Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Roofing Contractor on Your Team

A successful commercial roofing installation requires a team approach. As a building owner or manager, you should include yourself in that mix, along with someone from your maintenance staff and perhaps a person who handles your organization’s financial responsibilities. Depending on how big or complex a project is, companies might bring in an architect or roof consultant for their advice.

The roof system manufacturer can also play a part, by helping you qualify installers who work with their system, helping you understand their product warranties, and being available with post-job support, if necessary, among other things.

Ultimately and obviously, the contractor who installs the roof is the most critical member of the roofing team. Make sure you choose the right one. Here are some qualities to look for.

They have a clear strategy. A new commercial roof installation can range from a relatively simple and small re-cover to a large tear-off that includes new insulation, edge details, deck sheets, parapets, and other components. Regardless of the situation, your contractor should have a plan for completing the project on time and on budget; there should be no surprises.

They are clean and organized. Your first indication of how a roofer measures up is the appearance of their sales rep and vehicle when they arrive at your facility. As the saying goes, neatness counts, and the condition of their clothing, truck and other equipment can be a reflection of the company they represent. Your roofing project will require supplies, tools, and other materials, and these should be well-organized on the jobsite. During and after the job, the roofing crew should be diligent about cleaning up tools, fasteners, membrane trimmings, packaging and other materials and equipment.

They stay in touch. Your commercial roofing project is a complex operation that can take place over several days or even weeks. The contractor you’re working with should be readily accessible and communicative from the beginning of the sales process through the completion of the job – and beyond. You’re investing a lot of money to make sure your building stays watertight for years to come; pick a contractor who is responsive to your needs.

The commercial roofing professionals at Great Lakes Roofing & Insulation bring all these qualities to every project. We would be proud to be part of your team! We look forward to your call.


There’s Water on the Floor of Your Commercial Building. Now What?

Get the right professionals involved. The moisture could be from any number of sources: Yes, it could be a roofing problem. But it could also come from a window that’s not sealed properly; burst pipes or another hard-to-locate plumbing failure; rooftop HVAC units that are not draining properly, which is the most commonly misdiagnosed source of water coming from above. Each of these areas requires its own technical specialist to locate and solve the problem.

Of course, it’s critical that you identify and correct the source of the leak as soon as possible. Water on the floor presents slip-and-fall / workers compensation risks for your operation. Water on the floor can also permeate walls, creating an environment for mold and subsequently human health issues to develop. And you certainly want to avoid exposing your investment in computers, production equipment, inventory, and other assets to water damage.

Here are three bits of wisdom for dealing with and preventing the prospect of water inside your commercial building.

  • Occupant safety should be your first priority, so mop or vacuum the water from the floor and keep foot traffic away with orange cones and/or signs until the situation is corrected. Move furniture and equipment out of the way. If necessary and possible, place buckets or other receptacles under drips to collect water. As part of this activity, document the damage with photos for insurance claims.
  • Conduct regular inspections of your roof. The roof’s age and every passing year mean a higher risk of your commercial roof developing problems. Keep an eye out for membrane gaps, detached flashings, and other irregularities. Also, do a check of your rooftop HVAC units for signs of problems – like loose panels or water collecting underneath. Remember: get the right professional in to fix the problem.
  • Include roof repairs in your facility management budget. Over time, there are bound to be weather events or other activities that can compromise your roof’s ability to remain watertight. Your maintenance staff may be able to handle some issues; others may require a professional commercial roofing contractor. Regardless, ignoring relatively minor low-cost problems now may come back to bite you down the road by turning into expensive repairs and remediation.

Whether you’re experiencing leaks or not, the commercial roofing professionals at Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation would be privileged to meet with you to discuss your short-term and long-term roofing needs. We look forward to your call (906) 647-2916.


Your Commercial Roof Is Watertight. What Else Does It Offer?

Your roof’s primary requirement is to keep your commercial building watertight and protected from the elements. And if you choose Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation to install your new roofing system, you can be confident that we’ll make that happen. But beyond that, what other benefits can you expect to see from your investment? Here are a few possibilities.

White thermoplastic roofing systems are highly reflective and have a documented history of delivering energy savings on commercial facilities throughout North America. If you own or manage a warehouse, agricultural building, or another non-air-conditioned facility, a reflective roof can help create a cooler working environment and promote higher worker productivity.

Studies have shown that reflective roof membranes help preserve the life and effectiveness of underlying insulation by reflecting the IR and UV radiation than other roof types absorb. This benefit means that your insulation won’t degrade over time and will help your HVAC systems run more efficiently in all seasons.

Increasingly, building owners are taking more of a “good neighbor” approach with respect to community responsibility, and roofing can help accomplish that goal. The phenomenon is known as “urban heat islands” occurs on hot days when city temperatures go higher than those in surrounding rural areas. In addition to putting additional strain on power grids, UHIs foster the development of smog, a contributor to respiratory ailments. By reflecting solar heat back into the atmosphere, cool roofs help mitigate the UHI effect.

