Welcome to Friendly Roofing, the commercial roofing contractor Chicago businesses have trusted for over 20 years. If you’re looking for a commercial roofer you can count on, you’ve come to the right place. Our Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing was designed to help all our commercial clients to get the answers they need about commercial roofing, quickly, easily, and right here at our one-stop-shop.
We are firm believers that knowledge is power, and we want our clients to feel like a part of the roofing process from start to finish, that’s why we keep you updated every step of the way.
Get To Know Friendly Roofing
#1. The Friendly Roofing Difference
When it comes to commercial roofing across Chicago and the surrounding areas, Friendly Roofing always come ready to work. With more than twenty years of experience delivering the best in local roofing, our workmanship is second to none—and we’ve got the warranties to back that up.
#2. The Friendly Roofing Service
As one of Chicago’s most trusted commercial roofing contractors, we offer a comprehensive commercial roofing service. From start to finish—and yes, that includes a free commercial roofing estimate anywhere in Chicago—we’ve got everything covered.
Commercial Roof Repair Chicago
If your roofing has been compromised—whether by rain, storm damage, fire damage, general wear, or any number of strange Chicago weather anomalies—our emergency roof repair crew can get to you fast.
We’ll inspect your roof, identify the issue, and get your flashing, seams, and roofing air- and water-safe. Short-term, our focus is to prevent further damage to your property. Once that’s done, we can go beyond the quick fix to protect your investment and future-proof your property.
Commercial Roof Maintenance Chicago
To get the most out of your investment, and be sure your roofing stands the test of time, you need a little maintenance. Regular inspections—part of Friendly Roofing’s professional service—ensure damage is addressed fast, and stops a minor problem turning into a major, costly catastrophe. We’ll also make sure your roof is draining properly, address drainage issues, clean gutters, and manage your maintenance plan for your ultimate peace of mind.
Commercial Roof Replacement Chicago
Maybe you’ve inherited an old building and its roof is well past its prime. Maybe you haven’t invested in roof maintenance like you should have. Whatever the reason, Friendly Roofing’s professional contracting team can help you decide if a roof replacement is right for you, and go through your options moving forward. As the commercial roofing contractor Chicago trusts, we guarantee that our roofing inspections are transparent, honest, and provided with integrity. We will never ask our clients to waste money on a service you don’t need.
Commercial Roof Installation Chicago
Our commercial roofing installation service can provide a roofing solution that will easily deliver decades of high-quality use. To get the most out of your building and investment, choose Friendly Roofing for all new build roof installations.
Our clients choose us for many different reasons. We pride ourselves on being a commercial roofing contractor Chicago businesses and homeowners can count on. And we do that by delivering on our key focus points:
• We’re locally owned and locally operated, so we understand our community
• We offer an industry-leading Price Match guarantee on all our work
• Our prices are competitive, fair, and transparent—and you never need to worry about hidden costs with Friendly Roofing
• We offer the comprehensive King of Roof Warranties—we’ll tell you more about that in a minute
• All our roofing products are backed by reputable suppliers and industry-leading manufacturers
• We are dedicated to delivering a professional, friendly, honest service to every customer
• We offer a full suite of roofing services across Chicagoland
• We provide free roof estimates across Chicago and the surrounding areas
• We are Better Business Bureau certified for your peace of mind
• We hold comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ comp insurance
#3. The Friendly Roofing Ethos
You can trust our crew at Friendly Roofing to take care of your roof—and your investment—while we stay fair and competitive with our pricing. When you make Friendly Roofing your first call for residential and commercial Chicago roofing services, we’re confident you won’t be disappointed.
A lot of our work is through referral. New clients are referred to us by past clients who were happy with our services, and by ongoing clients who we work alongside on new projects. We believe that building these types of long-term relationships within our community is the best way to assure local businesses and homeowners that we’re here to stay—we’re in Chicago for the long haul.
