News from Flat Roofs By Pegram

5 Common Maintenance Tips For Your Flat Roof

A TPO Flat Roof will last you many years. Being aware of maintenance factors will help ensure you get the longest life possible out of your commercial roof. Here are 5 common maintenance issues you should be aware of:

1. Gutters and Drains
With regular inspections and proper maintenance, gutters and drains will keep your flat roof in good condition. However, if they’re not kept up with serious roof damage can occur. Gutters and drains may also need to be tightened and open joints may need to be sealed from time to time. Call a professional to have regular gutter cleanings and to fix any blockages.

2. Bird-Related Problems
Every roof is susceptible to bird-related problems. Birds will sometimes break off pieces of roofing material, add debris onto a roof, and other pesky things. If a bird has found your roof as a good home base, they’re likely building their nest which can create a blockage. This means water won’t be able to escape the roof and drain correctly.

If you see signs of nesting or bird activity, call a qualified wildlife control expert. Some birds are protected by the The Migratory Bird Treaty making it illegal to remove any bird, nest, or egg.

3. Trim Nearby Trees
If you have trees with branches that hang over or touch your roof, trim them back. You don’t want any branches to fall onto or rub up against and scrape your roof. Moss can also make its way from a nearby tree onto your roof and begin to spread, harming your roof.

4. Watch For Pile Ups
Unless you’re growing a rooftop garden (and we suspect you’re not) sweep off leaves and dirt that can accumulate and turn into mulch over time. In the winter, be aware of standing snow that puts extra weight and strain on your roof. Consider hiring a professional for snow removal as many injuries occur each year.

5. Check Your Flashing
Regularly check the flashing for cracked caulking, which can be easily removed and replaced. Don’t wait for a leak or a problem to arise.

If you’re following regular maintenance, be sure to read our post on when is a roofing issue an insurance claim.

You can always call us at 757-537-1945 to a free estimate or inspection to help you get the most out of your commercial or industrial flat roof.

Mule-Hide TPO is superior to other TPO roofing products

We use Mule-Hide TPO roofing products. We’ve used different TPO products through the years. Through our experience it’s superior to the other TPO roofing options. Why do we think that? We’re glad you asked. Let’s dig in.

Mule-Hide the company has been around since 1906. They started manufacturing shingles, siding and other roofing accessory products. Being around for over 100 years, they know a thing or two about roofing products. They manufacture and sell many roofing products from membranes to adhesives to acrylic & silicone coatings to drains to flashing and so much more. With so many products each product will work with each of their products. That way it’s not a matter of getting this or that and HOPING it will work with their product. If it’s all Mule-Hide it will work.

Mule-Hide’s TPO has several benefits that not all TPO manufacturers have. It’s environmentally better as it’s free of chlorine and has no plasticizer migration. It’s also 100% recyclable. It’s easy to install by a professional installer like Flat Roofs by Pegam because it comes in 8’, 10’ & 12’ sections for less seams during installation which means less installation costs. It has a thicker top ply; more product on top of the scrim where needed most. Depending on the product chosen, they stand behind their products with a strong warranty.

TPO roofs have many benefits not specific to Mule-Hide, but still worth mentioning. It is an energy efficient roof. It reflects up to 78% of the sun’s rays when using white. Other colors are available, but may not reflect as much of the sun’s rays. Certainly a prime candidate for here in Hampton Roads/Tidewater! TPO keeps moisture out, yet it’s lightweight. It can handle almost any environment from heat to cold to full sun to not so much sun. TPO is flexible during installation AND stays flexible during the life of the product. How many things have you left in the sun for an extended amount of time can do that?! That leads us to our next point. Unlike some roofing solutions, TPO can be fixed. TPO can even be cleaned to a “like-new” appearance. Looking to sell your building? Having the roof look like-new despite it having some age in it could help with the sell. It also looks great to your tenants.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that a TPO roof is resistant to:

  • Fire
  • Airborne Bacteria
  • Industrial pollutants
  • Moisture
  • Extreme cold
  • Downpours
  • Rooftop traffic
  • Impacts
  • Tears
  • Punctures

Flat Roofs by Pegram has extensive knowledge in the installation and repair, if needed, of TPO roofs. Please contact us for a free estimate or call (757) 537-1945.

