TPO vs. EPDM: What’s the Difference?

Roofing companies are so familiar with the huge variety of roofing materials that they forget how most people struggle to tell them apart. That’s why we created this guide to help you better understand two of the most popular roof types: TPO and EPDM. Keep reading to learn the difference between the two and find out which one is a good fit for your business.

What Is TPO Roofing?

Let’s first understand what makes each roofing material unique.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing system. TPO is considered to be the most affordable, energy efficient, and easy to repair since its creation in the 1980s. TPO is ubiquitous—40% of all commercial roofing projects today involve the use of TPO.

The Benefits of TPO Roofing

TPO is popular for a reason. It’s benefits include:

Water Resistance

The last thing you want is water leaking into your place of business. TPO’s membrane is designed to prevent leaks that could not only ruin the paint and plaster, but also damage the ceiling, floor, and even foundation. The results are dangerous facility conditions that can hurt employees or clients. Concerned about leaks? TPO is the ultimate choice for a water-proof roof.

Cost Effectiveness

Are you looking for the most bang for your buck? TPO roofing systems are more affordable in every way. The low up-front costs, easy mid-term maintenance, and over 30-year lifespan make TPO roofs an affordable and energy-efficient investment. Whatever timeframe you’re looking at, TPO is an extremely economical roofing choice.


TPO is tough and capable of handling anything. It brushes aside common roofing challenges like thermal shock or severe weather. Come hail or high water, TPO is built to last. Its unique synthetic composition is reinforced with a polyester scrim that’ll hold up to any test. If you need a tried-and-true roofing material that you can have confidence will last, turn to TPO.

What Is EPDM Roofing?

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofing is a single ply roofing membrane that’s been an industry mainstay since the 1960s. EPDM is composed of a synthetic rubber blend that is extremely durable—EPDM roofs can have a life span of 30 years or more! When looking at TPO vs. EPDM, EPDM can usually last a bit longer.

Considering this extreme lifespan, you may be surprised to hear that EPDM is cost effective too. When comparing TPO vs. EPDM, EPDM is only slightly more expensive. However, EPDM roofing is extremely easy to install.


The Benefits of EPDM Roofing

EPDM hasn’t stuck around since the 1960s for nothing. The benefits of EPDM roofing include:

Simple Installation

When comparing TPO vs. EPDM, EPDM is simpler to install. In fact, EPDM is one of the easiest roofing materials to install in general, keeping installation time and labor costs low. If time is of the essence, an EPDM roof may be the right choice. EPDM also has a much shorter lead time than TPO because of lower demand, meaning that your installation can get done fast.

Installation Options

EPDM is extremely flexible. There are a huge variety of installation options that make EPDM suitable for every timeline and budget. The four main types of EPDM roofing installations are:

Ballasted EPDM

A ballasted installation is the most common type. You can recognize a ballasted EPDM roof by the layer of stones or rocks on top. Those stones are referred to as “river rock” and make up the top layer of some EPDM roofs. They fix the roof in place and prevent strong winds from tearing it off.

Mechanically Attached EPDM

A more cost-effective alternative to a ballasted EPDM installation is a mechanically attached EPDM roof. While this option is definitely affordable, we generally wouldn’t recommend it for larger commercial buildings that are susceptible to strong winds.

Adhered EPDM

An adhered EPDM roof uses a chemical adhesive that glues it to your roofing system and creates a smooth, consistent surface. This option has durability comparable to a ballasted EPDM system with a clean, appealing finish.

Insulation Options

EPDM offers a wide-variety of insulation types with different R-values, which measure how well a building is able to retain heat. A greater R-value correlates to more effective insulating properties. The three insulation types that can be attached to EPDM are:

Polyiso Insulation

Polyiso insulation has extremely strong insulating properties and is the most popular choice, but it is not suitable for certain buildings with fire restrictions.

EPS Insulation

EPS insulation is the most economical option. Its insulative properties aren’t as strong as the other types but it offers a higher R-value per dollar.

XPS Insulation

XPS insulation bridges the gap between the two other types, offering a balance of insulative strength and cost.

TPO vs. EPDM: The Bottom Lin

Now that we understand what differentiates TPO vs. EPDM, which one is right for your business?

You Should Choose TPO Roofing Material If

You’re looking for a tried-and-true roofing system that saves money on installation and energy costs.

You Should Choose EPDM Roofing Material If

You need a custom roof that fits your installation needs, lasts as long as possible, and can get installed fast.

TPO, EPDM, and Beyond, Simpson’s Got You Covered

Regardless of what roofing material you’re interested in, Simpson does it all. We’ve been installing TPO, EPDM, and other roofing systems for 30 years. We’ve worked with every type of building and industry, and left them all satisfied. Whatever your roofing needs, turn to Simpson.

Protect Your Roof This Fall With Preventative Maintenance

engineer checking rooftop on a commercial building

Fall is the perfect time for commercial roof maintenance. Read this guide to keep your roof in good shape this season and for years to come.

