Roofing & Construction Blog

commercial roofing repair and replacement

Reactive Vs. Proactive Roof Maintenance

We all know that a properly maintained roof can last significantly longer than a neglected roof. While residential home owners can face costs associated with replacement, commercial building managers and owners can also see their bottom line dwindle when a neglected roof needs replacing.

But there is also a big difference in how a roof is maintained. According to Roofing Contractor magazine, to save money, many building owners wait until obvious problems are apparent before conducting maintenance. This type of reactive maintenance will, in fact, increase roof life-cycle costs. These roofs will last on average 13 years and the annual cost will be 25¢ per square foot.

Spot repairs made during a proactive maintenance visit are far less costly than replacing membranes, insulation and decking if a leak occurs down the road. Proactive roof maintenance helps identify potential problem-causing areas, thus decreasing life-cycle costs. These roofs will last on average 21 years and the annual cost will be 14¢ per square foot.

Now’s the time to set up a proactive maintenance schedule. It’s also important that maintenance checks be done immediately after severe storms with high winds, hail, or even heavy snowfall. Call us to set up a service schedule to keep your roof in proper shape and your roof maintenance costs low.

roofers working on a flat commercial roof | St. Louis, MO

Licensed Registered Bonded or Insured Contractor?

Many contractors and service businesses use the designations licensed, registered, bonded, and insured. While these all sound similar, their differences are important when hiring someone for your project.

Contractors have been granted a trade license as mandated by state and local laws. It generally requires passing competency tests about business practices and trade skills, paying a fee, and proving insurance and/or bonding.

Typically less stringent than licensing, it often requires contractors to prove insurance and pay a fee, only sometimes requires bonding and rarely tests competency. A few places use licensing and registration interchangeably.

Contractors have an arrangement with a third party (a private bond issuer or a recovery fund held by the licensing municipality). Homeowners may petition for reimbursement through that third party if contractors harm them financially because of shoddy work or failure to pay subcontractors as promised.

All contractors you hire should be insured. Ask to see a Certificate of Insurance, then call to verify the policy is current and has enough coverage for your project.

Washington Place roof Restoration

Slate Roof Frequently Asked Questions

What is Slate?
Slate is metamorphic rock which is among the earliest industrialized and best roofing materials ever employed. Despite some very clever man-made alternatives, slate remains without equal as the hardest, most durable, and intrinsically handsome material available.

What are the benefits of slate roofs?

  • Lasts 60 to 125 years or longer (some have lasted over 200 years)
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Naturally occurring material, making them environmentally friendly
  • Beautiful, classy appearance and available in many colors
  • Fire resistant and not subjected to sparks from fireworks or wildfires

How much does a slate roof weigh?
A slate roof weighs between 800 and 1,500 pounds per square (100 square feet). You should have your home evaluated from a structural standpoint before you install slate roofing tile to make sure it can take the weight.

How much does a slate roof cost?
Slate is generally higher in cost initially, however because it last so much longer, it is very cost-effective over the long run.

Repair or Replace?
Whenever possible, it is better to repair a slate roof rather than replace it. Many slate roofs are mistakenly replaced when they could be repaired, however each roof should be judged individually based on condition.

How many historic slate roofs have Innovative Construction & Roofing repaired or replaced?
ICR has repaired or replaced over 200 slate roofs, and our detailed analysis and reporting maximizes your chances of claim approval.

Can you match a historic home look?
We can install any color pattern, size or style to match your historic look.

For more information on choosing slate roofing, visit our Slate Roof Page.

Owners of St. Louis Roofing company

How to Find the Best Contractor for Your Project

When it’s time to hire a contractor, either because of storm damage or the age of your home or business, finding the best contractor for your project can be intimidating. Here are six steps for narrowing your search and picking the best:


1. Make a List

The first step is to ask friends and family for recommendations for a qualified contractor. One easy way to do this is to write a Facebook post asking your friend list or any local online groups for suggestions. You will be surprised how quickly the recommendations – with contact information – will pour in.


2. Background Check

Check with your Better Business Bureau for complaints. While a few resolved disputes can be expected, large numbers of complaints are a red flag. Save yourself time and headaches by crossing those businesses off your list.


3. Interview

Narrow your list further by calling your contractors. First impressions count so check out how they answer the phone and how quickly they get back to you after leaving a message. This speaks volumes and will be the standard during the project. Ask if they handle projects of your size, if they can provide a list of financial references and previous clients, and how many projects they have going at a given time. A good contractor will be ready for these questions and should be able to answer them without hesitation.


4. Meet For Estimates

Your list should be down to a handful, so now is the time to meet for estimates. Each contractor should be able to answer your questions and provide a list of references. Also see how the face-to-face interaction feels. You will be spending a moderate amount of time with this company, so make sure you feel comfortable.


5. Call References

Check references by phone and ask how these projects went. You can even ask to see the projects. When customers are thrilled, they will want to show off their finished project.