When Is A Roofing Issue An Insurance Claim?

If you have an industrial flat roof and suspect there’s a problem but aren’t sure if it’s worth calling Flat Roofs By Pegram, please keep reading. Roofing issues, if not addressed, can lead to more significant problems down the road.

It’s important to keep up with maintenance on commercial and industrial roofing. But, sometimes the problem stems from something that cannot be fixed with proper maintenance. More importantly, the problem could be covered by your insurance company.

We’re very familiar with the insurance process and can help determine if it’s an eligible issue. If so, we’ll work with the insurance company to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

On the other hand, the lack of proper maintenance of your roof can effect your ability to file an insurance claim down the road. Next week we’ll review our Top 5 Maintenance Tips for your industrial flat roof.

Click here or call us at 757-537-1945 for a free inspection to review your roofing concern.

Flat Roof Repair or Replacement Hampton Roads VA

What’s new about TPO in the roofing industry?

TPO, or Thermoplastic Polyolefin, has been around since the 1970s, however it wasn’t widely used until the 1990s/2000s. Why? For a very long time Build-Up Roofing or BUR was used. You might remember seeing crews on a roof with mops slopping around a black tar-looking material. Build-Up Roofs were the mainstay for many years! When TPO first came on the scene, roofing professionals and their clients wanted to first see how it performed and were understandably hesitant to embrace it. Here we are several years later and today, TPO is without question a very popular, cost effective, viable & innovative flat roof solution.

Before we get into the innovations of TPO there is something just as important. Innovations are great IF used properly. Think of a wrench. A wrench works great as a wrench; a tool for tightening and loosening things. Try using a wrench like a hammer, and it doesn’t work so well. It CAN do the job,  but not well. A similar scenario can be stated about TPO installation. If TPO is installed by technicians that are not licensed and certified to install TPO, it can be like the wrench/hammer example.  They can do the job, but not necessarily well. Furthermore, it could become a VERY expensive mistake as you’ll have to repair or even worse, replace the roof earlier than expected. That being the case, make sure you use a contractor, such as Flat Roofs by Pegram, that are licensed and certified to make sure you get the full life of your new TPO roof.

One more point worth making regarding installation. Many times TPO roofs are a better alternative to other roofing solutions price-wise. However, be very careful. There are some TPO manufacturers that are cheaper, but you could be risking additional expense due to an inferior product. Do your homework to find out what’s being used, how long the company has been around, how long the installer has been around, and if they’re certified. And finally, find out what type of warranty is offered.

One of the innovations of TPO is energy savings. Whether you choose a white, gray, or even black membrane, it will reflect damaging sun rays, reducing the heat in and on your building, and in turn, reducing your HVAC expenses. Even non-HVAC areas such as warehouses and vehicle repair shops benefit because the heat is reflected off of the building in the warmer months. These same energy savings can help with the decision of going with TPO for a long-term solution and the initial cost to install it. One more thing. Since TPO reflects the sun’s rays, it reduces the chance of cracking and material failure due to high temperatures that other roofing systems encounter.

Another innovation of a TPO roof is its resistance to both mildew & corrosion. If you actually see mildew, which you can’t with an aggregate or rock/pebble type roof, it can be dealt with by a contractor. On a similar note, since it’s a membrane rather than aggregate or rock/pebble type roof, it’s very smooth. You can see everything including the welded seams. Even untrained eyes can see if something isn’t correct and take quick action.

Did you know that many TPO products are Energy Star rated? They are. In some cities and municipalities, incentives and rebates might be available for building(s) using an Energy Star-rated roofing system such as TPO. Please check with your local city or municipality to find out if that’s the case for the location of your building.

In our area, (Hampton Roads, Tidewater and North Carolina) we have four distinct seasons, however we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this. In locations that are hot and sunny year round, basically having only one hot season, a TPO roof might not be the best option. Although TPO is rated for temperatures above 250 degrees for over 60 consecutive days, there is a possibility that TPO could fail in a hot-all-year-long type of climate.  Again since we have seasons this doesn’t apply here.

As we mentioned at the beginning, TPO roofing hasn’t been around as long as some of the older flat roof roofing solutions, but it’s a very viable, cost effective and innovative solution for flat roof buildings. Please contact us for a free estimate or call (757) 537-1945.

