Quick Check for Spring

Heading into the warmer spring months with winter finally melting away, there are a few matters you should take care of as a homeowner and/or business owner.


Before the spring showers return, make sure your gutters have survived the winter and there is not a pile-up of debris. It is important that the rain can easily flow through the gutters to be properly rerouted. If gutters are blocked, water damage on the ceilings/walls of your home or business is more likely to occur.

It is also important to check how secure your gutters are installed. The screws can sometimes become loose with the winter wind/ice resulting in the gutters moving away from the roof. This could also potentially cause water to seep into the walls of your home/business.



Clearing away any limbs that could be scraping your roof is a great task to check off the spring checklist. This also helps to eliminate the environment that promotes the growth of moss. Moss can be detrimental to roof health and it is critical to keep a close eye on those problem areas.

We hope these helpful tips will get you on the right track for a worry-free spring! As always, if you have any further questions, contact us at 989-575-0190!

A Snow’s Impact on Roofs

In the early months of 2020, Northern Michigan received a vicious snow/ice storm that caused many homes and facilities to experience leaking and even collapsing roofs. That being said, removing snow off the roof is an extremely important part of the winter months, and we’re here to help. We have compiled a list of helpful tips to help you navigate the tricky measurements to ensure your safety this winter!



The code across over 50% of Northern Michigan regarding snow load allows up to 70lbs per square foot although areas near Houghton, MI require 80, 90, and even 100lbs per square foot.

No two snowflakes are alike with some having a higher water content than others, and that is a major determinant of how much snow weighs per square foot. Calculations show that 1 inch of snow weighs:


Light snow:                 .26lbs per square foot

Average snow:            1lb per square foot

Wet snow:                   1.66lbs per square foot

Therefore, roofs in Michigan can handle approximately 5’10” of average snow or 3’6” of wet snow.


Commercial Buildings

Compared to residential homes, most commercial buildings have low to zero slopes and are much more susceptible to snow accumulation. As a rule of thumb, there should not be an excess of 18” of snow on a commercial roof, and removal should be done by professionals. The load imbalances are a risk factor for that type of project, and we are happy to assist!

Call us at 989.575.0190 for more information.

How Does your Current Contractor Measure Up?

With so many roofing companies to choose from, finding the best option can seem like a project in itself. There are many different criteria to be satisfied when searching for the right company and we’ve come up with 9 critical points to look for.

1. They actually work in your area. Contacting a company that is not local or that isn’t willing to travel to your area to work is time wasted!

2. They are licensed and insured. Hiring an unlicensed or uninsured contractor could result in an unsatisfactory outcome or serious liability.

3. They properly train their employees. Formal training is not required in typical shingle roofing, but most commercial roofing takes extensive training procedures!

4. They provide a free estimate. You do not want to pay a contractor without any work being done so this avoids overestimating and overcharging.

5. They provide a written estimate. A free estimate loses its charm if you still don’t know what exactly it is you’re paying for. This helps customers in the budgeting process and provides clarity.

6. They have testimonials from previous clients. These reviews provide insight into the quality of the job, and what is expected of you as a homeowner.

7. They take pride in the material they use. If a contractor is hesitant to discuss the material, that indicates they are not fully confident.

8. They can provide insight into their warranties. All roofers should provide warranties and ideally should cover the labor and the materials.

9. They are open for communication throughout the process. Whether it’s a 1- or 2-day repair or weeklong project, the ability to communicate after hours is critical in the event that something goes wrong.

How does Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. “check the boxes”?

GLR has been servicing the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Michigan for decades! We are both licensed and insured and our employees complete extensive in-class and on the roof training. If you decide you are interested in working with us, we swiftly travel to the site and provide a free written estimate. We work with Duro-Last commercial membrane (who provides incredible manufacturer warranties) and we will continue to stand with Duro-Last for the duration of our time in the roofing business. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us and we are more than happy to share testimonials/reviews. Our doors are always open for clients to come in and ask questions, and we are only one call away from keeping you WARM AND DRY!

We hope you found these insights useful and keep in mind that these can translate into all forms of construction. Call us today for your free estimate: 989.575.0190!

A New Career in Roofing and Insulation

Your Career in Roofing/Insulation

As many already know, at Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. we specialize in Duro-Last commercial roofing and fiberglass, cellulose, and open & closed-cell insulation. This provides an array of job positions that we’re always looking to fill!



Since all of our roofing projects are Duro-Last applications for commercial projects, it requires a bit of special training. Duro-Last is a flat, PVC membrane, and staying on top of changes within the industry is of utmost importance to us!

Like any roofing job, this still requires heavy lifting, kneeling, and since we live in Northern Michigan and provide year-round service, occasionally working in inclement weather.

If you’re wondering if roofing is right for you, it takes both physical and mental toughness combined with a positive attitude to thrive in the career! If you love performing at a high level and have an acute sense of detail, roofing would be a fantastic opportunity.