Also, building owners are beginning to generate their own power with rooftop solar systems. In some parts of the country, the cost of doing this is comparable to the cost of buying power from the utility company – a concept known as “grid parity.” If you’re in the market for rooftop solar, consider replacing your existing roof (possibly showing signs of age) with a new one. If your roof fails after the solar system is installed, replacing it will be a much more difficult and costly venture. The same principle applies to vegetative roof systems, also becoming more commonplace.

In all, there are several environmental benefits that you can expect by installing a new, highly reflective – and watertight – roofing system. Please call us at (906) 647-2916 for more details.

Is Your Old Roof Costing You Money? Install a New Cool Roof!


If your roof is 15 years old or more, chances are you’ll need to replace it soon. When you’re ready, Great Lakes Roofing would welcome the opportunity to propose a new cool roofing system.

In addition to increased repair and maintenance costs on your old roof, if it’s a black membrane or built-up system, it’s likely costing you money because of higher energy bills. Dark roofing materials absorb summertime heat and transfer it to the interior of the building, creating a costly burden on HVAC systems. On the other hand, white single-ply membranes reflect heat, lowering air-conditioning costs and creating a cooler, more productive environment for workers in non-conditioned spaces.

HVAC units on a cool roof can work less hard because the air they’re cooling for transfer to the building can be 50 degrees or more cooler than the air hovering on a black roof. That translates to less money you spend on cooling energy costs, and less wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Here’s a plus: Installation costs for cool roofs are comparable to those for other roofing systems but have a shorter payback period because of the money you’ll save on cooling.

Give us a call today at (906) 647-2916 and let us show you how a new cool roofing system can benefit your operation.


duro-last prefabricated roofing

Choose A Prefabricated Duro-Last Roof for a Hassle-Free Installation

Most single-ply roofing systems are delivered to the job site as roll goods that have to be positioned carefully on the rooftop to ensure a proper fit. They also require lots of manual labor to seam membrane sections together. For example, on a 50,000 square-foot roof, a typical roll-goods roofing system could require as much as 13,000 linear feet of seaming by hand – that’s about 2-1/2 miles.

On the same roof, the Duro-Last roofing system would require only 1300 linear feet of rooftop seaming. That’s because Duro-Last roofs are prefabricated under controlled factory conditions in a manufacturing facility. This approach to roof production greatly reduces the likelihood of rooftop installation errors and future leak problems.

Studies of roof failures show that most problems occur because of installation errors – much of which can be attributed to manual rooftop seaming. Duro-Last prefabrication eliminates most of this, greatly reducing the likelihood of installation errors and leak problems in the future.

Also important is that a prefabricated Duro-Last roof can be installed by Great Lakes Roofing without disrupting your day-to-day operation. And, because less rooftop labor is installed, we can be off your roof more quickly than with other systems.

In addition to being custom prefabricated, the Duro-Last roofing system is durable, energy-efficient, code compliant and backed by the industry’s best warranties. Contact us today about a new roof for your facility.

Don’t Replace Your Metal Roof – Retrofit!

In the roofing industry, standing seam metal roofs are typically classified as being either architectural or structural. Architectural metal roofs are those you can see from the ground on steep-sloped buildings. They are designed to look good on the building. Structural metal roofs are more functional and are installed on low-slope commercial buildings, directly onto the purlins over an open space.

Structural standing seam roofs are designed to be watertight and can provide protection from the elements for many years. However, eventually, Mother Nature takes her toll and the roof’s integrity can be compromised. Thermal expansion and contraction pull at seams and fasteners. Snow, rainfall and ponding water can eventually cause rust and corrosion to form and holes to appear.

If your structural metal roof is showing signs of age, you might be tempted take care of problems with a complete roof replacement. This will address your problems – until they begin again, because the new metal roof will have the same vulnerabilities as the old roof. This method is also costly, involves the use of heavy equipment, and is disruptive to a building’s normal operations, often exposing the building contents to the elements while work is performed.

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation, we recommend a roof retrofit, not a replacement. We will install a new single-ply membrane system right over your existing metal roof. It can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a replacement metal roof (without interfering with your building activities), and is a better long-term solution than sealants, coatings and foam. Contact us today for an estimate.

How GLR is making a difference.

With the push for a more sustainable future comes an increased standard for contractors across the United States.

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. we take pride in working with Duro-Last for their environmentally conscious mentality.

This begins in the factory where the excess from production is recycled back into the process. It then carries onto the job sites through the prefabrication process that eliminates a surplus of scrap being sent to landfills.

Duro-Last also offers a “take-back program.” This program allows mechanically attached PVC roofs to be returned to the manufacturer where it’s then recycled into new products. These products include:

  • Roof-Trak® walkway pads
  • ProFlex® concrete expansion joints
  • Protect-All® flooring.

Not only is the PVC roof able to be recycled, but Duro-Last also recycles the metal plating and screws and insulation boards as well.

For more information about how Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems is being environmentally conscious, contact us for more information! You can reach our office at 989-575-0190.


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!