Duro-last roofing benefits

Why Choose Duro-Last Roofing? The Top Benefits for Building Owners

As a building owner, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is selecting the right roofing system. The roof protects your entire investment, safeguarding your property, assets, and occupants from the elements. When it comes to durability, efficiency, and peace of mind, Duro-Last roofing stands head and shoulders above the rest. Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation has been partnering with Duro-Last for 3 decades! In this blog post, we will explore the top reasons why building owners should choose Duro-Last roofing for their commercial or industrial properties.

Unmatched Durability

Duro-Last roofing is renowned for its exceptional durability, making it a long-term solution for your building. Engineered with high-quality materials and precision manufacturing, Duro-Last roofs provide superior resistance to fire, chemicals, high winds, and punctures. With a proven track record of lasting over 30 years, Duro-Last roofs minimize maintenance and replacement costs, saving you valuable time and money in the long run.

Customized Precision-Fabrication

One of the standout features of Duro-Last roofing is its precise, customized fabrication. Each roof is manufactured to fit the exact specifications of your building, ensuring a perfect fit, and eliminating the need for on-site alterations or extensive labor. This innovative approach minimizes installation time, reduces the risk of errors, and delivers a seamless, watertight roof that performs exceptionally well.

Superior Energy Efficiency

Duro-Last roofing is designed with energy efficiency in mind, offering significant benefits to building owners. The highly reflective white membrane used in Duro-Last roofs reflects sunlight and reduces heat transfer, thereby minimizing the strain on HVAC systems. By decreasing energy consumption and creating a more comfortable interior environment, Duro-Last roofs can help lower your building’s operating costs and contribute to sustainability efforts.

Easy Installation and Reduced Disruption

Duro-Last roofing systems are pre-fabricated off-site, which simplifies the installation process and minimizes disruption to your business operations. With less time spent on the roof during installation, your building activities can continue with minimal disturbance. Additionally, the reduced waste and mess associated with on-site construction further adds to the convenience and efficiency of Duro-Last roofing installation.

Comprehensive Warranties

Building owners who choose Duro-Last roofing gain access to one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. These warranties cover both material and labor, providing peace of mind and ensuring protection against unforeseen issues. Duro-Last’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is further reflected in their extensive network of authorized contractors who undergo rigorous training to deliver exceptional installation and service.

Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly

Duro-Last roofing is not only durable and energy-efficient, but it also contributes to a greener future. The manufacturing process minimizes waste by using advanced techniques that recycle and repurpose materials. Additionally, the long lifespan and recyclability of Duro-Last roofs help reduce landfill waste. By choosing Duro-Last, you can demonstrate your commitment to environmental sustainability while benefiting from a high-performance roofing system.

When it comes to protecting your building and maximizing its value, Duro-Last roofing in combination with Great Lakes Roofing provides unmatched advantages for building owners. From its exceptional durability and precise fabrication to energy efficiency and sustainability, Duro-Last offers a roofing solution that is tailor-made for the long-term success of your property. By partnering with a trusted Duro-Last contractor, you can ensure a seamless installation and gain access to industry-leading warranties. Make the smart choice for your building’s future—choose Duro-Last roofing.

When flat roofs reach the end of their life-cycle

There are several reasons why a flat single ply roof can fail. Some common causes of failure include:

  1. Poor installation: A flat single ply roof must be installed correctly to ensure it performs as intended. If it is not installed properly, it can lead to issues such as leaks and premature deterioration.
  2. Weathering: Exposure to the elements such as UV rays, extreme temperatures, and moisture can cause single ply roofing materials to break down and deteriorate over time.
  3. Punctures or tears: Single ply roofing can be punctured or torn by sharp objects, such as tree branches or debris, which can compromise the integrity of the roof.
  4. Poor drainage: Flat roofs must be designed with proper drainage to ensure water does not pool or collect on the surface. If water is not properly drained, it can cause leaks and other damage to the roof.
  5. Aging: As with any roofing material, single ply roofs will eventually age and deteriorate over time, which can lead to failure.