6. Choose

Your list should be down to just two or three contractors. Price might be the biggest factor at this point, but make sure you throw out any low-ball bid. This contractor might be cutting corners. The bottom line is choosing who you feel comfortable with and who you are confident can do the best job.

hail damage

West County Storms and Hail Damage

The Ballwin, Ellisville, Manchester and Wildwood areas of West County were hammered this week with storms producing up to 1.5″ hail. Further out – in Labadie and Washington, MO areas – hail was even larger. The Spring storm season rolled in like a lion! Be aware of hidden damage that can cause internal leaks. You don’t realize there is a problem until you start seeing visual signs on the ceiling inside your house. Don’t wait that long!

commercial roofing crew in action | St. Louis, MO

Comparing Fleeceback to Modified Bitumen Roof Systems

Fleeceback has clear advantages over a full roof replacement. Here are some advantages over traditional modified bitumen roof replacement.

Natural Resource Conservation: FleeceBACK® membranes generally weigh less than half a pound per square foot compared to an average of two pounds per square foot for Mod Bit roofs. That means FleeceBACK consumes fewer resources.

Reduce Oil Consumption: FleeceBACK EPDM and TPO can be produced from domestic sources of natural gas while asphalt is a byproduct of oil.

Ponding Water: Ponding water accelerates the loss of surface granules and exposes asphalt membranes to more UV rays, leading many Mod Bit suppliers to void their warranties. While roofs should be designed to avoid ponding water, FleeceBACK membranes are not adversely affected by this phenomenon.

Flashing Details: Many mod-bit systems exclude details like pitch pockets from their warranties. Asphalt-
based fl ashing cements were reformulated years ago to remove asbestos and many people believe the performance is no longer the same. Carlisle covers all its details and offers a wide array of pre-fabricated, custom-fabricated and pressure-sensitive (peel & stick) accessories that are easier to install.

Safer/Less Disruptive Adhesive Technology: Mod Bit is installed using 425°F asphalt. Torch-applied Mod Bit also poses danger. Many Mod Bit Cold Adhesives contain high amounts of solvents. All three present problems or undue risk to the building owner. Carlisle’s FleeceBACK is installed with FASTTM Adhesive or water-based AquaBase Adhesive. Both have little or no odors, fumes or VOCs.

Simply Designed & Cost Competitive: Most Mod Bit suppliers offer a variety of different cap and base sheets with their own performance and installation nuances. FleeceBACK has three different thicknesses —100-, 115- and 135/145-mil — and their ability to recover virtually any surface makes them very competitive with traditional modifi ed systems.

Reflectivity: White TPO and EPDM FleeceBACK have refl ectivity built into the membrane. Mod Bit sheets rely on factory-applied acrylic coatings, fi lms or special granules. Each has the potential to become dislodged or un-bonded over time. The granule surface texture also promotes dirt accumulation compared to smooth-surfaced FleeceBACK membranes.

Fewer Seams: Field seams are where workmanship issues can compromise the integrity of the roofing system. Carlisle’s 12′ TPO and 10′ EPDM sheets reduce the frequency of fi eld seams by 75% and 67% respectively compared to 3′-wide rolls of mod bit.

Hail Damage Resistance: FleeceBACK membranes pass FM’s Severe Hail rating adhered directly to concrete, achieve a UL 2218 Class 4 rating, and pass the National Bureau of Standards #23 Ice Ball test up to 3″-diameter hail. Asphalt tends to become brittle with age—a recipe for hail damage.

Puncture Resistance: FleeceBACK membranes offer greater dynamic puncture resistance than two-ply. Mod Bit in the ASTM D5635 puncture test. Carlisle’s Flexible FAST Adhesive increases the puncture resistance of FleeceBACK assemblies by up to 50% compared to rigid polyurethane.

GAF Master Elite Contractor seal

Why Hire a GAF Master Elite Contractor

Nobody wants to hire a Roofing Contractor who cuts corners, misses deadlines, or works without a license. But how can you ensure that you hire a professional, licensed, insured, and committed Roofing Contractor without spending hours and days doing research? Simple, you hire a Factory-Certified GAF Master Elite® Contractor!

Master Elite Gold 2011When you hire a GAF Master Elite® contractor, professionalism, prompt work, and quality service is guaranteed. To become a GAF Master Elite® contractor, a roofing contractor must prove four things:

  1. Proper Licensing: A GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractor must be properly licensed in the state or province in which they work.
  2. Adequate Insurance: In order to protect you, the customer, all GAF Master Elite® Contractors will have up-to-date and quality insurance.
  3. Proven Reputation. All GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractors have proven that they provide dependable, professional, and most of all, top-quality service.
  4. Committed to Continued Professional Training> All GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractors are guaranteed to be up to date on the best ways to ensure quality, safe, and affordable roofing services!

