Retrofit Single Ply Roof Systems: Physical Testing

Retrofit Single Ply Roof Systems: Physical Testing

In part 1, Retrofit Single Ply Roof Systems: An Assessment of Wind Resistance, we provided information about the following:

  • Four (4) methods to re-cover a metal panel roof
  • The many options for attaching a single-ply system to a metal panel roof
  • An example calculation for wind uplift design pressures and appropriate fastener patterns that provide the necessary resistance capacity
  • Industry concerns about wind uplift when not attaching the retrofit single-ply system into every purlin  

In this blog, we will discuss and analyze the four full-scale physical tests that were performed to determine their wind-uplift capacity.  

Physical Testing

There have been no publically available validation studies or data supporting any particular approach to the installation of retrofit single-ply roof systems (RSPRS). Non-validated attachment methods could result in failures during wind events.  Therefore, the objective of GAF’s physical testing program was to determine the wind-uplift resistance of RSPRS fastened directly into purlins.  A variety of fastening patterns and fastener densities were tested in order to provide a better understanding of the effect of wind loads on these systems.  The physical testing was performed at the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department of the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO (MS&T).

Test Roof Construction

Four full-scale test roofs were constructed and tested in a 10 ft. wide x 20 ft. long chamber.  The test roofs were installed by Missouri Builder Services, Jefferson City, MO, with oversight by GAF.  After the test roofs were constructed, the MS&T research team instrumented the assemblies for data collection.  


The four test roofs consisted of 24 in. wide, 24-gauge structural metal roof panels attached to 16-gauge Z-purlins with concealed expansion clips and purlin screws.  The purlins were connected to and supported by horizontal steel channels; the purlin/channel construction was supported by four vertical steel columns.  To complete the test specimen, flute fill polyisocyanurate insulation, flat stock polyisocyanurate insulation, and a mechanically attached 60 mil TPO membrane were installed.  Prior to membrane installation, the insulation was mechanically attached with minimal fasteners to prevent shifting during the testing.  The cross-section shows a graphical representation of the completed RSPRS over the structural metal panel roof system.

image (6)

For Tests #1, #2, and #3, purlin fasteners and 2 3/8 in. barbed fastener plates were used to secure the membrane, simulating a “strapped” installation.  The fasteners and plates were not stripped in.  For Test #4, purlin fasteners and 3 in. specially-coated induction weld fastener plates were used.  

The purlins in all tests were attached to C-channels.  This did not allow for data collection at a purlin-to-mainframe connection.  When an RSPRS is mechanically attached to every other purlin, the load path is altered significantly.  This raises a question about the effect on the wind-uplift capacity of the existing metal building when the load path is altered.  More information on that topic can be found here.  Therefore, it is recommended to engage a structural engineer when altering the load path of an existing structure.

Results and Discussion

The table shows the ultimate loads achieved, tributary area and load per fastener, as well as fastening method.  The term “ultimate load” refers to the point of failure of the roof system during physical testing.

Test Roof # Ultimate Loada, psf Fastening Pattern Tributary Area per Fastener, sf Load per Fastener, lbs Fastening Method
1 162.7 5 ft. o.c. x 12 in. 5 813.5 (800) Above Membrane
2 119.5 5 ft. o.c. x 24 in. 10 1195 (1160) Above Membrane
3 61.9 5 ft. o.c. x 36 in. staggered 15 928.5 (890) Above Membrane
4 64.8 5 ft. o.c. x 24 in. staggered 10 648 (593) Induction Welded

Test #1

The fastening pattern for Test #1 was 5 ft. o.c. fastener rows and 12 in. fastener spacing within the row.  Test #1 failed when the membrane ruptured simultaneously at seven fastener locations in the center purlin.  The system successfully completed 160.1 psf and then failed as the pressure was being increased to 174.5 psf.  The membrane pulled over the five center fastener plate locations in an essentially circular pattern along the outer edges of the fastener plates.  The outer two failure locations resulted in L-shaped tearing of the membrane, which was attributed to the boundary conditions of the test chamber.  The fastener plates were deformed upward.  There were many locations of permanent upward membrane deformation. 

Photo of the outcome of Test #1.

The permanent upward membrane deformation was evident along the edges of the rows of fasteners, as can be seen in the upper row of fasteners in the photo.  There was very little permanent upward membrane deformation at the centerline between fasteners within a row.  This pattern of deformation leads to the belief that the load within the membrane is being transferred from fastener row to fastener row, and not significantly from fastener to fastener within a row.

Test #2

The fastening pattern for Test #2 was 5 ft. o.c. fastener rows and 24 in. fastener spacing within the row.  Test #2 failed when the membrane ruptured simultaneously at the three central fastener locations in the northern quarter-point row of fasteners.  The system successfully completed 116.9 psf and then failed as the pressure was being increased to 124.1 psf.  The membrane pulled over the three center fastener plate locations within the row.  The center rupture was circular at the fastener plate.  The outer two ruptures were “D” shaped; the straight-line edges were attributed to the boundary conditions of the test chamber.

Photo of the membrane rupture at the center fastener plate location for Test #2.

The tributary area for each fastener for Test #2 was double that of Test #1.  This led to the hypothesis that the ultimate load for Test #2 would be one-half of that from Test #1, or 81.4 psf.  However, the ultimate load was 119.5 psf, which is approximately 73% of that from Test #1.  This is believed to indicate that the membrane transitioned from one-way loading to a more efficient two-way loading. 

One-way and Two-way loading_2019 08 20

The load was not only distributed across the 5 ft. purlin-to-purlin span (as was the case in Test #1), but was also distributed between fasteners within a row.  The uplift loads were pulling on the fastener and fastener plates from all sides (two-way loading) instead of just two sides (one-way loading). During the test, the membrane deflected up approximately 4 in. between fasteners within a row.  The loads were more equally distributed within the membrane and around the fastener plate, and therefore, the load per fastener increased from 813.5 lbs. (Test #1) to 1195 lbs. (Test #2).