#4. The Friendly Roofing Free Estimate Service
We think it’s vital that our clients get all the information you need to make an informed roofing decision—from the start. This is why we offer our Chicago-wide free roof estimate service. Our expert roofing contractors will travel across Chicago and her surrounding areas to check your roof and provide an in-depth analysis of your options.
If you’re wondering why we would offer this service for free, the answer is simple: we think every property owner needs to know the state of their roof. For starters, your roof is more affordable to maintain than to replace. And secondly, a good maintenance plan can extend the life of your roof by valuable years. So when you want to get the most bang for your buck, let us help you take care of your roof.
#5. The Friendly Roofing Commitment
No matter where you are in Chicago or the surrounding areas, we can help you with your roofing needs. We’ve been in the roofing industry for 24 years (and counting) and along with hundreds of roofs, we’ve also built a reputation for honesty, integrity, and quality.
We couldn’t do that if we weren’t committed to fair pricing and excellent workmanship. To honor our commitment to fair pricing, we offer a Price Match Guarantee that gives our clients confidence. We know we’re worth the price we ask, and we’re also confident that you’re getting the absolute best in value for money.
Our Price Match guarantee keeps us competitive, but not at our clients’ expense. We never cut corners. Our high-quality workmanship means we only need to do the job once. Our materials and roofing solutions stand the test of time, too. Finally, we back up our work and materials with industry-leading warranties, so you can always count on Friendly Roofing.
#6. The Friendly Roofing King of Roof Warranties
Commercial roofing is a major investment. So for total peace of mind for all our clients, we offer the King of Roof Warranties.
The King of Roof Warranties gives every client of Friendly Roofing the reassurance that you’ll get the results you’ve paid for. From product recommendation to roofing solution to workmanship and longevity, our comprehensive King of Roof Warranties means we keep you covered for the life of your roof.
Friendly Roofing Presents: Your Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing
Chapter 1: Commercial Roofing Repair vs. Replacement
One of the most common questions our team at Friendly Roofing fields is: am I going to have to replace this roof?
Understandably, there’s a little—or a lot of—trepidation in that question. A total roof replacement is seen as an exorbitantly expensive process that shuts down business for weeks, or months, at a time.
Yes, roof replacement is a big investment, but it doesn’t need to disrupt business. And often, all your roofing needs is some minor repair work to get it performing at its best again.
So, in this first chapter of our Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing, we’re starting with Chicago business owners’ most frequently asked question: should my roof be repaired or replaced?
When Roof Repairs Are Enough
If you’ve maintained your roof well throughout its life, you’ll already be familiar with a roofing report. These outline the repairs you need, or your commercial roofing contractor’s recommendations. But maybe you’re looking at a new property and trying to establish the maintenance costs moving forward. Or maybe your property’s roofing is getting to the end of its life, and the repair frequency is picking up.
None of these factors mean that you necessarily need to sign up for a roof replacement.
Small fixes are likely to be more cost-effective for an older roof, even when these are increasing in frequency. Our contractors—and our behind the scenes team—can help you work out if your roofing repair bill is likely to outstrip the cost of a total roof replacement in the years to come.
If the number of repairs you’re doing in a year—or the severity of the issues—is increasing past the “break and fix” costing threshold, the time has come to consider replacing your commercial roof.
When Roof Replacement Is the Logical Step
Roof replacement becomes necessary for a number of reasons: as we stated above, the cost of repairs may be more than the cost of a roof replacement in the long-term. Roof damage may be costing you money in water restoration, or putting the interior of your property at risk. Finally, massive damage may have condemned your roof before its time—damage from storms, fallen debris, accidents, etc.
Firstly, if your roof damage is caused by an environmental or natural disaster, our guys can help you work alongside your insurers to have the remediation and replacement work done quickly and effectively.
Regardless of who is at fault for the damage, we can conduct a full roofing inspection and present you with all the information you need to get your roof replacement underway. From quality products and top of the line roofing solutions, to clear communication and outstanding warranties, we’ll have your property back at its peak in no time.
