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Your Guide to Improving Rooftop Safety and Accessibility

Posted by Art Valentz on July 25, 2019

Very few people should ever get to see what it looks like on top of a commercial roof. Rooftops are unequivocally dangerous, with falls from rooftops representing over 33% of deaths in the construction industry. By this metric, building owners need to make it relatively difficult for anyone to get on top of a commercial roof, with barriers in the form of locks, special training, permission slips, and time sheets. In short, no one should be able to access your roof without learning about its safety features, getting a key from a designated individual, and logging their time.

There’s a different side to the coin, however. Once your workers have passed the hurdles you put up to prevent them from freely accessing the roof, they should be able to get around easily and safely. This means the addition of handrails to roof edges and elevated spaces, crossover ramps to traverse elevation changes and cable runs, and access platforms next to maintenance equipment. This allows workers to get to rooftop job sites and perform mission-critical job functions in comfort and safety.

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Topics: Roof Safety

How to Optimize Your Company’s Rooftop Design

Posted by Art Valentz on July 11, 2019

What’s the difference between a good rooftop design and a bad rooftop design?

Functionally speaking, a “bad” rooftop design will express itself through the results. You’ll find that a bad rooftop design requires extensive maintenance more often. A bad rooftop design will have poor fit and finish—there will be gaps between flashings and penetrations, and the edges may be composed entirely of roofing tar. You’ll begin to find leaks within months of the roof’s completion.

A bad roofing design will have poor conformity to building regulations. It may not be able to resist uplift forces. It will leak energy due to poor insulation, and you will be forced to spend more money to heat and cool the building. Between constant repairs and increased energy costs, you’ll spend more money maintaining the roof than you did on its initial construction.

Here’s the thing—there are all outcomes of poorly-optimized rooftop design. How do you catch these design flaws before they’re embodied in plywood and membrane—and before they start costing you money?

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Topics: Roof Architecture

3 Ways to Invest in Rooftop Fall Protection

Posted by Art Valentz on June 27, 2019

When someone falls, someone gets hurt—and the risk is doubled if you’re on top of a roof. Even if you fall on a roof (as opposed to falling from the roof to ground level or a lower-level roof structure), you can still be in considerable danger. That’s because a roof may contain hazards that you wouldn’t want to impact with your body, such as pipe supports, live electrical equipment, or rusted metal. There’s even a danger of falling through a roof if you happen to be standing near a weakened area or a skylight. In other words, rooftop fall protection is more important than most may think.

With so many hazards in play, it’s no wonder that roofing accidents make up over one-third of all fatalities in the construction industry. Since you believe in worker safety—plus avoiding fines and bad publicity—it’s likely that you are interested in the guidelines and techniques that make up rooftop fall protection and prevention. Here are the top four ways to get started:

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Topics: Roof Safety

Meet OSHA Guidelines with Rooftop Guardrail Systems

Posted by Art Valentz on June 6, 2019

Back in 2017, OSHA released new guidelines designed to improve safety for 112 million American workers—with a special emphasis for those who work on rooftops. Where OSHA did not previously specify safety mechanisms for workers near unprotected rooftop edges, the organization now mandates rooftop guardrail systems for those within six feet of a drop. These rules were mandated to come into effect in January 2018. If you haven’t already begun complying, now is the time.

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Topics: Roofing Management, Roof Safety

How to Maximize the Lifespan of Your Roof and Pipe Support Systems

Posted by Art Valentz on May 23, 2019

Commercial roofs have varying lifespans. TPO roofs have the shortest life, with a maximum of 20–30 years. Meanwhile, asphalt roofs can last up to 40 years, and metal roofs can last up to 45. These are simply the documented life spans as they exist on paper, however. Under real-world conditions, most commercial roofs never last as long as their projected life.

Replacing a roof is expensive in terms of materials, cost of labor, and lost productivity. There’s also a loss of investment to think about. If you invest in a commercial roof with a lifespan of 40 years and it only lasts for three decades, then your roof is suddenly amortized over a much shorter amount of time. In other words, if you can extend the lifespan of your commercial roof, then your initial investment becomes much more bearable over time.

Lastly, there’s not just the roof itself to consider. The pipe supports on your roof hold gas pipes, refrigerants, electrical and internet cables, HVAC, and more. If and when these supports break down, the equipment upon them could break, exposing your roof to a variety of hazards that range from chemical spills to fires—all of which would cause the roof to fail to meet its expected lifespan without the help of an experienced commercial roofing company.

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Topics: Roofing Management, Roofing Maintenance

Safe Solutions to Solve Common Roof Problems

Posted by Art Valentz on May 9, 2019

Your roof is a large flat surface that’s exposed directly to sunlight and the elements. In other words, there’s a high possibility for damage when you’ve installed support systems with a high potential to penetrate your roof. The common roof problems presented below depict massive costs when it comes to facility management. Here’s how to keep them in check with noninvasive pipe support solutions and products engineered by PHP Systems/Design.

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Topics: Roofing Maintenance, Roof Safety

How to Create a High-Performance, Long-Lasting Commercial Roof

Posted by Art Valentz on April 11, 2019

A high-performance roof isn’t something that happens on its own. We’ve written about this before – if you simply ask an architect to “create a roof,” you’re likely to receive a blueprint that does not correctly communicate its design intent to your builders. You need to select the right designer, hire a roofing consultant, and make sure that they collaborate productively with the contractors.  In other words, even creating a roof that lasts for as long as intended requires careful and proactive management.

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Topics: Roof Architecture

6 Reasons Why Commercial Roofing Insulation Matters

Posted by Art Valentz on March 21, 2019

If you’re constructing a new roof, you may ask yourself if premium insulation is worth the cost. After all, it’s a pricey material, it’s expensive to install, and building costs are high. If you look past the up-front cost, however, you’ll see that paying more attention to your insulation (and perhaps paying a little bit more money) is an investment that will result in improvements that pay for themselves. Here are six reasons why you should care about commercial roofing insulation:

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Topics: Installation Tips, Construction

The 7 Most Common Commercial Roofing Challenges

Posted by Art Valentz on February 28, 2019

Very few roofs end up lasting for their projected lifespan. Any issue that arises during the installation of a roof will inevitably become magnified over time as sunlight, rain, snow, hail, and debris do their work. Ironically, even the process of inspecting a roof can in some ways bring about its early demise. Here are just a few of the biggest challenges that a commercial roof may face over its lifespan.

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Topics: Roofing Management, Roof Safety

Rainy Day in the Office: Why is My Commercial Roof Leaking?

Posted by Art Valentz on February 8, 2019

A commercial building with a leaky roof is not great for business, no matter what your company does. Office workers don’t like working in leaky buildings, and retail shoppers don’t want to shop in water-logged stores and supermarkets. Leaks can lead to costly slip-and-fall injuries, ruin stored merchandise, and damage flooring – to say nothing of the cost of repairing the roof itself. What can you do about leaks and, more importantly, prevent them from happening in the first place?

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Topics: Roofing Maintenance

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