What Is Preventative Maintenance?

Preventative maintenance is a proactive approach to roofing that emphasizes taking small steps now to avoid big problems later. Preventative maintenance is a great way to make sure your roof avoids leaks, outlives its warranty, and holds strong for decades.

Your Fall Commercial Roof Maintenance Plan

Fall is an important season for your roof—the steps you take now will help it avoid serious damage this winter. That’s why we put together this fall preventative maintenance plan.

We’ll start with steps that are easy to complete on your own and move to tougher tasks.

Clean Your Gutters

Fall gutter cleaning is incredibly important. Thoroughly clean your gutters towards the end of the season. Doing it too early is a waste of time because blockages will just build back up. How frequently you need to clean your gutters depends on environmental factors like:

  • Density of vegetation on your property
  • Weather conditions
  • The type of trees in your vicinity

This is especially important to do before big storms. Dirty gutters get clogged during storms and can prevent water drainage. Water seeps into your home when it has nowhere else to go, which can lead to major structural damage.

Consider Gutter Guards

A gutter guard is a convenient piece of equipment that attaches to your gutters. Gutter guards are made of a metal screen that filters out debris while still letting water pass through your gutter system. This solution isn’t perfect, however. Debris still finds a way to creep into your gutters with guards installed, but the buildup happens much slower.

Proper gutter maintenance is key to keeping any type of roof in working order. We highly recommend cleaning your gutters as the first preventative maintenance step you take this fall.

Look for Interior Water Spots

Take a tour through the inside of your building and keep your eyes peeled for any water stains on the ceiling. Water stains are a common indicator of roof leaks, which commonly develop in the fall after summer storms.

Signs you should look for include paint irregularities like peeling, chipping, or cracking. More extreme water damage can even cause severe issues like warped walls and mold or mildew growth.

Clear Roof Debris

Extra debris on your roof can accelerate roof degradation. While we don’t recommend climbing on to your property’s roof, sometimes debris needs to be cleared. If you’re going to ascend your roof to clear debris, follow these steps:

  • Prepare the tools you’ll need to clear debris. These will vary depending on your type of roof and maintenance strategy. Common tools include a soft brush broom and a leaf blower. A leaf blower lets you move debris without needing to make contact with your roof.
  • Securely mount your ladder onto your roof. Make sure to place the ladder on a steady surface and a sufficient enough angle to be sturdy. Have a partner to hold it steady below.
  • Carefully inspect your roof upon climbing on to it. Are there any spots that look dangerous? Does there seem to be a glaring issue that needs to be addressed by a professional? If you can’t be 100% confident in the stability of your roof, get off of it and call a professional.
  • If your roof is safe to navigate, begin your preventative maintenance! Use your broom or leaf blower to get debris off of your roof while minding the ledge.
  • Ask your partner to hold on to your ladder again while you descend with your tools.

Clearing roof debris is safe when done right. Follow the preventative maintenance steps above and get your roof prepped for the winter!


Check Your Insulation

Misplaced insulation can also cause roofing damage when it covers your vents. Vents are critical to providing air flow that prevents ice dams from forming in the winter. Read more about ice dams and how winter impacts roofing with our last blog.

Never handle insulation without a mask. Insulation commonly contains fiberglass, which is dangerous to breathe in—especially if you have a condition like asthma. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, contact professionals.

Inspect Your Flashing

We would never recommend roof repair and maintenance to an amateur, but some flashing repair is doable for an amatuer. Flashing is critical for your roof as well as your home’s structural stability, sealing the space between your roof’s underlying frame and the outdoors. There are a few potential problems to watch out for:

  • Severe weather damage can misplace flashing.
  • Exposure and long periods without service can corrode flashing.
  • Critters can put small holes in flashing.

Sometimes entire sections of flashing have to be replaced. Replacement seems simple, but can easily go wrong. Leave it to the professionals if you want flashing installed correctly.

However, flashing isn’t always unsalvageable. Small issues like holes or gaps can be solved by:

Re-Caulking Your Flashing

Re-caulking is a pretty simple process that doesn’t require much expertise. Grab a caulk gun and evenly apply sealant to your flashing. Focus on parts of the flashing that have worn away, contain small holes, or are slightly damaged.

Caulk is a short-term fix. If you want a longer-term solution, contact the experts for a full flashing replacement.

Do an Amateur Roof Inspection

While roof inspections are best left in the hands of professionals, there are some things you can identify yourself. Take a look at your roof; are there holes, broken materials, or discoloration?

Record these things for easy communication with a professional. Describing your issues well is key to getting the right help and makes the professional roof inspection simpler.

Get a Professional Roof Inspection From Simpson Unlimited

Contact Simpson Unlimited for the gold standard in roofing services. We offer a variety of solutions that include:

Simpson Unlimited has been Virginia’s ultimate exterior service provider since 1993. We pride ourselves on our high-quality work and exceptional customer service. Keep your roof in great shape for years to come by partnering with Simpson today.

