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 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 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.


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.


Why We Choose Pre-Fabricated Roofing

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. we believe that part of the Duro-Last difference is the prefabrication process that takes place to ensure the highest quality product is being used for every job.

When considering what material to use for a low-slope roofing project, the leading drawback is the up-front cost of prefabricated roofing compared to roll goods but considering the LONG TERM advantages, Duro-Last provides the lasting efficiency building owners are seeking.

Reduced Labor Costs

After we finish the free estimate, the measurements of the project are carefully considered and just under 90% of all seams are finished in a closed environment prior to installation. This results in less time spent on the roof, therefore, reduced labor costs.

Fewer Callbacks

The measurements include all structural protrusions or panels that need to be included in the installation to ensure there are limited “surprises”. Since prefabrication means a reduced number of seams, and a reduced number of seams means a lower chance of leaks, this process is designed to reduce the number of callbacks and to increase the overall effectiveness of the product installed.

Energy Efficiency

Duro-Last’s benefits extend beyond the installation process, but in increasing energy efficiency as well. The classic style of Duro-Last’s PVC membrane is bright white and reflective which aids in keeping the cooling costs low throughout the year. It’s important to keep these long-term savings in mind!

Unparalleled Warranties

Offering top of the line warranties, Duro-Last puts the DRY in our Warm and Dry slogan! There are different coverage options for all scenarios and the warranties coincide with the building regardless of any transfers in ownership.

Recyclability & Reduced Waste

The environmental impact is significantly reduced through the “Roof Take Back Program” and cost-effective in decreasing the disposal costs. The prefabrication allows for exact amounts of material to be used whereas roll goods roofing oftentimes produces a high amount of waste during the installation process.

At Great Lakes, we have always been committed to the products we use and Duro-Last never fails to impress.  Call us to learn more about the advantages of the Duro-Last Single-Ply Pre-Fab benefits.  (906) 647-2916


Distinctly Duro-Last

If you are following Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. on social media*, you’ll recognize the Duro-Last brand from a majority of our posts.

We’ve been working with Duro-Last for over 30 years to install commercial roofing across the state of Michigan and using top of the line products is a necessity to us at GLR due to the high-quality services we strive to provide to each of our clients.

Being the commercial roofing industry’s leader in custom-fabricated PVC roofing manufacturing, Duro-Last has positioned itself at the top of an extremely competitive market. The level of warranty coverage Duro-Last offers is second to none, and with the harsh weather that we receive in Michigan, there is a coverage option for all types of incidents.

Regarding the warranty aspect of Duro-Last, we can guarantee that any Duro-Last commercial roof we install will have a 15 or 20-year warranty. This warranty will last the full duration of the 15 or 20 years, regardless of any transfers of ownership. This is one of the countless reasons we love working with Duro-Last.

Since we not only aim for the highest quality products and services but also a family feel, customers can find comfort in the close relationship Great Lakes Roofing has developed with our Duro-Last manufacturer/company. We were extremely motivated for another great year after hearing from Duro-Last Chairman of the Board, Jack Burt, in January.

“I am continually amazed by the ingenuity and drive of our contractors, and Great Lakes Roofing is no exception. Duro-Last is honored to recognize the hard work and commitment that our network of authorized contractors has provided over the years. Great Lakes Roofing has consistently gone above and beyond for their customers with high-quality work and integrity. We are proud to work with such a professional team and are excited to see what they accomplish in the next year.” – Jack Burt

Duro-Last has been our primary roofing manufacturer for years and we will continue to work with them to provide lasting service for years to come! Let us work with you and show you the Duro-Last difference!

*Facebook: GLRIS

*Instagram: great.lakes.roofing

*LinkedIn: Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc.

A Guide to Cellulose Insulation

At Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. we specialize in 4 main types of insulation:

  • Fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Open-Cell Spray Foam
  • Closed-Cell Spray Foam

In our latest blog post, we featured a piece about open vs closed cell but now we’re turning our focus to cellulose. Cellulose is one of the oldest forms of insulation and is primarily sourced from recycled materials such as newspapers or denim. For this reason, it is coined as the most environmentally friendly form of insulation.



With this composition, a common misconception is that cellulose increases the risk of fire, but the borate treatment prior to installation increases the fire resistance and makes the material unappealing to pesky insects. The structure of cellulose is also favorable in scenarios where there are objects like wiring or pipes in the walls that need to be insulated around. Cellulose is also a great option to soundproof space.



On the other hand, in comparison to other forms of insulation, cellulose has a lower R-value rating at about 3.5 per inch. A disadvantage of cellulose includes a potential decrease in R-value over time (as much as 40%) due to the settling of the particles in walls. Wet spray cellulose is applied during new construction to prevent the settling at the bottom of the wall that comes with the dry pack method, so attics or retrofitted walls are the only scenarios that dry cellulose would be utilized.



As previously mentioned, a convenient aspect of cellulose is that it can be installed in not only new homes but existing walls as well (retrofitting). During this process, a piece of siding (typically above or below windows) is removed and a 1-inch hole is cut into the exterior of the wall. Then, the cellulose is blown into the existing wall, the hole is closed, the piece of siding is replaced, and your older home has BRAND NEW insulation!


Whether you are looking into insulating a new space or working on a home improvement project, Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation Systems, Inc. has you covered. If you would like a free estimate, call (989) 575-0190!