When your commercial roofing is somewhere in between repair and replacement
Between roof repair and roof replacement, you may have seen roof restoration advertised. Restoration, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t restore your roof to ‘as new’ condition. With over two decades in the roofing industry, we can assure our clients with absolute certainty that the only way to get your roof looking ‘as new’ is to replace it.
But restoration work can have its advantages, if handled by a professional team of restoration experts. It can also be a good option for certain businesses, in certain areas, and with a certain level of roofing damage. If you think commercial roofing restoration might be the right fit for your property, get in touch with our team at Friendly Roofing to discuss your options.
Not sure what you need?
As the commercial roofing contractor Chicago property owners count on, we’ve got the technical expertise to help you with your roofing recommendations. We can provide a free roofing estimate, inspection service, and make recommendations based around your roof, your situation, and your budget. Don’t get anxious about the state of your commercial roofing, get active!
Chapter 2: Commercial Roofing Systems
As your friendly local commercial roofing company, it’s our responsibility to understand the latest in commercial roofing technology and trends. That’s the only way we can consistently deliver the best roofing solutions to you.
There’s a lot to keep on top of, too. Recently, new commercial roofing technologies and products have come to the forefront of the industry—providing exceptional weather resistance, environmental resilience, energy efficiency, and longevity.
In this chapter, we’re exploring some of the most common commercial roofing systems you’ll see in the Chicago area. We’ll tell you what they do, what they are, and where they best fit in the commercial roofing market.
Single Ply Roofing
Single Ply roofing systems are probably the most well-known roofing solutions for commercial use. Products like TPO, PVC, and EPDM are all single-ply roofing systems.
They’re known for being robust, flexible, hardy, and resilient against extreme weather conditions. Their flexibility also means they aren’t prone to peeling and cracking.
Single-ply roofing systems—much as the name suggests—are designed to be installed as a single layer, made of either thermoset or thermoplastic materials.
Single-ply roofing systems—often referred to as membrane systems—are delivered as a roll of varying widths or thicknesses. This roll is measured out and installed either through ballasting, mechanical attachment, or chemical adhesive. Heat welding is then used to seal the seams and flashing.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing Material
TPO roofing is a popular choice for low slope and flat roofing across the U.S. and it consists of three components:
• The Thermoplastic Polyolefin base
• Polyester-reinforced fabric center—sometimes referred to as scrim
• Thermoplastic Polyolefin compounded top ply
• Standard fillers in the manufacture of TPO roofing can include metal oxy sulfate, wollastonite, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.
TPO roofing is out-performing other flat roofing systems in the current market, making it one of the fastest-growing commercial roofing solutions of 2020. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, TPO roofing currently holds around 35% of the commercial roofing market. Although it can come in a variety of colors, the most popular choices are white, grey, and tan—which are reflective and helps deflect the sun’s heat away from industrial buildings.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing Material
PVC roofing is made up of two layers of polyvinyl chloride sandwiching a polyester reinforcement scrim. With PVC roofing systems, you have a durable, fire-resistant membrane with a top layer that contains UV resistant additives. It’s also able to be welded for water-tightness or to connect a pre-manufactured rib to the surface, giving it the look of standing seam roofing—at a fraction of the cost.
Another benefit to PVC roofing, which has become a major selling point over the past few years, is its role as an environmentally friendly roofing solution. PVC is fully recyclable and can be reused in new roofing.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing Material
EPDM—which is effectively made of ethylene and propylene—is available in either black or white. Our suppliers stock a variety of widths, ranging from just over 7.5 feet to over 45 feet, and it either 45 mm or 60 mm thickness.
EPDM roofing is low maintenance, durable—lasting up to 50 years—and resilient. Thanks to its rubber membrane, it’s flexible, strong, and able to stand up to the most extreme Chicago weather. It allows vapor to escape without letting in moisture, and reflects heat.