Prepare Your Roof for Winter With Our Winter Roofing Tips

Buildings and structures do their best to keep out the TWinter weather conditions are dangerous for your roof. Learn what you can do to keep your roof in good condition with our winter roofing tips.

Winter Is Coming

Winter can damage your roof in any number of ways, which is why we put together these winter roofing tips to prepare your structure for the frosty season.

Winter’s Impact on Roofs

Why is winter so dangerous for roofs? There are four key reasons:

Snow Damage

An ounce of snow leads to heavy problems for your roof. Snow accumulation is a massive weight on your roof. This weight can exceed your roof’s capacity and cause bowed ceilings, cracks above windows and doors, and even total roof collapse.

Snow melting slowly also leads to roof damage. Melted snow seeps into your roof when there’s too much to drain, which is a big source of leaking.

Some people spread calcium chloride or salt on their roof to melt snow—don’t do this. While this will melt the snow, it can seriously damage your roof and void your roofing material warranties.

Water and Ice Damage

Freezing rain is a serious threat to roofs and can develop into ice dams that block your gutters. If your gutters are impaired by ice dams, your roof won’t drain water properly. All of that water has to go somewhere, so it pools underneath your roof and creeps its way into your business.

While an inch or two of water may not seem serious, small leaks cause big problems. Water damage can:

  • Fry electrical wiring
  • Cause mold growth
  • Compromise your building’s structural integrity
  • Block vents

Freezing temperatures are hazardous for your roof, especially when paired with rain.

Wind Damage

Winter causes heavy winds that lash at your business’s roof. Winter winds are especially  dangerous because they can be accompanied by hail or sleet. This leads to situations where the wind makes your roof vulnerable to hail or sleet, resulting in further damage.  

Common Signs of Winter Roof Damage

How can you tell if your roof has been damaged? Common signs that point to roof damage include:


Damaged roofs are the reason for most leaks. A random leak in the middle of your business probably indicates a roof failure somewhere. In contrast, a leak next to a window or wall may signal that the roof is not the culprit.

Creaky Noises

Creaky noises could indicate any number of issues with your facility. Pay attention to when the creaking occurs—is it after extreme weather conditions? If so, your roof could be structurally compromised and need a roof replacement.

Warped Ceilings

Have your ceilings drooped down at unusual angles? This might be a sign that the weight of the snow is too much for your roof to manage. Ceilings can also be affected when leaks have entered into your home.

Our Winter Roofing Tips

Follow these winter roofing tips to guarantee that your roof is prepared for the upcoming season. Thorough preparation makes its own luck—get your roof ready now to avoid stress later.

Inspect Your Roof

While a professional roof inspection is thorough, there are some easily identifiable issues that anyone can spot. Examine your roof for:

  • Damage to roofing material
  • Build up of leaves, branches, and other debris
  • Irregularities like dark or wet spots

If you’re concerned about handling an inspection yourself, hire a professional roofing contractor. A professional can handle roof repair for winter and keep you prepared.

Clean Your Gutters

Prevent ice dams by cleaning out your gutters. Gutters stuffed with debris will freeze much faster than clean gutters. Blockage can lead to snow and ice seeping into your business and causing serious roof damage.

Clean gutters also prevent drafts and reduce winter heating costs. Gutter maintenance is a simple and effective winter roofing tip that mitigates winter roofing damage.

Check for Leaks

Inspect your business after extreme weather. Are there any leaks visible inside your building? Immediately call a local roofing contractor if you see any, because they escalate fast and cost big money.

Don’t climb onto your roof by yourself, especially during the winter. Roofing materials in winter can be slick and dangerous to navigate because of ice or sleet. The vast majority of roofing injuries happen when amateurs try to handle roof maintenance—leave it to the professionals.

Reseal Your Business

Look for areas in and around your business that need to be resealed. Resealing is a pretty simple process that weatherizes your home. Simple weatherizing only takes two tools: a caulk gun and sealant.

Replace loose or missing flashing as well. Flashing protects the structure of your business from water damage. Your entire facility can be compromised when flashing is not installed properly. While this is a more detailed winter roofing tip, it’s key to keeping your business secure.

Trim Trees

There are two key reasons you should trim tree branches:

  • They accelerate debris accumulation.
  • They could break off and crash into your business during storms.

We always recommend contacting professionals for tree branch removal—especially if it’s done during winter weather conditions.

Contact a Roofing Contractor for a Professional Roof Inspection

This winter roofing tip can’t be done by amateurs. A roof inspection carried out by experts will give you the peace of mind knowing your roof is ready for the winter. Protect your business by having your roof done right and trusting it to the professionals.

Simpson Unlimited has offered industry-leading commercial roofing services since 1993. We can handle any commercial roofing need, from free roof inspections to preventative maintenance that keeps your business prepared. We take pride in our work and have a proven track record of quality service. Contact us today to secure the future of your roof!