Why White TPO is Superior Roofing

What’s a TPO roof? A TPO, Thermoplastic Polyolefin, roof is a thin rubber like single ply roofing material for low-slope roofs. It’s been used on commercial and industrial roofs for quite a while now. It’s a great alternative to PVC, EPDM & Tar and Gravel or Built-Up Roof (BUR).

TPO roofs usually come in white, grey, and tan. They do have other colors. However, white, grey, and tan are the most used colors. Can a white TPO roof actually be green? How will it benefit your flat roof? We’re glad you asked.

How in the world can a white TPO roof be green rather than white? The benefits can be to both your building and the environment in money savings and being more environmental friendly. Probably one of the biggest benefits of installing a white TPO roof is the cooling costs of your building. Since it’s white, it will reflect heat rather than absorb it which, in turn, will reduce your cooling costs. White TPO will also reflect the suns UV rays rather than absorbing them making the roof more UV resistant which also makes your roof, potentially, last longer saving you money in repair and replacement costs.

Other ways that a white TPO roof is actually green:

  • It stays flexible throughout it’s lifespan. Furthermore, that same flexibility allows for building movement which will reduce ripping or tearing.
  • It meets and/or exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR specifications.
  • It’s 100% recyclable. Most other roofing systems are not!
  • It’s algae resistant.
  • It’s chemical resistant. Think HVAC systems and such on the roof that have chemicals in/on them.
  • Contains no chlorine.
  • From an aesthetic point of view, since it’s a smooth installation it stays clean looking longer.

We have to deviate just a bit. Regardless of color chosen (white, grey or tan), TPO roofs are considered seamless since the bond is so strong. It can be bonded in 1 of 3 ways: mechanically attached, full adhered/heat welded or ballasted to the base surface of the roof itself. That not only makes stronger seams, but it also makes for a stronger roofing material that resists tearing, cutting and penetration. Since it’s considered seamless it’s also highly resistant to wind damage and offers better leak protection.

Flat Roofs by Pegram has extensive knowledge in the installation and repair, if needed, of TPO roofs, including white. Please email us or call us, (757) 537-1945, for more information.

TPO vs Tar and Gravel or Built-Up Roof (BUR) Flat Roofs

Some commercial and residential roofs use Tar & Gravel or Built-Up Roof (BUR) as a roofing solution. Let’s look at both solutions. Both solutions work on a little to no slope type of roof.

First let’s define what a Tar & Gravel or Built-Up Roof (BUR) is. It’s made up of 3 to 5 laminated layers, hot tar and roofing felt. It also has a layer of bitumen and an aggregate top layer. It’s been used for well over 100 years. It works, but there are some disadvantages which we’ll get into shortly.

What’s a TPO roof? As we’ve mentioned in other posts, a TPO, Thermoplastic Polyolefin, roof is a thin rubber like single ply roofing material for low-slope roofs. It’s been used on commercial and industrial roofs since the late 1980s in both the US & Europe. It was initially used in pond liners and the auto industry. It is an alternative solution to other roofing materials such as PVC, EPDM & others and usually cheaper.

So what gives? I have a flat roof what should I choose for a roofing solution: TPO or Tar & Gravel? Let’s looks at the advantages and disadvantage of both.

Both TPO & Tar & Gravel can be about the same price depending on the installer and product used. However, that’s just about the only point where they are the same. Often times you will find that TPO is actually cheaper with many advantages whereas Tar & Gravel has more disadvantages.

When it comes to environmental questions both help with UV light in that it will reflect or absorb the UV light for roof longevity. However, TPO is cooler in the summer and warmer in the  winter due to TPO reflecting and absorbing heat depending on the color used since TPO can be white, black or gray.

What are other environmental considerations? A Tar & Gravel roof with tar, felt and fiberglass isn’t recyclable at all. Whereas, A TPO roof is 100% recyclable. As anyone that has ever been around tar knows, it smells. It’s bad for the installers as well as the people around it when it’s being installed. Granted it’s a short-lived inconvenience for the building owner, not so much for the installers. They deal with it frequently. A TPO roof doesn’t have that smell, is safe for the installers and is energy star rated. A Tar & Gravel roof is not due to inconsistencies in depth. More on that later.