The membrane resisted the uplift loads in two generalized directions: between fastener rows and between fasteners within a row, which aligns with the machine direction (MD) and cross-machine direction (XMD) reinforcement yarns within the membrane, respectively.  The membrane had permanent upward deformation between rows and between fasteners within a row because of this two-directional loading.  The permanent upward membrane deformation was circular around fasteners.  

Test #3

The fastening pattern for Test #3 was 5 ft. o.c. fastener rows and 36 in. fastener spacing within the row; fasteners were staggered row to row.  Test #3 failed when the membrane ruptured at a single fastener location in the southern quarter-point row of fasteners.  The system successfully completed 59.3 psf and then failed as the pressure was being increased to 66.5 psf.  The membrane pulled over the center-most fastener plate within the row (at the red circle).

The photo shows a close up of the failure location for Test #3.  The failure was “D” shaped, similar to failure locations in Test #2.  The flat edge was on the boundary edge of the test roofs; the rounded edge is towards the center of the test roof.  

Similar to Test #2, there was circular upward permanent membrane deformation at fastener locations for Test #3 as shown in Figure 10.  This shows that the membrane is being loaded in the MD and XMD.  This is due to the relatively wide spacing of the fasteners (2 ft. and 3 ft.) relative to Test #1, which had 1 ft. spacing of fasteners within a row.  

The tributary area for each fastener for Test #3 was 50% greater than Test #2.  This led to the hypothesis that the ultimate load would be 2/3 of Test #2, or about 79.7 psf.  However, the ultimate load was 61.9 psf which is approximately 52% of that from Test #2.

Comparing Test #3 to Test #1, traditional assumptions based on tributary area would lead to an expected ultimate load for Test #3 to be 1/3 of Test #1.  The ultimate load from Test #1 was 162.7 psf, so the expected ultimate load for Test #3 was 54.2 psf.  The actual ultimate load for Test #3 was 61.9 psf which is approximately 38% of that from Test #1.  

While two-direction membrane loading appears to increase the expected ultimate load of a roof system relative to the traditional linear expectation of failure load, it appears there is a limit to this increase.  For this series of tests, the limit seems to be 5 ft. o.c. for fastener rows with 24 in. fastener spacing within each row.  

Test #4

The fastening pattern for Test #4 was 5 ft. o.c. fastener rows and 24 in. fastener spacing within the row; fasteners were staggered row to row and induction welded.  Test #4 failed in two locations—a fastener plate pulled over the fastener head and the membrane separated at the reinforcement layer at the adjacent welded fastener plate.  The system successfully completed 59.3 psf and then failed as the pressure was being increased to 66.5 psf.  The failures occurred in the southern quarter-point row of fasteners.  The photo shows the 2 failure locations for Test #4.  

Test #4 used induction welded fasteners, which means the fastener plates were under the membrane.  Therefore, the membrane was cut in order to evaluate each failure.  

Based on audible observation at the time of failure, the two failures occurred “simultaneously.”  It was difficult to determine from visual examination which occurred first: the fastener plate pulling over the fastener head or the delamination of the membrane at the fastener plate.  

Test #4 and Test #2 have the same tributary area per fastener location—10 square feet.  However, Test #2 achieved a 119.5 psf ultimate load and Test #4 achieved a 64.8 psf ultimate load.  All components were identical for both test roofs except for the fastener/plate combination and that Test #4’s fasteners were staggered row-to-row.  

The above-membrane fastener (e.g., an in-seam fastener) is 2 3/8 in. in diameter.  An induction welded fastener plate is 3 in. in diameter and is constructed such that a raised ‘ring’ surface adheres to the membrane, not the entire fastener plate.  

The area of a standard 2 3/8 in. above-membrane fastener plate is approximately 4.4 square inches.  The area of the attachment surface for an induction welded fastener plate is approximately 3.3 square inches.  Therefore, an induction welded fastener plate has approximately 75% of the surface area of a traditional mechanically attached fastener plate to restrain the membrane.  

Individual fastener load for Test #2 (with the same tributary area as Test # 4) was 1195 lbs.  Direct extrapolation to the induction welded fastener plate (at 75%) leads to the predicted value of the fastener load for Test #4 to be 896 lbs.  This prediction assumes the reinforcement is the weak link, but the test clearly shows the cap-to-core connection to be the weak link, and therefore, it makes sense that the failure load per fastener for Test #4 was less than 896 lbs.  In fact, it was 648 lbs per fastener.  

The analysis of these two different types of fastening methods and failure modes supports the result that Test #4 has lower wind uplift resistance than Test #2 even though the tributary area for each fastener is the same for Tests #2 and #4.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Review and analysis of the four full-scale physical tests of retrofit single-ply roof systems installed over structural metal panel roof systems resulted in a number of conclusions.  They are as follows:

  • Uplift resistance of RSPRS and individual fastener loads in an RSPRS are based on the membrane’s reinforcement strength and one-directional versus two-directional loading of reinforcement.  
  • Reducing the overall fastener density increases the tributary area for each fastener.  As expected, the ultimate load is reduced with larger tributary areas.  
  • Two-directional membrane loading increases the expected ultimate load of a roof system relative to linear extrapolation based on fastener tributary area.  However, it appears there is a limit to this expected increase.  For this series of tests, the ultimate load exceeded expectations for the Test #2 fastening pattern, but the ultimate load was more in line with traditional linearly extrapolated expectations for the Test #3 fastening pattern.  
    • This work emphasizes the limitations of extrapolation and validates the use of physical testing to determine uplift resistance of roof systems.
  • Permanent deformation of the membrane was observed in all four physical tests at the end of testing and was not seen to be a water-tightness issue. The test procedure performed did not determine what pressure during the test cycling the membrane deformation began. This observation may provide an explanation for “wrinkles” observed in mechanically attached membranes that have experienced high wind events.