The day to day duties of an insulator include (but are not limited to): measuring and cutting the insulation to fit in walls, guaranteeing the insulation is properly secured, installing barriers to protect the insulation from moisture, removing/disposing of old insulation, using air compressors and a multitude of other tools.

Since this type of job requires working with small particles that can irritate the lungs, skin, or eyes, we put an extreme emphasis on safety. All crew members are required to wear the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) and keep the workspace ventilated to assure safety.



Is This the Career For You?

An important aspect of both roofing and insulating careers at GLR is the ability to effectively work in a team environment. We have many different crews that are working day in and day out on top of roofs and insulating in close quarters and having a sense of team/family is necessary to ensure everyone is looking out for each other.

Being in a rural area of Michigan, these jobs also require the ability to travel (in some cases 4-5 nights at a time) to decrease the travel time.

A great outlook on both of these careers is the security the job offers. Roofing and insulation will always be an essential part of buildings! If you’re interested in applying for a job, stop by our office, visit our website https://greatlakesroofing.com/about-us/join-our-team/ or call 989-575-0190.


Leaky Roofs: A Common Frustration

Common frustrations come in all forms this time of year, and a frequent problem people face is a leaking roof. In many instances, these leaks are easily fixed and typically do not result in a total roof replacement.

Taking care of these issues sooner rather than later is necessary to ensure the leak does not get progressively worse.

While residential roofing is not one of our core services, we get a lot of questions regarding leaking roofs and wanted to provide this important information! Some causes of your leaking roof might include:


Worn Flashings

When a roof has any type of protrusion (chimneys, vent pipes, etc.), there is an opportunity for water intrusion and flashings help to prohibit this. Flashings are thin pieces of material that redirect the flow of water from entering in between the edges of the roof and protrusion. When these flashings become worn, they become permeable and ineffective.

Although we do not specialize in shingle roofing, these flashings are also used on Duro-Last applications for any circular protrusions.


Ice Dams

If you find your roof is leaking in the winter months, you are most likely faced with an ice dam. This occurs when snow melts and the water collects on the edges and refreezes. To prevent ice dams from forming, make an effort to clean the snow off your roof in a timely fashion!


Although it’s not extremely common in Northern Michigan, homes with skylights are especially susceptible to leaks if the sealant becomes loose or is improperly installed. Leaks can also occur if the glass in the window is cracked.

Obstructed Gutters

Whether you are a do-it-yourself type of homeowner or choose to hire someone to help, making sure your gutters are free of obstructions is important in preventing roof leaks. If water isn’t freely flowing away from the roof, it can potentially become backed up under your shingles. If a leak is occurring near a gutter, this might be the case.

Condensation in the Attic

We featured an article about the importance of attic insulation (found here: https://greatlakesroofing.com/attic-insulation-is-yours-efficient/) and sometimes, the effects of not properly insulating/ventilating can translate into what homeowners believe is a leak in the roof. If condensation is gathering in the floor of the attic, it is common to seep down into the ceiling and lead people to believe that it’s a complication with the roof.

Wear and Tear

All in all, your roof can become worn over time with regular maintenance procedures. While shoveling your roof is important to limit ice dams, this activity can cause wear and tear. To ensure this is the problem, call a roofing specialist to perform an inspection.



Attic Insulation: Is Yours Efficient?

With summer ending and the fall weather making its way into Northern Michigan, we can all expect a frigid drop in temperatures. During this time, all homeowners should be prioritizing the efficiency of their attic insulation.



The first step to take is evaluating your current attic space. Whether it is a walk-in or crawl space, checking to ensure moisture isn’t seeping in is imperative. If you or a licensed contractor reports moldy or rotten insulation or rafters, this indicates the potential of a leaking roof and needs to be corrected before insulation is installed.

This is a great time to check in on the overall health of your roof as well. If you increase the efficiency of the insulation in your attic, during the winter months the heat is not rising to melt the snow therefore increasing the snow load on your roof. Ensuring your rafters are in a strong condition is critical.


Prior to the push for energy efficiency in the 1970s, many homes were insulated with fiberglass. Many of these homes R-value only equivalates to about R-11.

The energy code in Michigan requires a minimum R-value of R-38 so as you can see, R-11 is significantly below code. Many homes use blown-in cellulose insulation, and you can read more about cellulose here: https://greatlakesroofing.com/a-guide-to-cellulose-insulation/


In terms of attic insulation, insulating and efficiency go hand in hand. Up to 85% of heat loss occurs through the attic and it’s time to put an end to your winter heating bill being through the roof, literally. According to the Department of Energy, insulating your attic space can decrease a typical heating bill by 10-50 percent!

Lastly, if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us at 989.575.0190! We are here to “Keep You Warm & Dry” throughout all seasons.



Top of the Line

Like anything in our modern way of living, commercial roofing technology is constantly changing.

