EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT:
What's An SBS Roof Made Of Anyways?
SBS stands for Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene, but the membranes that fall under this category are usually called "Modified Bitumen". Regardless of what you call it, the membrane itself is made of a composite of rubber, glass and polyester with differing blends depending on the manufacturer. One of the main features of this membrane is that it's often reactive with asphalt, which means that combining heat or asphalt with one side of the membrane permanently attaches it to whatever is underneath it, otherwise called its "substrate".
SBS INSTALLATION IN A NUTSHELL
01 Roof Demolition
Demolition of the existing roofing system down to the flat roof decking.
The first step in the process of replacing any flat roof is tearing off the existing roofing system. Flat roofing systems come in many varieties, such as cap sheet, SBS, APP, TPO, EPDM, and plenty of other "alphabet" membranes. Regardless of what exists on your flat roof, the important part is to demolish it and dispose of it properly.
Flat roofs, unlike steep roofs, come with several differing types of roof deckings based on the materials used to create the building itself. The most frequent materials that make up a roof deck are metal, concrete, and wood. By far, the most common type of roof decking is wood decking for residential flat roofs, and concrete decking for commercial flat roofs.
Depending on the type of decking, certain extra steps may be necessary to prepare the deck for the application of new layers of roofing systems. Concrete, for example, often needs to be primed before laying anything new onto it. It all depends on the type of roofing system chosen to replace the existing one.
Should any damage be found on the underlying decking, this is the stage where that damage is revealed and addressed. Wood decks, for instance, may have rotting wood that requires replacement prior to further application. Every situation is unique in this regard and your roof may vary.
02 Preliminary Layers
Many multi-ply membranes require something, whether it be insulation or anchor sheets, to be installed underneath the membranes.
The second step to installing a multi ply system, including SBS, is usually to install something underneath the layers of membrane. While it's technically optional as there are several roof systems that simply attach the SBS itself to the roof decking, it's often discouraged and even illegal in some municipalities.
The layers underneath the SBS have a variety of options and functionalities. They essentially fall into three main categories: anchor sheets, insulation, and cover boards.
Anchor sheets, sometimes also called slip sheets or base sheets, are membranes that get attached to the roof decking to provide extra protection against leaks. Insulation boards (like the ones seen in the photo here) are used to help offset extra energy costs from the weather by helping to regulate interior temperatures effectively. Cover boards are often used for fireproofing a building envelope or simply providing an additional layer of protection to the overall system.
Each of these underlying layers has a different method of attachment and application, so the variety is truly endless. To ensure that you get the perfect system for your wants and needs, it's vital to speak to a flat roofing expert who can walk you through all of the different options and recommend the best system for your specific use case.
03 SBS Installation
During this phase, the SBS and all its layers are finally laid out over the roof, completing the majority of the system.
After the underlying layers have been properly installed, it's time to put down the multiple layers of SBS. How many layers and what each layer is composed of varies based on the specifics of your roof system. Oftentimes it will be just two or three layers in total.
Multi-ply membranes should offer much stronger protection, in theory, than many other roofing systems out there thanks to the extra protection provided by multiple overlapping membranes. Should the top layer fail or tear for whatever reason, there is yet another level of protection from the membrane underneath.
The SBS arrives to the job site in rolls and are literally unrolled on top of the roof deck and underlying layers. Depending on the type of system, it may be attached to the layers below through torch application or with hot asphalt acting as a sort of adhesive. The SBS is normally laid out in such a manner that two adjacent layers overlap with each other. Side laps are normally secured by torching or applying asphalt once again. This is why you'll see black tar spewing out of the side laps at times on roofs.
SBS, and flat roofs in general, also have special situations at their edges. Most often, they'll either be cut off at the roofs edge if there's no wall, or they'll run up any existing wall (known as a parapet wall) at least a few inches.
Of course, this is all an oversimplification of a rather complex process, so if you have any questions about your specific roof, make sure to ask your dedicated roofer.
04 Finishing Details
Every flat roof is different, and every detail needs to be accounted for to pass a final inspection.
SBS roofs, and flat roofs in general, have lots of little details that matter to securing the entirety of the roof and making sure it's watertight. Everything from corners to AC units to roof curbs to parapet walls to skylights...all of it needs to be properly addressed or else leaks will enter through unaddressed weak spots.
In order to double check on the roofer's work, a County Inspector is normally called up during this phase for a Final Inspection. The Final Inspection is only passed once the County verifies that the roofing system being installed is consistent with what is legally called for in the permit documents. That includes any details and securing the details as per manufacturer's specifications to ensure that the roofing system is completely watertight and free of leaks.