For additional information about this topic, here is the GAF paper that was presented at the 2020 IIBEC Convention and Trade Show, and here is a webinar presented in early 2020.

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Solar Panels: Make Your Own Power with the Right Roof

July 27, 2020 | Filed under: Buying a New Roof,Consumer Education,Energy,Environmentally Friendly


For many homeowners, solar panels offer opportunities to save money and make your own power.

Roof Mounted Solar Panels

Roof-mounted solar panels are an excellent way to generate free power by taking advantage of space you aren’t using- the top of your home. Your roof is perfect for solar power generation: wide, smooth, and directly exposed to sunlight. However, roofing materials aren’t all created equally when working with solar. So how can you know which type of roofing works best? 

Here are 2 great options for making your own power with a Classic Metal Roofing System:

  1. Mounted solar panels- traditional photovoltaic panels mounted on top of metal shingles using stainless steel brackets
  2. Integrated solar panels- dual-function photovoltaic panels working as shingles strategically added in the place of some metal shingles.

Mounted panels are the better option right now, but integrated solar roofing panels show a lot of promise for the future.

Mounted solar panels work best with our metal shingle roofs for several reasons: most importantly durability and long-life. A solar panel has a functional life of around 20 years, much shorter than our metal roofing shingles, but longer than asphalt shingle roofing. When it’s time to replace the panels on one of our metal shingle roofs, the roof remains intact with no need for shingle replacement. 

Mounting and clamping panels to the rib of standing seam roofing damages the seam, leaving a potential weak point. Even worse, removing solar panels with standing seam roofing means replacing the entire slope underneath the panel. This is why we recommend using our metal shingles instead of a standing seam roof for solar applications. 

Choosing a metal shingle roof goes beyond just providing an excellent base for solar power generation. A high-quality metal roof from Classic Metal Roofing is:


Our metal roofing lasts decades longer than asphalt shingles, meaning no more painful re-roofing jobs. A permanent roof makes solar panel replacement and maintenance much easier. Standing up to the environment provides a strong foundation for solar panels, keeping your investment protected from harsh weather, high winds, hail, and fire. 


Generating solar power drastically reduces your need for standard electric power and high-quality metal roofing goes even further, cutting energy costs by up to 20%. A metal roof also addresses all 3 forms of heat transfer to keep your home cooler and maximize energy efficiency. Radiant heat from the sun reflects off the specialized coating found on every Classic Metal Roof, conductive heat dissipates between the roof and attic, and convective heat flows out through the ventilation. 


Classic Metal Roofing is available in a variety of colors and styles. It can resemble wooden shake, tile, or slate. This beauty is enhanced by proper installation, something talented roofing crews provide to many happy customers. Your neighbors will be jealous of your brand-new, striking Classic Metal Roof.

If you are considering solar power generation for your roof now or later, we can help. Designed to work hand-in-hand with solar panels for a lasting solution, you can choose to have your roof installed “solar-ready”, leaving room for solar panels installed at a later date, all while enjoying the many benefits of your new roof.

Classic Metal Roofing and Solar: A Match Made in the Heavens

Here’s more information on our metal roofing matched with solar panels. Take the time for a look up at your roof and imagine the possibilities of solar power.

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Does a Metal Roof Make a House Hotter?

metal-roof-torontoWill your home “heat up” when you have a metal roof? A residential metal roof in Toronto and a roof in Florida may have two very different answers. Why? A number of factors go into why a metal roof reflects or absorbs heat. And believe it or not, choice of color and finish determines how much a metal roof absorbs heat. So let’s find out more.

Sun Absorption and Color

While the metal roof might absorb heat during the summers especially, all roofing materials absorb heat. A dark-colored asphalt or slate roof will also absorb more heat than a lighter-colored roof of the same material. This is why choosing the right color and finish for your metal roof is so important.

In general, pale colors absorb less heat than lighter ones. Depending on your region, you may choose a lighter color and finish for your roof. However, if you live in colder regions, a darker roof may welcome much-needed heat to your home during harsh winters. The amount of insulation will also affect how much heat absorption takes place. Contact our experts at London Eco-Metal with your questions about metal roofing. Our seasoned team will be happy to help you find the right color, finish, and insulation option for your home or business.

Lighter Metal Gets Cooler Quicker

When the sun strikes a roof directly, lighter materials like metal lose heat quickly. Heavier materials like asphalt and concrete retain heat longer. They also transfer heat to the building below. Metal roofing has a wide variety of insulation options. Combine energy efficiency with insulation to create a comfortable temperature for your home.

Other Factors

What type of construction lies below the roof? Is it an empty drafty attic or an insulated space? When installing your metal roof, consider how you can best insulate your home. Our roof design team will work with you to find the right solution for your home.

Contact London Eco Metal Today

Are you ready to install a metal roof? Call London Eco-Metal today. With decades of experience, we promise superior installation and craftsmanship. Contact us now. Schedule your initial consultation today. Let us help you find the perfect roofing solution.

The post Does a Metal Roof Make a House Hotter? appeared first on London ECO-METAL Manufacturing Inc..

Top Metal Roofing Services in Toronto

metal-roofing-suppliersWhen you install your metal roof, you deserve the best. A metal roof will last you for fifty years or more with proper installation. Find metal roofing suppliers and contractors you can trust with London Eco-Metal. Family owned and operated, London Eco-Metal remains Ontario’s’ Premier Fabricator and Installer of Metal Roofing.

Why You Need London Eco-Metal

Since 2009 London Eco-Metal has installed and produced thousands of commercial and residential roofs. You will not find other Ontario metal roofing suppliers with as much experience and understanding of metal roof construction. We take pride in providing superior service and products. Our excellent customer service builds loyalty in our clients. London Eco-Metal guarantees the highest level of craftsmanship in the market.