Like PVC roofing, EPDM is easier on the environment than traditional roofing methods. It is recyclable, with less than 1% of your EPDM roofing product ending up in landfill when your roofing is eventually replaced.
Modified Bitumen Roofing (Mod Bit) Roofing Material
This is a blend of asphalt and a unique chemical polymer. It is a flexible, temperature resistant roofing solution that can be applied in multiple layers, much like the next system on our list.
One of the most appealing characteristics of modified bitumen roofing is that it’s able to be installed at any time of year. Because commercial roofing contractors can apply it in a number of ways—self-adhesive sheeting, hot mopping, or through torch application—it’s possible to melt the seams together and form the required strength of bond regardless of the local temperature.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Roofing Material
Built-Up roofing systems are your classic flat roof / low slope roof solutions—and one that’s been around for over a century. Essentially, if your building hasn’t had its roof replaced in the past 25 years, you are likely using this system right now.
Built-Up roofing—like the name implies—is a build-up of 3-5 different layers that provide varying levels and types of protection. In areas that experience extreme weather highs and lows, BUR systems are hardy, durable, and waterproof solution.
BUR systems alternate between plies (layers) of asphalt bonding materials, felt, fabric, and gravel, to withstand heat, storm damage, and foot traffic.
Easily the most popular roofing style for low slope and steep roofs, and specifically in the residential roofing industry, this is an attractive, long-lasting, incredibly durable type of roofing.
Metal roofing options are nearly limitless and can be customized in color and style to suit your building’s needs, use, and style. Metal roofing lasts a lot longer than traditional shingles, too.
One of the major downsides to metal roofing in commercial installations is the price. Metal roofing over large areas like in commercial installations is extremely costly, mainly due to the high level of skill involved and the labor requirement.
If the cost isn’t a limiting factor for your business, metal roofing has unbeatable longevity and visual appeal. It requires separate insulation—as do many roofing solutions—and can be considerably complicated over non-conventional commercial building shapes.
Liquid Applied Roofing
Liquid roofing is exactly what it sounds like:
a liquid—usually constructed in place with resin and reinforcing polyester—sprayed or rolled onto your roofing area to create a roof.
Because it is applied in liquid for it is ideal for hard to reach areas and offers excellent waterproofing capability. One of the primary benefits of liquid roofing is that your business needn’t close at all whilst it is being applied—it doesn’t emit harmful or dangerous odors, it’s non-invasive, and it’s quick to apply.
Roof Coating Systems
Not so much a commercial roofing system on its own, this is a fluid-applied membrane. It is applied—typically to metal roofing—to reduce energy consumption, provide waterproofing, extend the life of your roofing, and keep your building cool.
You may have seen a green roof already. Chicago, Illinois is one of the world’s leading cities for sustainable green roofing. Although we are slightly behind schedule, our great city set ambitious climate change plans to lay 6,000 green roofs across the city by 2020, to combat the urban heat island effect and promote biodiversity. At last count, over 500 city buildings were home to a green roof.
And we’re not surprised—green roofing is a fascinating, enjoyable roofing solution that has many benefits:
• Naturally insulating to reduce your property’s energy costs—Chicago City Hall reduced its annual heating costs by $5,000 after their green roof was installed.
• Absorbs water effectively to lessen the demand on your drainage system
• Improve air quality by reducing the “urban heat island” effect
• Help preserve habitat and biodiversity in urban areas
• Provide a unique and attractive feature for your property, business, and staff
One of the biggest drawbacks to green roofing is cost. With all considerations—waterproofing, plants, treatments, and labor—the price of green roofing can be upwards of $20 per square foot. Whilst there are considerable long-term cost savings and the potential for your roofing to last an additional 10-20 years, short-term costing can be an obstacle for many businesses.
We have a passion for designing, repairing, replacing, and installing an exhaustive list of commercial roofing systems. That’s part of what makes us the commercial roofing contractor Chicago can count on. When our clients know what they want, we’re here to guide them through the process and deliver the quality of the roofing they expect. When they need guidance or recommendations, we can provide all the information and feedback they need to achieve their roofing goals.