What about installation? A Tar & Gravel roof can take longer to install than a TPO roof as it has to be “created” on site. Remember the smell we mentioned earlier? A Tar & Gravel roof, since it’s “created” on site doesn’t have a consistent thickness. You will have some areas that are thinner than other areas. Whereas a TPO roof is manufactured so thickness is consistent across the roof. Both Tar & Gravel and TPO use heat to install but in VERY different ways. Tar & Gravel, as mentioned above, has multiple layers which involves heated layers. Did we mention the smell? Whereas TPO uses heat to “heat weld” the seams. One final point worth mentioning. Depending on the thickness of the Tar & Gravel roof your roof may need to be reinforced to accommodate the additional weight vs. a TPO roof which is no issue with regard to weight.

Let’s consider if something goes wrong. Both roofing solutions can be walked on. Both are waterproof depending on how well the installer does the install. But what if a leak happens? Leaks in a Tar & Gravel roof can be very difficult to find. Think about it from this perspective. Try finding a water path when pouring water through rocks in a garden. It’s not easy. It goes all over the place. That’s how a Tar & Gravel roof is since it has aggregate. That’s not to state that a leak can’t be found, but it’s not as easy as TPO and could be more challenging to repair. Whereas a TPO roof leak can be found and sealed using different techniques. It’s similar to finding and sealing your favorite pool float or inner-tube. You find it, patch it and walk away knowing that it’s truly found and sealed.

Final thoughts. We most certainly advise customer to use TPO instead of a Tar & Gravel roof based on what we’ve mentioned above. It’s cheaper, more environmentally friendly and, generally, easier to repair should something happen.


By |March 15th, 2019|Commercial Roofing, Flat Roof Repair, Flat Roof Systems, Flat Roofs By Pegram, Residential Roofing|Comments Off on TPO vs Tar and Gravel or Built-Up Roof (BUR) Flat Roofs|

The Benefits of TPO Roofing

IN case you didn’t see our post on “Why TPO is the best choice for commercial & industrial roofing” here’s what TPO is.

A TPO, Thermoplastic Polyolefin, roof is a thin rubber like single ply roofing material for low-slope roofs. It’s been used on commercial and industrial roofs since the late 1980s in both the US & Europe. It was initially used in pond liners and the auto industry. It is an alternative solution to other roofing materials such as PVC, EPDM & others and usually cheaper.

A TPO roof has several benefits. They are as follows:

  • First and foremost, compared to other roofing materials such as rubber, PVC & EPDM, TPO is usually cheaper with similar longevity. With regard to longevity, it’s worth stating that TPO has only been out for a while; shorter than PVC & EPDM. So the longevity isn’t known compared to PVC & EPDM. However, everything is showing that it has good longevity especially when installed by an experienced professional.
  • TPO is more environmentally friendly. It’s UV resistant and heat-resistant like EPDM. It’s also the greenest, environmentally friendly single-ply roof material available. It contains no chlorine, even the welding process has no chlorine in it. Finally, it’s 100% recyclable.
  • Heat-weldable like PVC for flexibility of use. AND because you can weld it, it can also be repaired if something happens. The welded seems are stronger than EPDM. Depending on what you read, the welded seams of TPO can be 3-4 times stronger than EPDM.
  • Though the choice of colors are limited you still choices: white, light grey and black.
  • TPO resists: mold growth, dirt accumulation, tears and punctures. It also resists those same tears and punctures due to a building’s movement or settling as well as thermal expansion due to environmental conditions such as heat and cold.
  • TPO is easier to install and with less seams.
  • Resistant to chemicals (think air-conditioning coolants & lubricants), acid, salt, oil, airborne bacteria, etc.
  • TPO roofs are easy to install, but we most certainly we recommend someone that has been trained and has experience such as Flat Roofs by Pegram.
By |February 18th, 2019|Commercial Roofing, Flat Roof Repair, Flat Roof Systems, Flat Roofs By Pegram|Comments Off on The Benefits of TPO Roofing|
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    Why TPO is the best choice for commercial & industrial roofing

Why TPO is the best choice for commercial & industrial roofing

A TPO, Thermoplastic Polyolefin, roof is a thin rubber like single ply roofing material for low-slope roofs. It’s been used on commercial and industrial roofs since the late 1980s in both the US & Europe. It was initially used in pond liners and the auto industry. It is an alternative solution to other roofing materials such as PVC, EPDM & others and usually cheaper.