To prevent failure, it is important to have regular maintenance and inspections of your flat single ply roof. Additionally, proper installation, design, and materials selection are critical in ensuring a long-lasting and effective roofing system. Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation can help you. Call us today at (906) 647-2916.

Hail! Hail! Go away hail!

Weather of any kind can be a threat to your commercial facility. Tornados, hurricanes, and other high wind, snow, and even light rain – if there are flaws in your roof membrane – can cause problems. Aside from an extreme wind event, perhaps no weather force is potentially more damaging than hail.

Storms that produce large hail get all the press (NOAA’s record is an 8-incher that fell in South Dakota in 2010), but not all the billions of dollars of annual hail damage are the result of press-worthy hail. Weather forensics company Dynamic Weather Solutions claims that hail smaller than an inch in diameter can break windows, scrape paint, and even kill chickens and other small birds.

So where does that leave your commercial roof? Hailstones an inch or more in diameter can cause obvious damage to your roof system that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. But even smaller stones can create less visible membrane cracks as well as damage the surface of underlying insulation. Both effects can shorten the lifespan of your commercial roofing system. The impact of hail can also loosen drainage systems around the perimeter of your building; after a storm, make sure those components are still fastened securely.

It’s critical that your commercial roof system continue to protect your facility as weather and seasons change. If recent hailstorms or other weather events have left your roof vulnerable or accelerated its aging, it’s time to consider repair or replacement options.

When looking for a replacement roof, consider one from a manufacturer that offers a warranty that covers hail damage. Such a warranty will probably be available for an extra cost, plus require that the new roof assembly include a thicker membrane and a rigid cover board underneath the membrane. However, the additional investment could be a good one if your commercial building is in an area where hail, is a common occurrence.

The commercial roofing experts at Great Lakes Roofing & Insulation are standing by and ready to offer roofing solutions, whether it’s investigating and repairing a leak problem or helping you plan for a replacement. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us right away.


Environmental Considerations for Commercial Roofs

In recent years, the commercial roofing industry has been trending toward lightweight, reflective materials. This shift has been environmentally beneficial in a couple of obvious ways: 1) lightweight means that less fuel is necessary to transport materials to the job site; 2) reflective means that the roof can deliver summertime energy savings to commercial facilities by reducing HVAC loads.

These roofing systems, primarily thermoplastic varieties like PVC and TPO, bring other environmental and business benefits as well. For example, in facilities that are not air-conditioned, reflective roofing can reduce interior temperatures because less heat is transferred into the building. Studies have shown that workers are more productive in environments that are even moderately cooler.

The observance of urban heat islands (UHI) has been an environmental topic for several years. A UHI is a tendency for cities – even small ones – to be several degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. This is because roofs, streets and other “city” materials absorb and retain heat, creating conditions ideal for smog to form, which is a cause of respiratory health problems. Reflective roofing systems offer a benefit in this area because they don’t retain heat and can help reduce the UHI effect.

The insulation under your roof membrane is critical for keeping your building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You may find it interesting that studies indicate that extremely high temperatures lower the R-value of most types of roof insulation and shorten the lifespan of its effectiveness. Cool, reflective roof materials reduce the amount of heat that penetrates, helping maintain insulation R-value and preserving your investment in insulation.

When it comes to roofing systems, PVC membranes have a smaller carbon footprint than others on the market, such as TPO, EPDM, built-up roofing, or modified bitumen: about 44% carbon content, compared with the others, which are close to 100%.

The primary function of any commercial roofing system is to protect the building from the elements. Once that’s met, there are a host of other reasons why some products are better environmental choices. Please contact Great Lake Roofing & Insulation to learn about all your options.

snow on commercial roof

Get a Load of This: Snow on Your Commercial Roof

It’s bound to happen: a seasonal news story – or many – about a commercial roof collapsing because of the weight of several inches of recently fallen snow. The collapse isn’t the result of a failure of the roof, but the structure beneath it that couldn’t hold up to the additional weight of the snow. It may seem insignificant, but a square foot of heavy snow six inches deep can weigh 10 pounds. For just a small 1000-square-foot roof, that’s five tons of extra weight. Most flat commercial roofs are, of course much larger than that, and if yours is aging with weak areas, heavy wet snow could be a recipe for disaster.