Decrease Costs With The Right Roof Systems

Buildings and structures do their best to keep out the The right roof system can help your business save big on costs. Whether you’re prioritizing immediate savings or have a long-term plan, Simpson has options for you.

The Right Roof System Can Cut Your Costs

As a business owner, many of your decisions boil down to cost. Cost analysis is critical to running an effective business, but very difficult to do well. It’s difficult because of the knowledge required to do it effectively—gathering that knowledge takes a huge investment of time. We’ve designed this guide to save you time and provide knowledge on roofing for you. We outline two approaches you can take to cutting costs through roofing in this guide:

  • Upfront Costs
  • Long-Term Costs

Depending on which costs your business is more concerned with, we’ll recommend different roof systems and solutions.

Upfront Costs

Are you concerned about saving money right now? Maybe you need to keep some money on hand or aren’t in the position to heavily invest in a new roof right now. Either way, these are some affordable roof options that will help save you money and keep your roof in good shape.

Commercial Roof Coatings

Commercial roof coatings are a straightforward method of extending the service life of your roof. The process of roof coating involves creating a seamless waterproofing layer over your existing roof system. Coatings can be done on nearly every type of commercial roofing system and extend the service life of your roof by up to 20 years. Each coating is done differently because the right coating type depends on the roof. Coating types we offer include:

  • Silicone Roof Coating
  • PMMA Roof Coating
  • Urethane Roof Coating
  • Acrylic Roof Coating

Commercial roof coatings usually cost half of the average cost to tear off and replace a roof. The process is also non-intrusive and fast—meaning that your business can continue operation the whole time.

Fluid Applied Roof Restoration

Fluid-applied membrane roofing systems have become an invaluable option for facility owners. Where you can coat an entire roof from fluid-applied systems, they are available for roof restorations as well. These restorations are applied on top of your existing roof’s membrane, which saves you from having to complete an expensive and laborious roof replacement. Keep in mind that not all roofs will qualify to be restored.

Fluid applied roof restorations involve a simple process. We begin by inspecting the roof to make sure it will qualify for restoration, then repair issues with your current roof. Once the surfaces are clean the membrane is installed on the roof surface. Fluid applied restorations are exceptionally well sealed. A fluid applied roof restoration is an affordable roof option that guarantees your facility stays dry.

Roof Repair

Repair is the final short-term option for your roof system. While it’s a more temporary solution when compared to the other options, a repair is usually very economical. It’s often the case that a repair is all that is necessary for your roof, especially if it was simply damaged from some kind of accident. Where many roofing companies will push for a full replacement, we’ll always be honest and tell you when a simple repair is all that’s necessary.

We’re ready and available 24/7/365 to respond to all of your commercial roofing repair needs. Never put a repair off—they quickly escalate and turn into issues where a full replacement is necessary.

Alternatively, consider contacting us about preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance ensures that repairs or replacement don’t ever become necessary

Long-Term Costs

If your business is in a comfortable place, consider a roofing choice that will last into the future. If you’d like to invest more into your roof, these roof system options will help your business cut costs further down the line.

Cost Effective Maintenance

Some roofing types are incredibly simple to repair and maintain as they age. Investing in these materials will save you money while saving your roofing contractors time. Roofing materials we have that are easy to repair include:

  • TPO Roofing
  • PVC Roofing
  • EPDM Roofing
    Being able to swap out your roofing keeps repairs simple and affordable. All of these roofs are single ply constructions meaning that it’s easy to cut out and replace sections without compromising the integrity of the rest of the roof.

TPO Reflectivity

A key advantage in investing in TPO comes from its energy efficiency. TPO roof systems are the highest rated in their class on the Solar Reflectivity Index. This means that TPO is able to reflect the rays of the sun and keep your building cool, which helps you save on energy costs. If that’s not enough, TPO roofs:

  • Have heat-welded seams that offer extreme water resistance.
  • Are reinforced by polyester scrim that expand and contract with the building
  • Offer an above average puncture resistance when compared to EPDM.
  • Have high UV and weather resistance

Finally, TPO is the most affordable option outside of repair, recovery, or roof coating. If roof replacement is an option for your business we highly recommend TPO for all of the reasons mentioned above—you won’t be disappointed.

Simpson Can Help Any Budget

Regardless of what roof system you want to invest in, Simpson Unlimited has an answer for you. We handle all roofs, whether your budgetary constrictions mandate short-term solutions or you’re able to invest in something that lasts, we have options. Contact us for a free inspection and quote for your roof.

How Long Does a Roof Last?

Top view flat roof with air conditioners and hydro insulation membranes on top of a modern blue and orange apartment

Buildings and structures do their best to keep out the Nothing lasts forever. While some commercial roof types may be more durable than others, all roofs eventually have to be repaired or replaced. Keep reading to find out how long a roof lasts and what you can do to extend the lifespan of your roof.