Staying ahead of the curve in terms of training is of utmost importance. Duro-Last commercial roofing can only be installed by certified contractors who have extensive training in all aspects of the process.

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. we value continuous education and make it a top priority to attend yearly training seminars to ensure that we are utilizing modern technology and staying up to date with application techniques.

Some topics that are covered at this seminar include general installation and the manufacturing operation. The knowledge we gain from the seminar is taught to ALL employees to provide benefits such as additional safety, increased efficiency, and ultimately to install a higher quality finished product for our clients.


Duro-Last also offers:

  • No fee in-shop training sessions during the off-season.
  • 1 to 2-day proficiency training for experienced contractors.
  • Top of the line retraining programs.


Working with manufacturers like Duro-Last ensures that our questions are answered, our needs are responded to, and our crews are supported. There are nearly 75 quality assurance technical representatives available for any questions we might have to help us continue to grow and improve for YOU.

If you are interested in working with us or have further questions, contact us at 906-647-2916!


Do-It-Yourself Dangers of Roofing

DIY Dangers

While you should always be checking on the condition of your roof, there are some projects that should not be taken on alone. Repairing/replacing your roof is one of them.

Roofing is rated one of the top 10 most DANGEROUS jobs in the world.

There are many safety precautions that are taken for professional roofers to stay safe while on the job, but even professionals falling from roofs account for 40% of construction site fatalities. This number doesn’t even represent the non-fatal serious injuries.

We understand that a leaking roof is an urgent issue, but it is always important to hire a licensed contractor.

Aspects that make roofing so dangerous include:
• Extensive heights
• Slopes
• Carrying tools/materials
• Overall awareness

Extensive heights come into play no matter how many stories the home is. Each floor typically adds an additional 14 feet, so even falling from a 1 level home poses its own series of problems.

The challenges of these heights compounded with the slopes that need to be navigated creates additional hazards. Professionals have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety while maneuvering the slopes whereas many homeowners do not.

The same can also be said for contractors regarding safety procedures while carrying around tools or materials. After installing hundreds if not thousands of roofs, professionals know where everything needs to be and the appropriate procedures that need to be taken while on the roof.

While on a roof, there are many protrusions such as chimneys or other workers that impair the line of vision. With an insufficient line of vision, maintaining awareness and keeping a safe distance from the edges of the roof can become a serious issue.

We are here to help. If you believe that your roof needs repair, call Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. at 989-575-0190 for a free estimate or more information!

Valentz, Art. “8 Shocking Roof Safety Statistics You Won’t Believe.” PHP Systems Design. 5 Nov. 2015. https://www.phpsd.com/blog/8-shocking-roof-safety-statistics-you-won-t-believe#:~:text=Of%20the%20top%2010%20riskiest,on%20the%20job%20each%20year.


At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation, we know that home improvement projects can be costly ventures, so we realize the importance of choosing the right contractors.

Whether it’s roofing or insulation you’re looking to renovate, we bring a highly qualified workforce and extensive expertise in understanding local needs.

With the problematic winter and spring months we’re so accustomed to in Northern Michigan, we know that many homes/businesses face complications with a leaking roof. These leaking roof problems might lead to insulation problems, and before you know it, you are faced with numerous tough decisions as a building owner.

Recognizing that references are an important part of the decision-making process, we have multiple references for many kinds of projects ranging from residential/commercial Duro-Last, to fiberglass, cellulose, or open/closed-cell spray foam insulations.

We are here to ensure you that Great Lakes Roofing is the most trusted local roofing and insulation company to help make your decision easier.

Our extensive knowledge is not the only benefit of hiring local, we also pride ourselves on our accountability. Our office doors are always open (Monday through Friday, 8-5) for customers to stop in with any questions or concerns.

Since 1985, our family has been committed to our community and we are confident that we can provide you with the services you’re looking for in a local business! Choose Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc!

Family Feel

Taking ownership of a company that was originated so deeply rooted within the community comes with great responsibilities and co-owners Kevin and Craig and staff were wholeheartedly prepared to take on those responsibilities when they transitioned into Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. in 1999.

With the business remaining local for close to 35 years, we have built quite the family within our community and surrounding communities as well.

Whether it’s homeowners who’ve trusted us to insulate their homes or commercial projects looking for Duro-Last installation, our number one priority is to provide industry-leading products paired with unparalleled customer service to our community.

Creating a family-oriented culture within the workplace is something that we believe is extremely important, not only in the process of forming relationships with clients but to our employees as well.


There are so many advantages to a family-oriented approach to business including:

  • Respect within the crew
  • Increased trust
  • Boosted morale
  • A positive atmosphere to work in

What we do is hard work, and seeing crew members working together to accomplish the time/labor-intensive tasks each job requires is something that we take pride in.

Providing top-of-the-line service as efficiently as possible fosters the beginning of a lasting family feel! Give us a call if you have any questions at 989-575-0190.