If you have accumulated snow on your commercial roof, it might be a good idea to get up on it (safely – more about that below) and clear some or all of it away.

With respect to appropriate tools, a snow rake is better than a shovel, because it’s less likely to damage the surface. If shovels are all you have, make sure they have plastic (not metal) edges, and leave a couple of inches of snow on the roof.  Scraping it to the surface could damage the roof membrane.

Also make sure that drains, gutters, and downspouts are clear. Over the course of a winter, your roof is likely to undergo multiple freeze-and-thaw cycles, and snowmelt needs a place to go. If your drainage system can’t handle it, you’re likely to get layers of ice building up on your roof – and that can be even heavier and more dangerous than snow.

During your rooftop snow removal operation, practice good safety behavior. This means being extra cautious around the roof’s perimeter and near skylights. An inherently unsafe situation in clear, dry weather becomes downright hazardous in snowy, windy, wintry conditions.

If you’re not comfortable taking care of this yourself, hire a professional. Contact Great Lakes Roofing to discuss our full range of commercial roofing services. We look forward to hearing from you!

fun facts commercial roofing

A Few Fun Commercial Roofing Facts

Your roof is an awesome component of your commercial building – providing watertight protection, season after season for (hopefully) 15 years or more. Here are a few tidbits of information about commercial roofing that you might find interesting.

Your flat commercial roof isn’t exactly flat. At least, you should hope that it isn’t. All roofs require slope and drainage to prevent water from collecting on the rooftop, which can promote mold growth, increase the likelihood of leaks, and eventually create structural damage. Over time, roofs can sag for a variety of reasons, and water will stop flowing toward edge gutters or central drains. A commercial roofer can possibly correct this problem by installing “crickets,” which are triangular structures placed on the surface to re-add drainage slope to the roof.

Your roof system could help lower your energy bills. Much like a white car is cooler to the touch than a dark one on a hot summer day, a reflective roof remains cool by reflecting solar energy. This reduces the amount of heat transferred into the building, lessening your HVAC load and corresponding utility bills. If you’re in the market for a new commercial roofing system, pick one that can deliver energy savings as well as long-term weather protection.

Different roofs have advantages in different settings. There’s a common belief that all commercial roofing systems are pretty much the same, but that’s not the case. New commercial buildings are commonly constructed with exposed metal roof decks because they’re cheap to install, durable and require minimal maintenance. EPDM membranes are relatively inexpensive to install and have low repair costs. Single-ply PVC systems are both highly reflective and excellent choices for manufacturing facilities because they’re resistant to a fire and a variety of industrial chemicals. Spray-on coatings can help lengthen the life of a deteriorating roof.

Your commercial roof deserves professional attention. Unless you employ a full-time professional roofing crew, Installation, maintenance, and repairs to your system are best left to a commercial roofer. A contractor has the know-how and tools to diagnose and address any problems with your current roof, and, when the time comes, propose a new system that will work well on your building.

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation, we look forward to working with you on your next roofing or insulation project. Please contact us if we can be of service. Our service areas include all of the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Commercial Roofing Options

When it comes to commercial roofing, building owners have lots of options.

Built-up roofing (BUR) systems have been in use in the U.S. for more than a century. They are so named because they are essentially “built” on the rooftop by the contractor, by alternating multiple layers of asphalt or tar between layers of felt or synthetic materials. They are often covered with gravel for protection from the elements.

The 1960s and 70s saw the development of alternatives to BUR, notably single-ply membrane roofing systems. Single-ply membranes are flexible sheets that can be manufactured from a variety of synthetic materials. Here are the most common single-ply options:

Modified bitumen membranes. These evolved from built-up roofing and are factory-manufactured layers of asphalt that are “modified’ using plastic or rubber components and reinforced with a fabric layer.

Thermoset membranes are essentially rubber, known as Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer – EPDM. Thermoset roofing materials can’t be heat welded and require adhesives for installation seaming.

TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) is a thermoplastic membrane that combines the flexibility and weather resistance of EPDM and the heat-weldability/chemical resistance of PVC.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is another thermoplastic choice. It provides excellent fire, oil, and chemical resistance, as well as excellent weathering and seaming. Because they don’t “cure” on the rooftop, they remain weldable for years after initial installation.