Why would you choose TPO over other roofing solutions such as PVC or other flat roofing solutions? If installed correctly, any of those roofing solutions mentioned will work fine. However, TPO is a cheaper alternative to PVC and other flat roofing solutions. In this case, thankfully, if the correct brand is used and it’s installed correctly by a knowledgeable installer, such as Flat Roof by Pegram, you get a great roof at a better price than the alternative roofing solutions. Other benefits are it’s 100% recyclable, UV resistant, resistant to mold, & tear resistant. It’s also energy efficient as it reflects the sun rather than absorbs it. So it can reduce your monthly energy bills. Added bonus, should something happen to a TPO roof like a tear it’s reparable in many cases. Some roofing solutions are not reparable.

Before any new roof or roof replacement, you should start by doing your research. If it’s an existing building, find out what you currently have and decide if you want to use that again or replace it. Regardless of if it’s a new or replacement roof your next step should be to contact potential contractors! Talk to 2 – 3 contractors to find out what they recommend, why they recommend it, how they’re going to install it and an estimate for the work. If you’re the research person like we are before we make a purchase, find out what brand they are using and do your research to find the pros and cons of each brand of TPO. Also find out how they’re installing the TPO solution they’ve recommended.

Be VERY careful in your research to find a find a contractor, such as Flat Roofs by Pegram, to install TPO. Also be aware of the quality of the product being used. Like almost any product whether it be a roofing material, a bicycle or a truck, there are differences between each manufacturer. Without the proper knowledge of the material and the knowledge of installation you could make a costly mistake. When done incorrectly problems could occur quite quickly as incorrect installation could cause leaks.

Call Today For A Free Estimate, (757) 537-1945, fill out our form for an estimate.


Hail damage isn’t always easy to detect on a flat roof. In fact, damage from a weather event may go unnoticed for months or even years, long past the allowable time to file a claim for compensation with your insurance company. As there have been some significant storms of late, it is important to have a specialist inspect your roof. Some hail roof damage is pretty obvious, while other damage is not. Severe roof damage can be seen visually in the form of holes, splitting, and cracking in the roofing material. Latent damage refers to structural damage that you may not be able to see visually, but will likely cause issues such as leaks and cracks later on if it is not addressed. If damaged roofs are ignored, the owner is looking at a host of problems down the road including mold, increased energy bills, decreased property value and other safety issues.

To protect yourself and the value of your building, have a storm damage inspection done today.

Call us for your FREE inspection. 757-537-1945

Top Reasons Why Spring Is The Best Time For Roof Inspections

Winters can be brutal. If you own a business, you know how important your roof can be to the health of it. A leaking roof can cost you thousands of dollars in lost product and revenue as well as make your business look unprofessional if you have to place buckets in strategic places in order to catch the leaks. Taking the time to perform an inspection on your roof during the spring can reap plenty of dividends later on down the road.

Choose the Professionals

Beating rain and heavy snowfalls can take a toll on your roof, but do you know what to look for when completing an inspection? Professional roofing companies not only know what to look for when they inspect your roof, they also have specialized tools and ladders. These tools ensure that the job is completed thoroughly as well as safely. Another reason for choosing a professional? You don’t have to squeeze a roof inspection in between all of your other business needs. The professionals can give your roof the time that is needed so that nothing is missed.

Catch Problems Early

It’s easy to think that just because you do not see any obvious signs of a leak that your roof is in great shape. The reality, though, is that you often cannot see problem areas until they make their presence — unpleasantly! — known. Springing for a roof inspection gives you firsthand knowledge of any weak areas that might allow water to breach its barriers so that you can get them fixed promptly.

Stay Beautiful

The look of your property says a great deal about your business as well as your professionalism. Cosmetic damage such as missing roofing elements not only allow precipitation to penetrate your building, they look unsightly and unkempt. This can lead to an overall sloppy look that does not exude confidence in your business.