Whatever your commercial roofing system, and whatever condition it’s in, Friendly Roofing will deliver the best in workmanship, products, and service—every time.
Chapter 3: Maintenance for Commercial Roofing
Your roofing is likely to be one of your largest property expenses, and a pivotal part of our business as the commercial roofing contractor Chicago can count on. But another part of commercial roofing that holds just as much value—although it may seem a little more boring from the outset—is commercial roofing maintenance. Trust us—there’s nothing boring about adding years to your roof’s lifespan.
And the good news is that there are some simple preventative steps you can take to protect your investment, and reduce the cost impact on your business further down the track.
In this chapter, we’re exploring the importance of roofing maintenance. We’re also showing you how to create a solid maintenance plan that helps your roof to stand the test of time.
The Value of Roof Inspections
There are two reasons our professional commercial roofing contractors stress the importance of regular roof inspections.
1. The roofing manufacturers we partner with—some of the most reputable names in the roofing industry—often list preventative maintenance inspections in their warranty terms and conditions. These manufacturers want to ensure their products are being used to the right specifications, and that you’re getting the best possible performance out of their brand.
2. Getting a regular roof inspection done is more than just taking a quick look at your roof. Our team is trained to catalog any issues and damage. You could say we’re looking for problems—and in a way, that’s true. But this isn’t about making my money suggesting repairs you could do without. We pride ourselves on working with integrity and transparency, but we also stand by our roofing installations. If your roof isn’t performing well, we want it fixed as much as you do.
The Value of Preventative Roof Maintenance
Our teamwork to proactively head off issues with your roofing before they arise. The simplest, most straightforward way to do this is through a detailed roofing inspection and a short checklist of maintenance tasks. Every business has its maintenance processes, and your commercial roofing is no different—for peak performance, this is a product that needs to be taken care of.
The goal is simple: to make sure there is nothing going on with your roof that you don’t know about. Call it peace of mind—we do! Minor issues with your roofing can easily spiral out of control when they are exposed to the extremes of the Chicago climate, causing leaks, water damage, and property damage that can set any business back.
We recommend a different inspection frequency for older roofing and newer roofing, but after 20 years in the roofing industry, we recommend that you call us to carry out your maintenance plan twice a year.
The Value of Seasonal Roof Maintenance
None of us are strangers to the extreme Chicago weather. With bone-chilling winters and scorching summers, commercial properties need to be having their roofing inspected at the start of each season.
In many cases, your own maintenance team will be able to carry out some general maintenance that lessens the risk of roofing damage and helps you move into the next season confidently. For everything else, our team at Friendly Roofing are ready to help you.
Spring Roofing Maintenance
The focus in your spring maintenance plan will be preparing for the onslaught of summer heat and potential storms. As the snow and ice thaw, our team can assess your property for any damage that was hidden in the freezing temperatures.
During winter, roofing materials tend to contract naturally. Because many commercial roofing solutions flex and expand, your roofing is less at risk of cracking or peeling, but it still pays dividends to ensure there are no integrity issues in the roofing material itself.
As the snow and ice thaw, we’ll also be able to assess and remedy any water that “ponds” on your roof. Ponding water needs to be cleared away so as not to put undue pressure on your roofing material.
Leaves and tree debris run the risk of blocking your drains and gutters and preventing water from running off the building.
As part of your spring maintenance program, it’s a good idea to identify any potential weaknesses in your roof that could be at risk in a summer storm. As your roofing expands under the intense Chicago heat, we want you to feel confident of its performance.
Fall Roofing Maintenance
Our main mission in fall roofing maintenance is preparing your roof to withstand heavy loads of snow, ice buildup, and the repetitive freeze/thaw/freeze cycle that causes your roofing to expand and contract on a nearly daily schedule.