At Great Lakes Roofing, we prefer to install PVC single-ply systems manufactured by Duro-Last right here in Michigan. Billions of Duro-Last roof membrane has been installed across the United States, dating back more than 30 years. Not only do we believe the roof membrane is the best on the market, but we know that Duro-Last stands behind its product. Call us today at (906) 647-2916 for a free quote.

PVC vs. TPO – Which Flat White Roofing Is Best?

Which type of flat white roofing is best?

As a building owner, understanding your roofing system will help you to make better decisions when it’s time for repairs and for scheduling regular maintenance. You may have purchased your commercial building after the roof was installed, so how much do you know about the type of flat white roof you have? Some basic background information about the different types of flat white roofing systems on the market will give you the knowledge to keep your roof in good condition. If your roof’s life cycle has come to an end, you’ll be better informed in choosing a new flat white roof for your building.

There are two main types of commercial flat white roofing systems on the market today, PCV and TPO. They may look very similar to the untrained eye, but there are many differences in terms of energy efficiency, formulation of materials, the way they are installed, and their costs over the entire life cycle of the roof.

What are they made of?

PVC roofing systems have been on the market since the 1960s. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofs have a membrane consisting of vinyl, UV light inhibitors, resin, heat- stabilizers, plasticizers, and biocides. The PVC membrane consists of 3 layers that are laminated together into a “single-ply”. The top layer is the performance layer. The middle layer is the weft-inserted anti-wicking scrim. The density of this middle layer is key to the strength and durability of the membrane. Duro-Last has among the highest in the PVC roofing industry with 18×14 threads per inch. For Duro-Last, a reflective white base layer is used, and all three layers are laminated together. The importance of a white base layer in terms of the Solar Reflective Index (SRI) is discussed further below. Due to the proprietary makeup of the PVC system, these roofs are strong, flexible, inherently fire retardant, and resistant to most chemicals.

TPO roofing systems were first introduced to the roofing industry in the 1980s as a lower-cost alternative to PVC. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is made of polypropylene, ethylene-propylene rubber, and various fillers such as carbon, fiberglass, or talc mixed with polymers. A TPO roof membrane consists of 3 layers that are bound together… 2 layers of TPO that sandwich a polyester-reinforced fabric center, aka “scrim”. TPO is strong, flexible, has low flammability, and is resistant to some chemicals. However, it is less resistant to punctures and weathering than PVC. TPO is also less resistant to chemicals than PVC, so it’s not a good choice where harsh chemicals or grease are involved (restaurants, manufacturing facilities, etc.). Some TPO manufacturers use inferior formulations when fabricating their membranes, which can lead to cracking. These are all important things to keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of PVC versus TPO roofing.

Energy Efficiency

In the past 20 years, with rising energy costs, roofing manufacturers and commercial building owners have started to increase their focus on keeping energy costs down. Having an energy-efficient roof means more than just lower energy bills…it also means a more comfortable and productive environment and lower long-term maintenance costs.

During the summer months when air-conditioning costs skyrocket, it’s important to know the Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of your roofing system. The SRI value tells you how well your roof reflects light energy, and how well it releases absorbed heat. The SRI measurement is taken when the roof is new and again when it is 3 years old. The higher the number, the better the roof is at keeping your building cool.

A white PVC roof has an initial SRI value of 108, and it decreases to 90 after 3 years. A white TPO roof has an initial SRI value of 98 and decreases to 83 after three years. Although there is not a large difference in these values, PVC is the clear winner in terms of energy efficiency.


The best measure of a sustainable roof is one that lasts a long time! PVC roofs have a long service life that cannot be matched by any other type of roof. Some PVC roofs have been in service for 30 years or more, which reduces the environmental impacts of manufacturing and shipping.  PVC roofing is the ONLY type that is recuperated in entirety at the end of decades of service life and then recycled into new roofs.