Our Top Metal Roofing Services

At London Eco-Metal we provide Ontario’s widest selection of high quality metal roofing products and services. Whether you own a business or are a first-time homeowner, our talented team is dedicated to finding the roofing solution for you. Our services and products include:

  • North American Steel Roofing
  • Modular-Type Eco-Tile Options
  • Bravo Tiles
  • Bingo Metal Tile Panels
  • T-18 Ribbed Metal Panels for Lower Slope Roofs
  • Metal Siding in Steel
  • Metal Soffit in Multiple Colors
  • Styrofoam Insulated Roof and Wall Panels
  • Miner Fiber Insulated Metal Panels for Roof and Wall
  • Limitless High Quality Color Selection for Steel and Aluminum
  • Snow Guards and Superior Gutter Systems
  • Warranty

Why a Metal Roof?

A metal roof offers your home superior security. Metal roofing last for decades with minimal maintenance. Your new metal roof will withstand cold temperatures, moisture, termites, and even fire. As the climate becomes harsher and harsher, a sustainable roof guarantees that your property and family will be safe for years to come.

Call the Top Metal Roofing Company Today

When you need a metal roofing contractor you can trust, call London Eco-Metal. Our friendly staff will be happy to find the right metal roof solution for you. We work with every client, big budget or small. Our superior workmanship means that you will never have to worry about your roof again. Whether a large industrial plant or a small residence, our team works for you. Call us today. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Has The Wide Range of Single-Ply Attachment Options Got you Stuck?

Examining attachment options

There are more adhesives and application methods for single-ply roof assemblies available today than ever before. This article looks at the various options and discusses the increasing number of advantages to using adhered systems, including:

  • Potential for lower installation costs with newer adhesives and application methods, along with long-term energy efficiency improvements.
  • More uniform distribution of wind uplift resistance across the roof deck.
  • Substantially reduced (or eliminated) billowing of single-ply membranes, minimizing condensation risks from air intrusion in colder climates.
  • Better aesthetics v. mechanically attached roofs.
  • Improved impact resistance when fasteners are buried lower in the assembly and upper layers are adhered.

The attachment of thermoplastic single-ply membranes such as TPO and PVC used to involve just a few clear choices. By fastening along the weld area with screws and plates, the membrane was regarded as being mechanically attached. The alternative was to use a solvent-based adhesive to coat the substrate and the underside of the membrane, after which the membrane would be pressed down onto the substrate. The result was known as an adhered system.

As concerns grew about the solvent content of adhesives and their impact on regional ozone pollution, both water-based and low volatile organic content (VOC, i.e. solvents that increase ozone) adhesives became available. But, attachment choices were still regarded simply as being mechanically attached or adhered, with the latter requiring some minimal decision regarding the acceptable VOC content.

However, there’s been a proliferation of attachment options more recently, including inductively heated fastener plates, low rise foams, sprayed adhesives, and so on. And, taking low rise foams as an example, there have been variations in application methods, such as ribbon versus splatter pattern. Some of these adhesive systems were intended for insulation attachment, but their use has often been expanded to include fleece-back membranes.

The proliferation of single-ply attachment methods can be baffling, but the general terms mechanically attached and adhered are also adding to the overall confusion. While a purely mechanically attached system is easy to comprehend, many roof assemblies have some layers adhered and some mechanically attached. For example, it is not unusual to mechanically attach the first insulation layer and then adhere all subsequent insulation layers and the membrane. Or, the first two layers of insulation could be mechanically attached and a cover board and membrane both adhered above the insulation. In this article, the terms mechanically attached and adhered are used to describe how individual components are attached.

The criteria that can be used to select the appropriate attachment method for a commercial roofing project are described and discussed here. There isn’t a best approach that will apply to all situations. Rather, each attachment method has pros and cons and the final decision must be made by the specifier with knowledge of the specific building type, use, time of year of the installation, and location.

Mechanical Attachment of All Layers

For thermoplastic single-ply membranes, this is frequently regarded as the value option. Screw and plate fasteners are used to attach one long side of the membrane, and they are in turn covered by the overlapping adjacent sheet. The weld essentially protects the screws and plates by sealing them inside the system, minimizing risk of fastener corrosion. The following diagram and schematic show the essential features of this type of assembly.

This photograph shows how this appears in practice during installation:

C:\Users\ttaylor\Pictures\GAF\tpo install 2.jpeg

Mechanical Attachment of Single-Ply Membranes

Wind loads are handled differently by mechanically attached single-ply membranes as compared to adhered membranes. During wind events, mechanically attached membranes are lifted up as indicated in the following schematic:

The wind uplift forces create a low pressure zone above the roof membrane that acts to lift it up. Air from within the building flows up through the gaps in the insulation and offers little resistance to the uplift forces. As a result, the membrane billows up, and the forces are directed to the fastening points as shown below during a wind uplift test.

RhinoBond Induction Fastening Systems

This results in large stresses at the fasteners and these are experienced repeatedly over the years in high wind areas. Partly as a result of this, membrane manufacturers typically provide shorter warranties or guarantees for mechanically attached membranes. 

The membrane itself experiences three forces at each of those fasteners:

Single-ply membranes are tested for resistance to these forces as part of conforming to the ASTM specifications. It’s important to note that the insulation fasteners do not contribute to any wind uplift resistance. They are in place simply to keep the insulation boards flat and in-place during installation. In fact, there is little to be gained by having adhered insulation boards combined with mechanically attached membrane.

Key features of systems with mechanically attached membrane and insulation are:

  • Low initial cost – the total material cost  is typically the lowest of any of the attachment methods.
  • Efficient labor – mechanically attached systems are fast to install and may require fewer installation man-hours than adhered systems
  • Wind load resistance is provided by the membrane fasteners only – this gives rise to billowing of the membrane during wind events and stresses the membrane around each fastener plate.
  • Fasteners that are immediately beneath a single-ply membrane, such as membrane and insulation fasteners, tend to result in punctures when struck by ice-balls. For ice-ball impact resistance, consider systems with adhered upper layers of insulation and/or coverboard, and membrane.
  • Fastener densities are high – for a 125,000 square foot roof, typically over 50,000 fasteners are used, leading to significant thermal bridging.