Since commercial roofing products are selected for flexibility, we are confident that a new roofing system can withstand the constant stretch. But it is still vital to ensure your roofing is ready for the burden. At the same time, clearing away debris, clearing gutters and drains, checking seams, and potentially trimming back trees around your property, are all components of winter-proofing your commercial premises.
If you’re ready to get your commercial roofing season-proofed, you’re not too late. Our crew at Friendly Roofing can create a comprehensive maintenance plan to put you in a confident position as we move into summer and beyond.
Chapter 4: Commercial Roofing FAQs
One of the best things about being a locally-owned and operated commercial roofing contractor in Chicago is the conversations we have with our clients and potential clients. We understand that you have a lot of questions about your roofing—and sometimes it’s hard to find the answers.
We are firm believers that knowledge is power, and we want our clients to feel empowered when it comes to protecting their investment—whether we’re talking about your home roofing or commercial roofing.
So to that end, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular questions we’re asked—and the short answers.
Want to know more? Feel free to drop us a line and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know. We’ll even throw in a free roof estimate, anywhere in Chicago and her surrounding areas.
How long should my commercial roof last?
Short answer: it depends. We know, we know, nobody likes that answer.
But no two commercial roof solutions are the same. Your business, your activities, your materials, your maintenance plan—all these factors influence how long your roof will last.
Generally speaking, though, single ply membrane systems—like EPDM, and PVC—have a life expectancy of 15-30 years. Garden roofs can last another 10-20 years on top of that, and some forms of TPO roofing have a life expectancy of 50 years. Mod Bit has a life span of 10-25 years, which is similar to that of BUR roofing.
Metal roofing, asphalt shingle, and tile roofing have an estimated life span of between 20 and 50 years.
Climate, weather conditions, workmanship, and specific product choices can all affect how long your roof lasts.
How can I make my roofing last longer?
1. Have your roofing installed by a professional commercial roofing contractor Chicago businesses trust
2. Use products manufactured for your conditions with solid warranties
3. Be consistent in your seasonal roofing maintenance
How do I choose the right roofing for my building?
Earlier in this guide, we discussed your various commercial roofing options. By exploring these options with a professional commercial roofing contractor, you can make the right selection for your business activities and building type.
My roof is leaking. What do I do?
Never ignore a leak. Small leaks can do a surprising amount of damage to your building and contents—and fast. Your best option is to put a bucket under the leak to catch the water, and then call us. When it comes to commercial roofing, we are your emergency experts—we’ll inspect the issue, detail it for you, and carry out any repairs. Better yet, we can usually do it all within 24 hours.
How long will it take for you to install my roof?
Every roof is different, so it’s hard to say. What we can say is that we deliver on time, on budget, and to the most exacting standards—so the time frame we give you will be the time frame you get. That’s part of what makes us the commercial roofing contractor Chicago businesses trust.
If you need a better answer than that, we get it. Get in touch with our team to book your free roof estimate, and we’ll be able to give you a detailed estimate for the work you need to be done.
What areas do you service?
You can get a (very long) list of our service areas here, or you can take our word for it: we service Chicago and all her surrounding areas. Not sure if we service your area? Call us on (773) 416-3333 and we’ll let you know.
What can I do to improve my roof’s energy efficiency?
A roof coating system is a great way to add insulation and reduce the amount of money you spend on heating and cooling your commercial premises. As an added bonus, many of these systems qualify for a tax rebate, too.
What do I do when my roof gets dirty?
You can call us to clean it for you. We are the commercial roofing contractor Chicago can count on to get your roofing on track, and looking its best.If you’re not comfortable removing debris and leaves, we can do it. We then clean and coat your roof, check it for leaks, and give you an overall report on your roofing.
How does my flat roof drain water?
Your roof drains water through a combination of drainage holes that direct the water off the roof and along a drainage channel. The water does not build up or pool on the flat roof. If you notice pooling on your flat roof, please call your roofing professionals immediately.