TPO roofs can last 15-20 years, however, in regions with extreme UV exposure it has been proven that their life cycle can be shortened by several years.  Once a TPO roof has reached the end of its life, it can be melted down, re-extruded, and used for the bottom ply of new membranes…however, most TPO manufacturers are not currently doing this. Between 5-15% of TPO is recycled into new roofs.

In 2009, NSF/ANSI 347 was created as a standard for measuring and evaluating the sustainability of single-ply roof systems over their entire life cycle. Each single-ply roofing system is assessed in each of the following 5 areas: product design, product manufacturing, membrane durability, corporate governance, and innovation.

Duro-Last, the leading manufacturer of PVC roofing materials, has been certified sustainable for 5 of their most popular membrane options for NSF/ANSI 347, including one gold and two silver certifications.  TPO membranes, on the other hand, have not earned the same certifications from NSF/ANSI 347.


As a commercial building owner aiming to make the best choice when selecting a new flat white roofing system, it’s a good idea to think about “value engineering”. In a nutshell, value engineering means prioritizing durability and functionality so that you end up with a roof with a long lifespan. A long-lasting roof allows you to amortize its cost over a longer period, which is a better value for you.

Any time you substitute cheaper materials, you are supposed to end up with the same performance at a lower cost. If you take the example of TPO roofing which was introduced in the 1980s as a cheaper alternative to PVC roofing, you are substituting a lower-cost material, but you are also getting a lower performance. Although TPO may cost less at the outset, you will accrue higher costs over the life cycle of the roof due to maintenance and replacement costs.

Another important cost difference to consider between TPO and PVC roofs involves the installation methods. TPO and PVC roofs can be installed using “roll goods” that are laid out on the roof and then the seams are heat-welded on site. The difference with PVC roofing is that there is an option for “custom prefabrication”.

Custom prefabrication means that the exact measurements for your roof are taken on-site, and then the entire roof is manufactured in a factory-controlled environment.  If you take the example of a Duro-Last custom prefabricated PVC roof, 80% of the seams are welded in the factory. For a 42,000 square foot roof, a typical roll goods TPO system will require 5,130 feet of seams to be made by hand, on-site. With a Duro-Last prefabricated system, only 1,278 feet of seams need to be completed in the field.

In terms of quality, durability, and cost, the factory-welded seams of a prefabricated PVC roof are superior to TPO seams that are prepared during roof installation. With TPO, time must be taken by installers while they are on the roof, to cut the membrane to size and to make the boots and stacks for the penetrations. Human error while cutting and heat-welding can create gaps and defective seams. These may not be apparent at the outset, but with time they are weak points in your roof that can result in future leaks and the costs associated with repairing them.

The custom prefabricated roof arrives ready to go, so the installation time is minimal, and you have less interruption for your business.  While the initial membrane costs of PVC are higher than that of TPO, the cost is in the membrane material, which stays with your roof. In terms of value engineering, it makes more sense as a building owner to prioritize spending on high-performance materials than spending on labor, which leaves at the end of the job.


Most commercial building owners are busy and would rather put off reading their roof warranty to a later date…usually when roof leaks occur, and they realize they need repairs. Don’t make this mistake! There are major differences in the warranties that different flat roofing system manufacturers are offering, and these could make or break your business if you have problems with your roof later on down the road. Carefully consider the warranty that is being offered with your roofing system, before deciding what type of flat roof is best for your business.

The best and most comprehensive roof warranty that we know of on the market is from Duro-Last for their custom-prefabricated PVC roof system. They offer a 15-year “No Dollar Limit” warranty with every commercial roof installation. It covers consequential damages, such as loss of business, that could occur if your roof were to leak due to faulty materials or workmanship. Duro-Last has taken extensive measures in-house to produce the very best roofing materials, then every single commercial roof is inspected by a Quality Assurance technician to ensure that the roof has been installed to Duro-Last’s high standards.  You can rest assured that for 15 years you will not have any out-of-pocket costs for roof leaks due to inferior materials or installation methods.

Call Great Lakes Roofing & Insulation

Choosing a roofing system and a roofing contractor are both very big decisions to make. Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation has been serving northern Michigan for more than 35 years. Allow us to answer your questions and assist you throughout this process. Reach out to us today at 989-575-0190.