Adhered Membrane

Solvent-based liquid adhesives were the original means of adhering membranes to insulation. Due to environmental concerns, low VOC and water-based types were introduced later. The solvent and low-VOC types of adhesives are essentially rolled or broomed out over the insulation and membrane underside, allowed to dry down or flash-off before the membrane is then applied to the insulation. The following picture shows a typical installation in progress.

C:\Users\ttaylor\Pictures\GAF\Fully Adhered TPO.jpg

Water-based adhesives are similar, but require the use of fleece-backed membranes. Fleece-backed membranes promote adhesion to water-based adhesives and improve adhesive drying.

While adhered applications are often considered labor intensive, recent innovations like spray applied formulations can lower the overall man-hours required. The following picture shows the use of a spray-applied adhesive, such as EverGuard® TPO Quick Spray Adhesive:

Adhered membranes resist wind uplift forces differently than mechanically fastened membranes. The following schematic shows that membrane billowing doesn’t occur:

The wind uplift forces are primarily resisted in a more uniform fashion by the adhered membrane and top layer(s), and the buried insulation fasteners. The membrane, membrane adhesive, and adhered upper layer(s) of insulation act in a more monolithic way to resist uplift forces. Also, the fasteners are distributed more evenly across the rooftop versus mechanically attached systems.

Key features of systems with adhered membrane are:

  • Wind load resistance is uniformly distributed across the roof deck. When combined with an adhered second layer of insulation and adhered cover board, the roof membrane and assembly are more interconnected.
  • Membrane billowing during wind events is eliminated and as a result, condensation risks from air intrusion are lowered.
  • Overall fastener usage is lower and therefore thermal bridging is reduced. Systems with an adhered membrane generally have improved energy efficiency, which is further improved by adhering the upper layers of insulation and cover board where used.
  • Aesthetics – adhered membranes, especially those installed over adhered cover board or insulation, tend to appear flatter and smoother versus mechanically attached or membrane adhered over mechanically attached cover boards or insulation.
  • Material costs and labor rates vary widely depending on the type of adhesive and will be discussed later in this article. When hidden costs associated with thermal bridging are taken into account, adhered systems can be competitive (read more here about R-Value Optimization Case Study.

Adhered Insulation

While single-ply membranes can be adhered to mechanically attached insulation, it is more typical to also adhere the upper layers of insulation. Low rise foam can be used for both insulation and cover board installation. These adhesives are two-part systems and the resultant foam is a type of polyurethane. The original method of application was as a ribbon or beads typically 12” apart and the following picture shows a typical installation in progress using one of GAF’s low rise foams.

When the insulation boards are applied, the rising foam spreads out and bites into the insulation facers to maximize adhesion. The ribbon pattern is effective to adhere insulation boards down and can be used to adhere membranes to the insulation.  While the ribbon application method appears to be slow, as with other adhesives there have been innovations to speed up application and reduce the man-hours required. When adhering just the membrane,  a spatter pattern can also be used, which helps prevent the ribbon pattern from translating through and becoming visible from above the finished roof installation.  The following picture shows a splatter pattern approach, which is basically a coarse spray:

Key features of systems with adhered insulation are:

  • Airflow up through the assembly is limited and the risk of condensation from air intrusion in cold climates is low. Similarly, membrane billowing is minimized due to the restricted airflow up through adhered insulation layers.
  • Thermal bridging is minimized when only the first layer of insulation is mechanically attached. 
  • Wind load resistance is uniformly distributed across the roof deck. A system with adhered membrane and insulation can act as a monolithic system with excellent wind uplift resistance.
  • When combined with an adhered membrane, the finished roof appearance is aesthetically pleasing. When applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the membrane should  be flat with no insulation fasteners to telegraph through and mar the appearance. Also when the structural roof deck below is “exposed” to the interior finished space for aesthetic reasons, a combined adhered insulation and membrane roof system does not have fastener tips protruding to the interior space in a regular (or sometimes haphazard) pattern.

Adhesive Choice

With the proliferation of adhesive types and application methods, the choice can at first appear confusing. In terms of performance, generally, all of the adhesives and application methods result in robust systems that meet required wind uplift requirements. The main criteria for basing decisions include :

  • Environmental requirements – traditional adhesives emit solvents and other VOCs during drying and curing. These emissions are regulated at a local level and it’s important to stay in compliance with those regulations. In general, where such emissions are most tightly regulated and where reroofing over sensitive occupancies, water-based adhesives and low rise foams are the better choices. However, the formulations of other adhesives are improving and it’s recommended that design professionals and contractors consult with manufacturer’s representative to determine the best choices for their area.
  • Material and labor costs – the various adhesives each have different costs associated with the material itself, the application rate (i.e. the number of square feet covered by an adhesive), labor requirements, and, in some cases, the investment needed for application tools. The latter can range from simple carts to hold adhesive boxes to spray and pumping equipment. The table shown later in this article provides a rough guide as to the relative costs, but for specifics, it is best to consult with the manufacturer’s representative. Many of the more recent approaches, such as spray-applied adhesive and splatter pattern low rise foam were designed to enable fast application rates with low labor.
  • Application temperature – traditional adhesives generally required application temperature to be at least 40°F and rising. This is due to a combination of the time required to dry or flash off the solvent and the viscosity of the adhesive. At low temperatures, most adhesives become too viscous and won’t flow sufficiently to apply and roll out. Some of the newer systems, such as GAF’s Low Rise Foam M Low Temp, can be used at temperatures below freezing.