Average Roof Lifespan for Different Types of Roofs

The right material can massively extend the life expectancy of your commercial roof. While all roofing materials have their pros and cons, they are not equal in terms of longevity. Find out which material makes for the longest-lasting roof below.

TPO Roof Life Expectancy

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofs are affordable, energy efficient, and easy to repair. Since their creation in the 1980s, TPO roofs have been an industry standard. TPO is the most popular material and makes up 40% of the commercial roofing market share.

TPO roofs last 20 to 30 years. TPO roofs are designed to be tough with a wind resistant, puncture-resistant membrane. TPO roofs also have high reflectivity that helps your facility cut building cooling costs. TPO is an excellent choice for most businesses because of its durability.

PVC Roof Life Expectancy

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofs are flexible, fireproof, and water tight. While some roofs have weak points in their seams, PVC roofs join their seams together with heat welding, making PVC seams tighter than any other roof type. PVC is also physically flexible, making it a perfect solution for angled or curved roofs.

PVC roofs last 15 to 30 years. While they may deteriorate before TPO roofs, PVC’s unique properties make them worth investing in. No other roof type has the chemical and fire resistance of PVC while being simultaneously flexible and easy to repair. If your business deals with chemicals or you have a unique situation, a PVC roof may be worth investing in.

EPDM Roof Life Expectancy

Ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing (EPDM) is a synthetic roofing material that is easy to install and economical. EPDM is composed of a synthetic rubber that is mechanically fastened, ballasted with a river-rock, or adhered. EPDM is priced competitively to TPO and can be more cost effective depending on your roof’s needs and if you have more heating days than cooling days per year.

Don’t get the wrong impression of EPDM—cost effectiveness doesn’t translate to low quality. EPDM lasts 20 to 35 years. EPDM’s single ply construction also makes it easy to maintain and repair over the course of its life

Modified Bitumen Roof Life Expectancy

Modified bitumen roofing is an asphalt-based rubber composite. There are two options of modified roofing, SBS and APP. Both types have benefits and drawbacks but all types of modified roof are constructed with an adhesive that makes them tough.

You can expect a modified roof to have an average roof life of 10 to 20 years. While they do wear away somewhat faster than other roof types, modified roofs are extremely resistant to all forms of damage. This makes modified roofs an excellent choice for protecting high-value properties. However, if your only concern is how long a roof lasts, modified roofs are not the best option.

Built-Up Roof Life Expectancy

Built-up, or BUR, roofing systems are the most battle-tested roofing option available. Having been in use for over a century, BUR systems have 4 layers that seal and protect your business. These “stacked” layers make BUR systems extremely puncture resistant and waterproof.

BUR roofs last 20 to 35 years. If you’re looking for a tried-and-true roofing system that’s low maintenance, look no further than BUR.

Metal Roof Life Expectancy

Metal roofs are the ultimate long-term roof. Visually appealing and durable, metal roofs offer the best of both worlds. There are two types of metal roof options:

  • Architectural Metal Roofing
  • Structural Metal Roofing

Architectural metal roofing is when the roofing is installed over some kind of pre-existing roofing system or substrate. Comparatively, structural metal roofing is when the roofing is installed over open framing. Regardless of what option you install, you can expect both to last.

Metal roofing lasts 40 to 60 years when properly maintained. If your only concern is how long a roof lasts and you have a sloped structure to support it, metal roofing is the answer.

What Factors Affect the Average Lifespan of a Roof?

You probably noticed the wide ranges for the average roof life in the previous section. The reason that we can’t more definitively answer how long a roof lasts is because of the range of outside factors that impact your roof’s health. These factors vary from business to business:


Weather has a huge influence on how long a roof lasts. Weather factors that deteriorate your roof include:

  • Humidity
  • Extreme Heat or Cold
  • UV Exposure
  • Thermal Shock or Temperature Fluctuations
  • Elevation
  • Severe Weather

Of these factors, severe weather has the most direct impact on the condition of your roof. If your area consistently gets weather like heavy rain, hail, or high winds, your roof will degrade faster.

Quality of Installation

Outside of the material, construction affects how long a roof lasts. You want to make sure that you have an experienced team of roofing contractors that properly install your roof. Make sure that your roofing partner is experienced with your desired material and ask them for photo references of other jobs they’ve completed.


Maintenance is the #1 factor in determining how long a roof lasts. Regularly inspecting your roof and repairing issues early is the best way to have your roof in great shape for years to come.

If you don’t know how to maintain your roof yourself, contact the professionals. Simpson Unlimited specializes in commercial roofing and has an expert team ready to fulfill your needs. We offer all of the roof types described above and have experienced repair teams that could help fix leaks or patch holes. Whatever the issue, Simpson will guarantee that your roof is in excellent condition for years to come.