4 Cost-Related Questions to Ask as You’re Considering a New Commercial Roof

If you’re in the market for a new commercial roof, there are many cost-related issues to consider before selecting the type of system you need and the contractor to install it. Here are some questions to think about.

  • Is your roofing project a relatively simple re-cover or does it need an expensive tear-off, new insulation, replacement of metal components or edge details, or other work? Depending on the type of system you select, it can possibly be installed right on top of the current roof (if local building codes permit), sparing you the cost of a tear-off. This is a feature of lightweight, single-ply roofing systems.


  • What experience does the contractor have with your building type and the roofing system being considered? When you buy a roof, you’re also buying the know-how to install it. Rooftops differ from building to building. Roofs on restaurants and manufacturing plants typically have lots of penetrations for venting and exhaust. A warehouse roof may be more wide-open. These differences present different challenges. Can the contractor you choose install a roof that will give you financial peace of mind now and into the future?


  • What’s the best roof system for your facility? Your answer might partly depend on how long you expect to own your building. Coatings are short-term solutions that can extend the life of a roof and improve leak protection and provide energy savings. Single-ply membranes and other systems should serve your building for at least 15 years. Another “best roof” consideration is the type of operation you’re roofing. As noted above, restaurants and some other businesses have exhaust venting onto the roof surface and some roof membrane types are highly resistant to a variety of chemicals while others deteriorate. Some systems withstand intense sunlight better than others. An expensive, durable roof may be better for your budget than a cheaper alternative that would need to be replaced sooner.


  • Can you negotiate some added value from the roofer? Some contractors may be inclined to offer a lower price on roofs installed during the slower winter months than when they are busy the rest of the year. Or if you own or manage a few commercial facilities that have upcoming roofing needs, you may be able to negotiate a multi-job discount. Consider asking the contractor for an extended warranty or a roof maintenance program that provides coverage in addition to what’s included in the initial job warranty. All these possibilities will stretch your roofing budget dollar.


At Great Lakes Roofing & Insulation, we’re all about delivering value to our commercial roofing customers. We’re able to do this because of our successful experience with a variety of building types and our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

Lesser-Known Consequences of Commercial Roof Leaks

Aside from the inconvenience and cost of repairing leaks in your commercial roofing system, there are some potentially higher expenses that may come your way if those leaks aren’t dealt with quickly and effectively. Here are a few cases.

Roof leaks can result in water on your floor, and standing water on any surface – especially vinyl composition or hard concrete floors, like those found in many warehouses and factories – can be hazardous. There’s added risk if your operation uses industrial lubricants. Workplace slips-and-falls are a major source of worker compensation claims as well as lawsuits by building visitors.

Insects flourish in warm moist environments, and roof insulation that’s become wet from a leak can be a breeding ground. This also applies to other building materials, such as wood used in the facility’s structure and ceiling and wall materials. Hiring an exterminator to properly rid your building of these pests can be costly and disruptive to your operation.

Mold – like bugs – develops in building conditions that are warm and moist. In addition to potentially making your workers ill (resulting in lost productivity and possible workers’ comp claims), mold can cause permanent damage to building components like walls, ceilings, carpets, window treatments and more. Mold can be hard to locate and harder to remediate, often requiring the complete removal of affected areas – expensive by itself, but also potentially having a disruptive impact on your day-to-day business.

Your roof system insulation helps keep your building warm in winter and cool in summer, but if it gets wet, it loses its R-value. This reduced insulation effectiveness means that your wintertime heating and summertime cooling costs are likely to increase.

At the time they’re installed, most new commercial roofs should last at least 15 years. But water from a leak that penetrates the roof surface can shorten that expectation by damaging the deck, insulation, fasteners, and other components. Needing to invest in another new roofing system before you expected isn’t a preferable financial option.

Clearly, compared to these potentially expensive and unforeseen consequences, the cost of finding and repairing leaks in your commercial roof will be much less. Your building maintenance budget should include plans for addressing rooftop leaks.

Great Lakes Roofing & Insulation would be privileged to partner with you on any commercial roofing project you may have in the works. Reach out to us for a consult!