Friday, January 27, 2012

Give Your HVAC Unit a Break

How much money do you spend a year on your heating a cooling for your building? Commercial energy consumption has always been high but heating and cooling can be a bill you dread receiving. Much of the costs associated with these inflated numbers are due to air leaks in your building.

Many companies now are looking into air barrier systems for their building, which is also considered a "building envelope." The building's six sides are wrapped in layers comprised by a number of different materials which helps prevent air leakage and the diffusion of air caused by wind and other sources. It assists in keeping the warm air in during the colder months and the cool air in during the warmer months. It can also help with the prevention of mold and other pollutants that can be potentially harmful to people within the structure.

Application of the Walltite foam air barrier system at
the University of Missouri School, Columbia, Missouri.

Air barrier system envelope protects entire building.

The Department of Energy says that air leakage can increase energy costs by up to 40% in colder climates and 15% in cooling costs. A good air barrier system can reduce these costs. In fact, since mechanical engineers design the HVAC units in buildings around air leakage, many times they are able to use smaller units when a building has a good air barrier system in place.

So give your HVAC unit a break and look into air barrier systems for your next building design or renovation. It will help your pocketbook, as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Roof Management Plan: Testing Your Roof for Moisture

We work with many building owners and maintenance managers who find they suddenly need to repair their building's roof and lack the funding to get it done properly. One of our clients has been working on finalizing the proposed roofing project for nearly two years. It is safe to say that a Roof Management plan for your building is important to have in place, and even though it may not guarantee funding will always be available it will provide you with solid, up-to-date evidence to provide to the proper decision makers.

In our last post we skimmed over what is considered a beginning to a good roofing management plan. In this post we will talk more about roofing inspections and how detecting moisture is determined.

There are three types of non-destructive methods for testing moisture problems which have advanced over the years to give pretty reliable results: Impedance/Capacitance, Infrared and Nuclear. However, once moisture has been determined by one of three ways is it important to undergo a core test to verify the conditions. 

Impedance/Capacitance - can be done with a hand-held meter by setting it over the roof membrane. It will determine if a specific area in the roof is wet or dry through electronic signals. This testing cannot be completed over wet or ponded areas.

Infrared - Conducted with an infrared camera used after sunset to identify temperature differences on the roof. Areas that are dry will cool off quicker than areas that hold moisture.

Nuclear - A nuclear scanning meter can test in areas of ponding water and scan up to 7 inches in depth of the roof. In the article, "Technical Details: How to Properly Determine Moisture Content in Roof Systems" author John D'Annunzio says "Testing is conducted over the entire roof area by sectioning the roof into grids . . . and recording the readings at each of these locations."

Moisture Verification: Core Cut and Test - In this process you actually drill through the entire roof and extract a core sample. After the core area is properly repaired the sample is tested to provide data of all components found in your roof. Each roof system and repair method can be identified as well as the percentage of moisture detected. Results are them provided and a plan for repair or replacement can begin.

Article in Roofing Contractor Magazine

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Roof Management Plan

Do you have a roofing management plan? It is sometimes the case that when many organization think about implementing a roofing management plan, their roofs actually need to be replaced and they are looking for immediate funding.

Most building owners or facility managers agree that regular roof inspections are important to "reduce ownership costs, reduce leak frequency and severity, extend roof life, and reduce management inefficiencies."

In order to begin your roof management plan, first start with a historical record of your building's roof. You will  need when it was installed, who installed it, what type of system, warranties, who the manufacturer was, leak and repair history.

Then you will need to actually need a roofing professional to perform a "condition assessment," both visual and non-destructive. If in-house employees are trained in roof inspections you can utilize them, as well. If you hire an outside contractor, make sure they familiar "with the design, installation, repair, and types of failure specific to the roof system being surveyed."

Your survey documentation should be complete with photos, checklists and condition report. This information will be of value for the roofing contractor you hire in the future when your roof needs repair or replaced.

We'll dive further into roof management plans on our next post.

Source: Roof Inspections: A Closer Look

Friday, January 6, 2012

Roofs Needing Repair Don't Worry About 2012 Trends

The Dodge Report forecasting 2012 construction trends says that this year will be similar to 2011 as both residential and commercial markets sporadically jump around the grid. As commercial roofing contractors who have watched the industry ebb and flow for over 35 years we understand that trends are important to watch but do not necessarily indicate the success of a company. One thing will remain the same with us: when your building's roof needs fix, you need a trust-worthy, experienced roofing professional to fix it. Simple as that.

Roofing renovation does not have to be a ghastly project to complete. There does not have to be the big tear-off expense and noise disruption. There does not  have to be the smell of tar and the headache of  employees stepping around debris trying to get in the door.

Washington Roofing has several solutions for roofing repair or new construction roofing projects. One is with fluid applied, elastomeric coating systems. These systems are sustainable, seamless and are engineered for toughness and durability.

The other roofing system Washington Roofing offers is the Spray Polyurethane Foam system, which is sprayed on foam insulation giving your building seamless, lightweight insulation with a high "R" value. This system can be used on both new roofs and roof repairs, and is perfect for unusual-shaped buildings.

Personal meetings and professional consultation is one of the most important benefits we can offer you during your research and budgeting process. It is our job to make sure you understand your options and are satisfied with the end result.