Signs You Need Waterproof Building Material

Buildings and structures do their best to keep out the elements. They protect against water, moisture, and wet weather conditions. However, the environment around a building tends to force itself inside. Here’s how to spot potential problems and what waterproof building materials you might need.

Signs That You Should Consider Waterproof Building Materials

There are many signs that warrant the need for waterproof building material.

Condensation Forming

A sign that water is getting into your building is condensation, a buildup of moisture upon a surface (walls, floors, windows). If you can wipe your finger on a surface and it’s wet, water is finding its way into the building.

Black Spots

Moisture is a breeding ground for molds and mildews that can harm a building’s inhabitants. If you are finding black growth on surfaces, this is a sign of unwelcome moisture.


Water erodes rock, cement, and other mineral-based materials. An inflow of moisture can create gaps in your floor, wall, or foundation, which will require masonry restoration.

Sinking Foundation

As mentioned above, water can deteriorate mineral-based materials. If water is allowed to pool around your foundation, it can eat away over time, causing it to sink.

Musty Smell

Any unpleasant smells in your building can indicate molds, mildews, and other growths, meaning excess moisture is present.

Increased Humidity

High moisture levels can be an invisible sign of improper waterproofing. If the air in an area of your building feels wetter than usual, excess water could be the culprit.

Pooling water

If water is pooling around your building, foundation, or roof, you need immediate action. Leaking, deterioration, and structural damage will eventually impact your building if left untreated.

How To Waterproof Your Building

If you’ve noticed any potential signs of water damage, you should start thinking about waterproofing your building. If you prefer to be proactive, you can take action now to prevent future problems. But there are so many components of a building that could benefit from thorough waterproofing. How do you know which ones need attention? Here are the main interior and exterior areas affected by water damage and waterproof building materials that can remedy current or future leaks.

Waterproofing On Floors

Floors often need waterproofing precautions because they are flat, ideal places for water to pool, especially below-ground flooring.

Bituminous membrane, commonly associated with asphalt, is a sleek, viscous substance perfect for sealing floors, roofs, and basements. There are many different ways to apply a bitumen seal, including torch-applied bitumen, self-adhesive membrane, and self-adhesive tape. Depending on the area or structure that needs waterproofing, each sealant has its advantages.

Cementitious coating, a cement-based sealant, is another great way to waterproof floors. This waterproofing building material sticks to concrete, steel, and other hard surfaces, protecting them from moisture and certain harmful chemicals. Rubberized asphalt is another viable option if you need to seal cracks or tears on your floor.


Repairing, maintaining, and waterproofing your commercial space can be difficult. Water damage should be appropriately addressed, and with Simpson Unlimited, a dry foundation is one click away.

Schedule My Free Inspection Today

Waterproofing On Walls

The building envelope, the encasing around a home that separates the exterior from the interior, is always in danger of water damage. Ground and earth constantly squeeze a building’s foundations, pressing water against surrounding structures. High moisture concentrations and a low dew point can cause water to seep into a structure, damaging its walls.

You can apply the flooring waterproofing options listed above to walls as well. If your walls only require a small amount of sealant, caulking can seal tiny crevices around windows and the creases between floors and walls.

A waterproof coating is a smart option if you want a more aesthetic solution. Water-based paint, or waterproofing paint, can be used on exterior or interior walls. This type of paint is UV resistant and doesn’t chip and crack as much as oil-based paints.

Waterproofing On Roofs

Roofs often take the brunt of rainfall and falling water. Because of this, many waterproof building materials are specifically made for roofs. Roofing materials are an excellent defense against wet weather, but sometimes they get worn down and porous, especially flat roofs.

There are various coats and paints for waterproofing roofs. EPDM rubber liquid is a prime choice among roof coatings as it’s easy to apply and helps waterproof the roof’s surface. There are a wide variety of waterproofing building materials for metal surfaces and roofs. Anti-condensation paint for metal roofs protects against water damage and rust, making them perfect for exterior roofing.


Choose Simspon Unlimited To Waterproof Your Commercial Space

Simpson Unlimited has been waterproofing commercial buildings for nearly thirty years in the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia metropolitan area. We provide quality waterproofing products, waterproof building materials, and other types of waterproofing materials to ensure your commercial space stays dry year-round. With a dedicated team of restoration experts, we can address, fix, and maintain your commercial structure’s waterproofing needs. Contact us today to explore your commercial waterproofing options.

Different Commercial Roof Types

Certain commercial roof types require certain maintenance and installation processes. Before finalizing your decision, consult with an industry-trusted roofing contractor to decide which membrane roofing material is most suitable for your structure.

The Advantages of Various Commercial Roof Types

Your commercial building needs the best roofing possible to protect your occupants, maintain a professional appearance. Familiarizing yourself with different commercial roof types enables you to make the wisest choice based on your location, budget, and style preference.