Induction Welded

Induction welded fastening is a type of mechanical attachment for a roof system with the predominant type being the Drill-Tec™ RhinoBond® system. By definition, this is a mechanical attachment method but it can have many of the features of adhered systems.  The technique fastens TPO and PVC thermoplastic membranes to the substrate below using a microprocessor controlled induction welding machine. The thermoplastic roof membrane is welded directly to specially coated fastening plates used to attach the insulation. The picture below shows such a system being used:

C:\Documents and Settings\JJensen\My Documents\My Pictures\rhino 1.JPG

The induction machine is placed above each plate and activated for approximately 10 seconds. As the machine is moved to the next position, a weighted magnet is placed over the plate and acts to squeeze the membrane down onto the hot plate, causing it to weld to that plate’s surface coating. 

For true mechanical attachment of single-ply membranes, the insulation boards are simply secured with five fasteners per 4 x 8 ft. board to keep them flat. When using a Drill-Tec™ RhinoBond®  system, the insulation fasteners resist wind uplift forces as shown in this picture during a test of wind uplift resistance:

Thinking outside the seam | Professional Roofing magazine

This means that more insulation fasteners must be used, but no in-seam fasteners are used. For a typical big-box store requiring 120 psf wind uplift resistance, 8, 15, and 20 fasteners per 4 x 8 ft. board are required for the field, perimeter, and corner areas respectively.

Key features of systems with induction welded membrane attachment are:

  • Performance is more similar to adhered systems in terms of the distribution of loads across the rooftop.
  • Thermal bridging is reduced compared to traditional mechanically attached membrane systems. (more here on roof system r-value optimization)
  • There are no application temperature restrictions and so this approach can be used in place of adhesive attachment regardless of how cold it might be.
  • Especially when combined with a 12-foot wide membrane such as supplied by GAF, a Drill-Tec™ RhinoBond®  system can improve cost competitiveness due to the speed of installation, compared to 10-foot wide traditional mechanically attached membrane systems.

In Summary

Adhered single-ply membrane and insulation have many advantages over mechanically attached systems. These include wind uplift performance, lowered condensation risk from air intrusion, reduced thermal bridging, and aesthetics. While adhesives were traditionally viewed as having high labor costs, more recent innovations such as spray adhesive and splatter pattern low rise foam are making adhered systems more competitive.

There is no one best attachment  method and the various options all provide good wind uplift resistance. Key considerations are shown in the following table.

The post Has The Wide Range of Single-Ply Attachment Options Got you Stuck? appeared first on GAF Blog.

Under A Classic Metal Roof:There’s No Place Like Home

June 26, 2020 | Filed under: Buying a New Roof,Consumer Education,Research

Quality Metal Roof - Classic Metal Roofing Systems

What does a metal roof have to do with a classic phrase?

In his book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum says something that has been quoted millions of times since: “There’s no place like home.”

Few of us have difficulty picturing Dorothy in the movie clicking the heels of her ruby slippers together, repeating: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” This recollection may bring back great childhood memories or perhaps just remind you that your home can be your base – your comforting respite from the worries of the day.

While the last few months may have found you quarantined at home and sometimes wanting to curse the walls around you, your home should still be regarded as a place of comfort and peace, no matter what is going on in the world around you. When he was in first grade, our president Todd Miller won an essay contest on “What My Home Means To Me.” His final line in that essay was “A happy place to be.” We pray that is the case for you as well.

In our last couple of messages, we looked at the process of buying a new roof for your beloved home. We started with the process of setting your purchasing criteria for your new roof and continued with finding the right roofing contractor to install your beautiful new roof.

The natural next step is enjoying your new roof.

Making your decision wisely and carefully will allow you to enjoy even the installation of your new roof – despite some noise from hammering and cutting! Watching the progress and getting daily updates from a professional and high-quality roofing contractor will affirm the peace of mind that you were seeking with a new roof. Choosing the right contractor can create an enjoyable experience for you from start to finish.

So, once the roof installation has been completed, what can you expect? Let’s take a look at some key benefits for you to enjoy.


Your home’s roof is its first line of defense against rough weather. With an old, worn-down roof, each storm can bring worries of water damage. A properly-installed quality metal roof, though, will protect your home, your family, and your belongings – no matter what Mother Nature dishes out. A roof with resistance to wind, fire, ice, snow, and even mildew provides protection for you and your home investment.

Aren’t you looking forward to the peace-of-mind and security of a durable metal roof?


At least 60% of the visible exterior of many homes is the roof. This is a big part of your home’s curb appeal. While for years, most homeowners have just chosen their roof based upon the color of the shingles, today’s quality metal roofs offer you a wide variety of style and color choices. Your metal roof can look like high-end slate, wood shakes, barrel tile, or even provide that warm “farmhouse” look of standing seam roofing. With today’s advanced coatings, metal roofs are not limited to one single color. Products like our Slate Rock Oxford really enhance a home with variety in texture and pattern. Be sure to ask about our ThermoBond technology that can create a custom color roof to meet your exact wishes!

Imagine your satisfaction and pride as you pull up to your home with its beautiful metal roof.


A leading concern of many homeowners is the costs of living in their home. Long gone are your parents’ $45 electric bills. At Classic Metal Roofing Systems, we design our roofs for energy efficiency in three key ways, taking advantage of how heat travels to block it from entering your home or get it out of your home once it does enter. Our reflective coatings help redirect radiant heat, while the integral airspace beneath our press-formed metal shingles provides a thermal break to stop conductive heat transfer. Finally, proper attic ventilation will take advantage of convective airflow to help collected attic heat get back where it belongs – outside!

With an energy-efficient metal roof, you will join thousands of other homeowners enjoying energy savings of up to 20% or more.


Chances are that your home is your largest single financial investment. Over the years, you have seen its value go up and down. But, like any investment, maintaining its value and even adding to it will help it grow over time. A quality metal roof adds immediate value to a home and, unlike traditional roofs that deteriorate quickly, it maintains that value over the long term. A long-lasting metal roof will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers and prevent the need for eventual replacement from being a bargaining point in negotiations.

Imagine a roof you can be satisfied with for years to come, that protects your home and your investment in it.

We hope that you truly can say, “There’s no place like home.”

