roofing System Is More Energy Efficient?

Single-ply roofing is arguably the more energy-efficient option because it does an excellent job of reflecting and retaining heat and helps keep energy consumption low in both cold and warm seasons.

Reduce your building’s energy costs with our single-ply roofing systems. Get your free assessment here.