Most commercial buildings have flat roofing systems. Since their low-sloped structure is spacious and more easily accessible, these systems are multifunctional and cost effective. Flat roofs also house HVAC equipment and are perfect for building add-ons like skylights to boost energy efficiency and allow natural light into the building. Flat commercial roof types can also be transformed into rooftop patios for meetings, parties, and other on-campus activities. There are many different commercial roof types to choose from, including:



Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, has become a top contender among commercial roofing materials since its introduction in the 1980s. TPO membranes are single-ply roofing systems that offer incredible reflectivity, insulation, and cost effectiveness.

This material’s seamless installation improves water resistance, so property owners can worry less about roof leaks. TPO’s white topcoat creates certified cool roofs, meaning they reflect more sunlight than they absorb to keep the roof cooler. As a result, indoor temperatures remain more comfortable so the AC runs less frequently.


Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), also known as rubber roofing, is another single-ply flat roof material type. It entered the roofing industry in the 1960s and is still an economical, dependable roofing system to this day. It’s quite versatile, perfect for medical buildings, warehouse roofs, and many other commercial structures. Its flexibility makes it resistant to thermal shock, which is when weather fluctuations cause roofing materials to expand and contract. Plus, it’s made with a chemical self-bonding adhesive or pressure-sensitive seam tape to stay firmly in place.

EPDM comes in large monolithic sheets that are either mechanically fastened, adhered, or ballasted with river rock or a gravel-like layer. This additional layer of protection keeps roofs waterproof and low maintenance. Since EPDM roofs aren’t easily damaged by rainfall, hail, or high temperatures, they often last for at least 30 years before they need to be replaced.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing arrived on the scene in the 1960s. This commercial roof type is perfect for more challenging roof deck layouts since its flexibility helps it easily adapt to curves and contours. PVC is most commonly used on restaurants since it’s chemically resistant to fats, grease, and other pollutants.

PVC roofing membranes have either a polyester or fiberglass reinforcement, which helps with puncture resistance and makes them resistant to hail or fallen debris. In the rare event of damage, building owners have extra peace of mind thanks to manufacturer and labor warranties that often exceed 20 years.


Of all the different commercial roof types, metal flat roofs are arguably one of the most beneficial. Metal is naturally reflective, regulating the building’s temperature and lowering utility bills. Plus, though they’re solid and reliable, metal flat roofs are relatively lightweight and easy to install, clean, and maintain for professional technicians.

Metal is one of the oldest commercial roof types on the market. It’s gone through many changes, from copper and lead fabrications to sturdier materials like aluminum and steel. Building owners who choose metal roofing have little to worry about in terms of its long-term structural integrity.


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Choose an Experienced Roofing Contractor That Offers Several Commercial Roof Types

Simpson Unlimited has grown within the commercial construction industry since 1993. We pride ourselves on getting even better with time and providing our customers with the best services and most reliable materials. We can meet your every need, including repair, restoration, and new construction, and we look forward to bringing out the best in your building.


Signs of Roof Water Damage

When you spot interior signs of roof damage, issues have lingered far too long, and your structure needs immediate attention. Don’t ignore the red flags—hire professionals to solve the problems right away.

The Dangers of Roof Water Damage

Many factors lead to roof water damage. When the roofing membrane is exposed to excessive moisture, the structural integrity of your roof is compromised.

Whether your older roofing system has exceeded its service life or hail has gotten the best of your structure, it’s important to address roof water damage as soon as it’s discovered. Otherwise, you risk paying for more expensive roofing projects due to extensive damage that was ignored for too long.

What Are the Signs of Roof Water Damage?

Commercial roofs are some of the most durable and weather-resistant structures in the world. However, they’re still not 100% invincible. To keep your roofing system standing strong for years to come, it’s important to be aware of the common signs of damage. Although many signs of roof water damage are only noticeable after a thorough roof inspection, a few other red flags are obvious to building owners, such as:

Roof Leaks

Usually, it’s fairly straightforward how to tell if your roof is leaking. In most cases, all you have to do is look for water falling from the ceiling or a fixture. However, roof water damage can be deceiving in terms of the level of severity and even where the water is coming from. The damage can be several feet from the water’s starting point. Because of this, it’s important not to hire illegitimate roofing companies or try to repair the roof leak by yourself. Only skilled technicians can pinpoint the source and develop a streamlined plan to fix it.

Ceiling and Wall Stains

Signs of water damage in the ceiling and walls often appear as dark stains. This means so much water has overwhelmed your roofing membrane that it’s warped your roof deck and begun to seep down the wall panels. As one of the most noticeable signs of roof leaks, water stains are unsightly, but they can also lead to other issues that jeopardize the health and well-being of building occupants.


Excessive water in the walls, under the roofing underlayment, or in dark corners of the building eventually leads to mold spores. Although mold is found everywhere, excessive amounts of mold and prolonged exposure to it are dangerous to people’s health and could cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

Not only is mold harmful to inhale, but it also causes the unpleasant smell of mildew. You want to draw people into your business, not push them away. When visitors and employees can smell mildew, it’s not good for business. To avoid discomfort caused by mold or mildew, it’s wise to take roofing problems seriously and eliminate them immediately.