Live Under a Metal Roof

We can help you maintain your home as that place of rest. How? Of our 55 wonderful team members, 19 are dedicated to working with you to find the best roofing solution for your home and situation. Call or send us an email anytime. You’ll get a kind and thoughtful response.

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How Often Do Metal Roofs Need to Be Painted

metal-roof-sheetsMetal roofing remains the number one 21st century solution for green construction today. Sustainable, energy-efficient, and versatile, metal roofs protect homes and businesses from the ever-changing climate and harsh weather conditions. Metal roof sheets come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and finishes. They require some maintenance to maintain peak energy efficiency.

Some metal roofing colors and finishes help increase energy efficiency by protecting the building from harmful hot UV rays. Lighter colors like white or peach reflect the rays away from the roof. This reduces the temperature of the building, saving on cooling costs over time. In cooler regions, homeowners and business owners may opt for more insulation and darker tones to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building. In either case, maintenance and retouching the paint and finishes will increase the lifespan of the roof and lower energy costs.

When Do You Need to Paint Your Metal Roof?

Cool metal roofing systems mitigate the heat island effect by reflecting rays away from an urban area. This reduces your cooling costs during the hot summer months. Regular maintenance and a new coat of paint will increase the overall lifespan of your roof and increase long-term savings.

Inspect your roof on a yearly basis. The inspector will identify any significant wear and tear or possible sources for leaks. A well-maintained metal roof will need repainting once per decade. However, harsh weather may cause damage that requires painting sooner. The key is a professional application. A professional will ensure that your metal roof has the best quality coating and energy-efficient paint. Our team will apply the paint correctly the first time. Avoid do-it-yourself paint jobs to reduce costs.

Older Metal Roofing

If you have older metal roofing, you may need an entire replacement. For example, you may have a historical structure with metal roofing that is more than twenty years old. Is there heavy corrosion or structural damage? Does the roof leak? Are there visible holes? These older structures will need an entire replacement in many cases. A new paint job will not help with a significantly deteriorated roof. Schedule an inspection with London ECO-Metal if you have an older roof. We can help determine the best most affordable solution for you.

Call London ECO Metal Today

Ready to replace or repaint your roof? Call the metal roofing experts at London ECO-Metal today. Our friendly staff will be happy to help you.


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What is the best color of a metal roof for energy savings?

installing-a-metal-roofMetal roofs offer sustainability, energy savings, and significant versatility. When installing a metal roof for your home or business, consider the choice of style and color best for your region. Consider the location of your building, the style, and the finishes you need to maximize savings.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofing provides 21st energy saving solutions for your home or business. Sustainable, recyclable, and well-insulated, save thousands over the course of the life of your roof. A metal roof may last a half-century or more with minimal maintenance and replacement. Increase the overall energy efficiency when installing a metal roof by choosing the right colors:

  • In warm regions, lighter colors will reflect harmful UV rays
  • Light colors like white, beige, a light bronze, and peach will reflect heat away from the building
  • Dark colors absorb the heat
  • Light colors enhance the “cool” metal roofing in hot regions and during the summer
  • Save additional funding with government tax credits when installing energy-efficient roofing
  • Ask about additional insulation options to further increase energy savings
  • In cooler regions, a darker color may help reduce heating costs in winter
  • Always ask the London Eco Metal design professionals about the best color, coatings, and insulation options for your specific building

Deciding on the right color for your home or building does not always rely solely on energy efficiency. There are some other factors to consider when choosing the right color. If you have questions, our seasoned design team will be happy to answer them. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and expert knowledge.

Community Guidelines

When considering the right color for your home or building, consider the neighborhood. For residential areas, specific colors might be required or banned. In industrial locations, you may want to blend in with other warehouses and buildings. Find the color guidelines for your neighborhood and community. Some Homeowner’s Associations may be very strict with their color selections.


Do you want your home or business to stand out or blend in? Choose bold colors like bright red and eye-catching contrast to make a statement. Or opt for more muted tones like gray or tan to fit in. This is all about choosing the right color choice to save money and showcase your individual style. Call London ECO-Metal today with your color choice questions.



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Raising Roofs for Healthcare Heroes with Josh Shupe and Black Diamond Roofing

Right now, while millions of us have more time on our hands than we’d like, a small, valiant, and immensely talented army of healthcare workers has nearly no downtime at all. “A lot of folks who are quarantined right now have time to think about home improvement projects and things like that,” said GAF Master Elite™ Contractor Josh Shupe, owner of Black Diamond Roofing and Construction of Richland, WA. “Healthcare workers don’t. They’re on the front lines. They’re working 18 hour shifts. Some of them aren’t even getting any family time at all.”

Inspired by these front-line responders, Josh decided to partner with GAF and MacArthur Company to give a free roof to a deserving healthcare worker in his Washington State community. “There are people out there that really need a new roof,” he said, “but they can’t focus on that right now because they’re on the front lines trying to fight through this thing. So we wanted to step up and partner with you guys to kind of take that burden off of people’s shoulders a little bit.” 

Josh announced the roof giveaway on March 27, and had received more than 130 nominations by May 1, when he announced the recipient. Veronica Huerta of Benton City will receive a complete new roof, including materials, labor and a GAF Golden Pledge Limited Warranty. Veronica is a mother of four who works as a nurses’ assistant and obstetrics technician at two local hospitals. 

For their commitment to the healthcare workers in their community, GAF is proud to recognize Black Diamond Roofing and Construction as Roof Raisers — leaders who are raising the game in roofing and elevating the trade. 

Inspired by Acts of Kindness

Josh credits his brother, Jake Shupe, with the inspiration for the roof giveaway. Jake, who owns the Barracuda Coffee Company in Richland, invited customers to help fuel health workers through their long hours by sponsoring cups of coffee. 

It’s really no wonder both brothers found inspiration to help during this crisis; they both come from a family tradition of community service. When Josh and Jake were children, their parents coordinated mission trips, mostly to Central America, to help build homes in regions struck by natural disasters. To help raise money for the mission trips, Mr. Shupe Sr. would install roofs in exchange for donations. That’s where Josh learned how to roof, and how to take positive action for change. 