When you hire a GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractor, you know you will be working with a member of a truly Elite force. Only three percent of all roofing contractors have qualified to be GAF Master Elite® contractors! So why waste your time looking through ads in the newspapers and online, hoping that the Roofing Contractor you choose will live up to their advertisements. Hire a GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractor and guarantee great service and amazing quality.


storm damaged roof St. Louis, MO

How to Quickly Identify Common Roof Storm Damage

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Quickly Identifying Roof Storm Damage

In severe weather such as hail and tornados, your roof, siding, and windows can take same serious damage. And it may not be noticed until its too late, which can cause you even more problems. So here are a few quick things to look for so you can quickly identify and fix small problems so they don’t become big ones.

Roof Damage

The most common shingles are asphalt shingles; made usually of a combination of fiberglass and various organic materials. Hail and storm damage to an asphalt roof looks similar to bruising where the roof granules were knocked off. You also might find cracking, holes, or missing shingles. After a tornado you may find seams that have been split in two, and torn or missing shingles all together. This could cause serious water damage and eventually wood rot; which can threaten the structural soundness of your roof. If a large object such as a tree has fallen on your roof, there is certainly serious structural damage so use caution.

Common Signs of Roof Damage

  • Shingles that are missing
  • Bruises or dented asphalt shingles
  • Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles
  • Granules collecting in gutters or downspouts
  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling
  • Dents on vents, gutters or flashing

Siding, Stucco and Paint damage

Flying debris and high wind, hail and heavy rain are are common culprits in siding, stucco and paint damage. Look for discoloration in the paint or siding, as well as dents and cracks. If you have a stucco home, chipped siding is very common in severe weather damage.

Common signs of exterior damage

  • Dings and dents
  • Cracks and splitting
  • Holes and breaks
  • Chipping and discoloration

Window damage

If you live in a high wind area, you may want to invest in protective shutters for your windows. Even with shutters, it is not uncommon for the homeowner to find small cracks, shattering, or frame damage after a severe storm or a tornado. Be mindful of shatter windows, they are very dangerous. Also be sure to board up any broken windows until they can be repaired.

Common Signs of Window Damage

  • Shattered windows
  • Cracks and holes
  • Broken panes
  • Damaged frame
replacement windows st. louis

Triple Pane Choice Collection Replacement Windows

Choice Collection R5 Windows take energy performance to the next level with IntelliGlass Plus triple pane Low E glass and argon fill. This increases the threshold for insulating value in windows and doors to a highly efficient level.

Guardian’s ClimaGuard high-performance low E glass features microscopic layers of silver which reflect heat back to its source.

Your home is cooler in the summer, as solar heat is reflected away. Your home is warmer in the winter as furnace heat is reflected back into the home.

Choice Collection R5 windows feature three panes of glass, two lites of ClimaGuard Low E and two cavities of Argon gas filling adds extra insulation between the layers of glass.

Significant noise reduction is also achieved versus single or double pane windows.

Contact Innovative for more information on the Choice Collection of replacement windows. 



roof debris st. louis

Simple Steps to Extend the Life of Your Roof and Avoid Unexpected Costs

Unless you’re in a storm situation, replacing your roof out of pocket can be a significant investment. Being out of site to some degree, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your roofing system. But it’s one of the most costly components of your home.

The National Roofing Contractor’s Association (NRCA) reports a new roof can cost $10,000 for a 2,000 square foot roof to up to six figures for a slate roof for a larger home. The most important think you can do is to keep your roof clean. Leaves, limbs and other debris can make water move into areas where it’s not supposed to go.

You must remember though that safety should be your primary concern and focus. If you do not have the right equipment, hire a professional to inspect your roof. People do not realize the danger a ladder can cause. The ladder must extend over the gutter by at least four feet, and at the proper angle.

Enlisting a helper is also a must. Have someone hold the bottom of the ladder to make it secure. Wear soft-soled shoes for added grip, and never go barefoot. Don’t even attempt to inspect your roof if you do not have the right ladder, or the right helper, for the job. If you do call a professional, the ongoing inspection and care of your roof is another reason to call someone local.

The nature of the roofing business is to chase the storms so chances are if a storm came through, you might be visited by an out of town storm chaser. But if you need a repair done, it might be hard to reach that company again. Hiring a local company will allow you to build a relationship with someone who can get to know your property and provide service for years to come.

If you do have the right equipment for the job, here are some tips to maintaining the health of your roofing system:

  • Remove leaves and other debris from around the edges of skylights and valleys.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Test downspouts by running a hose and making sure water flows out the end. If water is not flowing properly you might tap gently to find blockages within the downspouts.
  • Place wire mesh over gutters to keep out the leaves and debris.

Your roofing professional can install gutter guards, replace worn collars around vent pipes, replace flashing and remove clogs. If you’ve had a storm in your area in the last two years, it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspection. A professional roofer can spot damage that you might miss. Hidden damage can cause more problems down the road.

Often if you uncover damage from a storm, the repair or replacement of your roof may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. A professional inspection will help determine if your roof may qualify for replacement.