The way these details are addressed varies based on what details are present on your roof. For example, a wall may be outfitted with a piece of metal called a termination bar to secure the SBS in place as it's glued up the wall. Counterflashing may be necessary to make sure water doesn't enter behind the SB membrane on the wall. A stucco stop may be necessary to transition the wall itself to the roofing system properly without causing weaknesses in the building envelope. And all of that is just for a wall! You can imagine how complicated addressing every detail can be!
WHAT MATERIALS ARE YOU PUTTING ON MY ROOF?
This is not an exhaustive list of the products used on flat re-roofs. Rather, these are the most popular options. Feel free to click on one of the arrows to visit their website and browse their different products/colors. Additionally, we've attached a sample product sheet so you can see all the specifications of these sample products. This gives you an idea of what typically gets installed on a roof.
As compared with other roofing systems, here's why you should purchase a SBS roof:
SBS roofs tend to be the strongest overall roof systems, with many having been installed as early as the 1970's and still holding up on commercial structures to this day.
SBS offers most of the same benefits of other systems, being leakproof, weatherproof, fireproof, and providing excellent energy benefits, so long as the proper system is installed with all the bells and whistles.
SBS systems are chosen most often for buildings like hospitals, schools and prisons. Put another way, if a building requires abundant protection from the elements, SBS is the frequent choice. That says something about the quality of the system.
SBS systems can contain multiple layers of insulation, a layer of cover board, and still more layers of membrane, making it exceedingly difficult for water intrusion to occur.
SBS roofs are normally guaranteed by both the workmanship and the manufacturer for longer periods than their single ply counterparts.
SBS roofs don't normally require anything special to traverse them. If there are units on the roof, such as AC units, that require consistent service and attention, foot traffic will not diminish the system.
As compared with other roofing systems, here's why you should not purchase a SBS roof:
While being strong as an overall system, many older roofs have constant leaking problems. Because replacement of an existing system with a new system is so expensive with SBS, repairs are often chosen over replacements, which merely puts a bandaid over the issue
SBS roofs are simply not cheap. They are almost always more expensive than comparable systems thanks to the multiple layers requiring extra labor and material
SBS systems aren't the choice of many commercial buildings, and many of those buildings are holding up just fine using far cheaper systems. The rarity of powerful hurricanes makes the strength of SBS seem a bit like overkill.
SBS roofs, while having multiple layers, are actually much more susceptible to tears and abrasions on the membrane, which is why the extra layers are necessary to secure the system
SBS warranty periods, while long, normally do not extend into the problematic period of owning an SBS roof, which normally starts after 25 years or so.
SBS roofs can be easily punctures by tools and equipment on the roof, so if there is constant work on your roof, it may not be the best option.
IS YOUR ROOF UP TO CODE?
While ensuring that every detail of every section of work that goes into installing your new metal roof is legal is a hassle, it's well worth it. There's tremendous peace of mind behind knowing that everything about your roof and the contractor behind it is legal and operating above board.
Every major county in Florida has their own rules and regulations regarding roof work, so be sure to check in with your municipality to see what the specific restrictions/regulations may be, but, in a nutshell, a roofing contractor must be licensed, insured, have worker's compensation and install all materials according to the Florida Building Code and the installation approval method by the County.
Don't leave your roof up to chance. Violating any of the legalities revolving around roofing could lead to giant fines from both the County and the State of Florida for both the roofer and the Owner of the property. It also devalues your home as there's no proof of reparation/re-roof with the property appraiser and creates an extra cost when selling your property in order to make illegal roofwork legal.
HOW REGGAE ROOFING COMPLIES WITH THE LAW:
Pay Your Way
Pay it upfront, at the end, or over time.
Our financing options allow you to pay in whatever way is most convenient for you. In general, we require a 20% deposit to begin the job, and then the final 80% is due upon completion of the job.
However, we allow paying more than 20% as a deposit in exchange for a discount on the job. We can also accommodate paying over time by giving you finance options that provide a low monthly payment for your roof. We can even finance the job through Ygrene if you'd like to explore that option. The bottom line is: we want to help you get under a new roof.
Who We Work With
There are lots of manufacturers of SBS products here in South Florida. Feel free to click on the links to learn more about these companies and the products they make, which will ultimately go on your roof. Please note that not every product is available in every region of South Florida. For more information on specific products, please contact us directly.