The Journey to GAF Master Elite® 

When Josh started his own company, Black Diamond Roofing and Construction Inc., he was committed to installing a particular manufacturer’s product. Through the years, GAF Territory Manager Kory Kelly consistently reached out with an open invitation to start using GAF products and contractor programs. But it’s hard to give up a brand you started installing with your dad at age 12.  

Then, one day, Josh was invited to do roof inspections for some local realtors and he discovered something that changed his mind. He saw that his preferred brand was not holding up as well as he would hope on the roofs that he inspected. It was an eye-opener for the young perfectionist. “It really just started sounding alarm bells to me,” he said, “because I pride myself on quality. I reached out to Kory Kelly and said, ‘Hey, I’d be interested in talking to you guys.’ That was late 2014, early 2015.” Josh became a Master Elite® Contractor in December 2019. 

The Black Diamond Roofing crew at work, installing a GAF Grand Sequoia roof in 2019.

“When I hear your guys’ motto, ‘We protect what matters most,’ the first thing that comes to my mind is family,” said Josh. “When you put a roof on, you’re protecting what’s inside and what’s inside your home is what matters most, and that’s your family. That’s kind of what we do as a company. We tell people that we want to work on their home as if it were our mother’s home or our grandma’s home. And so that’s why we choose GAF. We love the quality. We love what you guys stand for. And we’ve had a great experience with it. We know that when we put on a roof by GAF, we know that it will protect people’s families.”

“I am fortunate to work with a handful of contractors, such as Black Diamond Roofing, who give back to their communities,” said Territory Manager Kory Kelly. “When Josh and I discussed his Healthcare worker roof giveaway, it was not a difficult decision to have GAF jump on board. These are unprecedented times and we all need to do our part in helping each other out.”

Coping with COVID-19

Josh observed that, at the time of our interview, construction to “prevent spoilation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions1” was permitted in the state of Washington. “Nobody is changing their roof because they don’t like the color,” said Josh. “They’re doing it because it’s a structural necessity.” As a result, Black Diamond has been able to continue to protect the homes of many of his customers. “We’re operating at about 70 to 80 percent,” he said. 

To help protect his customers and crew, Josh and company have been using many of the distancing best practices listed in the GAF COVID-19 Response contractor advisory. 

“We’re big on EagleView and Hover (GAF e360). That’s pretty contactless. We can field the call, get their name, address and phone number and order the report. We e-mail quotes, and if somebody does want to see us face to face, there’s FaceTime. If somebody wants to look at colors, we can do a video call and show them our showroom here. We also provide links in the estimates and the quotes. Yeah. It’s been pretty seamless.”

But while Black Diamond is making much needed adjustments in order to thrive in this period, there are many aspects of the business that they miss. “You know, we are ‘people persons.’ We love to be around people,” he said. “And so that’s kind of a bummer about all this — not having contact with our customers. So, we realized we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do, but when you just look forward to things? Getting back to normal so we can be around people again.”

“What matters most to me right now,” Josh continued, “is people’s health. That’s why we decided to honor somebody in the healthcare field. I wanted to step up, partner with you guys, and take a burden off someone’s shoulders.

“I wanted to say to someone who needs a roof but is focused on saving lives — I want to say, ‘don’t worry about this.’”

Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may have agreed that they will use GAF roofing products, and may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program.

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GAF Transforms HQ into Free Farmers Market in Partnership with Interfaith Food Pantry

Hundreds of Morris County, NJ residents regained access to fresh produce last Friday, thanks to a new partnership with GAF and the Interfaith Food Pantry (IFP).

More than 10,000 Morris County households, primarily consisting of low-income working families and seniors living on fixed incomes, rely on IFP for assistance.

Instances of diet-related health issues such as hypertension and diabetes are much higher among low-income individuals, so IFP offers free farmers markets with fresh produce to promote healthier eating among its clients.

Unfortunately due to the risks posed by COVID-19, IFP had to suspend its farmers market due to a lack of space that could accommodate social distancing.

“Finding a new and creative way to reopen our free farmers market will help fight hunger and improve the health and well-being of thousands of people across Morris County,” said Carolyn Lake, Executive Director of the Interfaith Food Pantry.

GAF supports Interfaith Food Pantry’s drive-through farmer’s market, Friday, June 12, 2020 in Parsippany, N.J. (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for GAF)

Helping Neighbors

Upon hearing about the IFP farmers market, North America’s largest roofing company sprung into action.

In just a few weeks, over fifty GAF volunteers and the team at IFP helped transform GAF’s world headquarters into a community assembly line where volunteers placed groceries and fresh produce directly into the trunks of IFP clients’ vehicles.

Volunteers were able to maintain safe social distancing with IFP clients, while distributing more than a dozen different kinds of fresh produce as cars passed by.

Safe social distancing was a key to the success of the Interfaith Food Pantry’s drive-through farmer’s market at GAF HQ in Parsippany, N.J. (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for GAF)

“We’re happy we could help put our space to good use and support our neighbors through the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County,” said GAF President Jim Schnepper. “Fighting hunger continues to be a challenging issue affecting many homes across the U.S., especially amid the ongoing pandemic. We’re glad we could help re-establish this service to provide fresh produce to people in need of healthy food options.”

Supporting our Community

Today, the IFP is enrolling more than 200 clients each month, a 300% increase from 50 new clients per month on average.

To help meet this growing need for fresh food in Morris County, the Free IFP Farmers Market will continue every second and fourth Friday at GAF through September.

To learn more about how you can join GAF in support of IFP programs or to volunteer/donate, please:

“Thank you to all of our supporters and to GAF for helping provide a safe environment that helps restore a sense of normalcy for our clients,” Lake said.

The post GAF Transforms HQ into Free Farmers Market in Partnership with Interfaith Food Pantry appeared first on GAF Blog.

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