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What To Do When You Have Roof Storm Damage

If you own a home or any commercial structures, you’ll eventually have to deal with roof storm damage. But how do you know when a home or building needs attention? Your roof can’t avoid severe weather and storms, but it can handle them with proper knowledge and building repair professionals.

Common Repairs You May Need After a Storm

Weather-related damage is the most common claim sent to insurance companies because it is the main perpetrator of roof storm damage. Here are some of the most destructive weather conditions and how they damage household and commercial roofing.

Most commercial buildings have flat roofing systems. Since their low-sloped structure is spacious and more easily accessible, these systems are multifunctional and cost effective. Flat roofs also house HVAC equipment and are perfect for building add-ons like skylights to boost energy efficiency and allow natural light into the building. Flat commercial roof types can also be transformed into rooftop patios for meetings, parties, and other on-campus activities. There are many different commercial roof types to choose from, including:


Hail Damage Roof Repairs

An aspect of hail damage that makes it so costly is that you don’t need to live in cold environments to be affected by it. Hail can occur in southern sections of the United States and can even happen in the summer when you least expect it.

After an ice storm, it’s essential to check your roof for any signs of hail damage, regardless of the hail’s size. The chances are that your home’s shingles and gutters have taken a beating. Taking action is crucial if you see any signs of exterior damage or ice damming.

If the hailstorm was severe enough, having a professional examine your home or structure is a great idea. A large enough downpour of hail can dislodge shingles and cause bruising underneath them, leaving a potential problem for homeowners.

Repairs for Wind Damage to Your Roof

People living in the Southeastern and Midwestern portions of the United States know that severe windstorms can cause significant roof storm damage and other external and internal household problems.

Tornados, hurricanes, and even less severe storms cause millions of dollars in property damage every year, especially for roof repairs. Why is this? High winds can send flying debris, rocks, and tree branches through the air; sometimes, a home’s roof is the target. These things can penetrate your roof and damage drainage systems.

Even worse, strong enough winds can uproot or topple trees, sending them crashing down upon any nearby homes. Never approach any large branches or trees that have clung onto the roof; one of the most common injuries involves falling trees and their branches.

If you think a windstorm may have damaged your roof, contact a specialist immediately for an emergency leak inspection and assessment of any structural damage.

Storm Damage Roof Repairs

Storm damage can be devastating to any home, structure, or roof. Like hail and wind, a massive storm can damage shingles and the exterior of any roof, introducing moisture into the structure.

Water is one of the main reasons homeowners need roof storm damage repair. If you allow water spots to sit unchecked, many problems can occur, such as roof leaks, structural deterioration, and mold.

If you think there could be any possibility of external damage after a major storm, you should inspect your roof internally and externally. If you feel unsafe about venturing onto your roof, hire a certified specialist to do the task. If there are any signs of roof storm damage in need of repair, you will already have someone there to address any problems.

If you’re unsure whether your home or commercial building has sustained damage that warrants immediate action, contacting the professionals at Simpson Unlimited Inc. is an excellent first step. Your business and everything inside is invaluable. Let us help you protect it all.

How To Handle Roof Storm Damage

So, a storm has wreaked havoc upon your roof, and you’re wondering what to do next. If you have a homeowners insurance policy (which most lenders require you to possess to acquire a mortgage), it’s time to involve your insurance provider.

File an Insurance Claim

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to file a claim about the roof storm damage. Some insurance companies require you to file a claim within a year of the incident. After you’ve reported all of the needed specifics for the claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to your property to assess the damage. After a short period (typically one to six weeks), your insurance provider will send you a check or deposit the amount into your bank.

Choose Your Roof Repair Company

With the newly acquired deposit, you can look into hiring a roofing contractor for roof replacement and other roofing repair costs. Repairing or replacing your roof with the right contractor protects your building from future inclement weather.

Simpson Unlimited has continued to advance and grow within the commercial construction industry for nearly thirty years. We’re proud to serve our customers with excellent service, vast experience, and quality materials. We can provide you and your business with any repairs, restorations, and construction needs you might have. We look forward to building and maintaining your best business.



Signs of Masonry Problems

Warning signs of masonry issues

What Is Masonry and Masonry Restoration?

Masonry work dates back more than 6,000 years. Because of its longevity and beauty, masonry was used for the Egyptian Pyramids, the Roman Colosseum, and other historic international works from India to China. Today, masonry has made quite the evolution, most often used for commercial buildings and small businesses, better known as brick and mortar companies. Masonry can be a simple brick wall or intricate exterior that adds character and strength to any building.

Masonry restoration covers many building exterior services, including repair to brick, concrete, clay, stone, and precast. Masonry restoration requires skill and precision from experienced contractors. When brick damage and other signs of masonry problems have become evident, it’s best to call professionals that can perform a thorough inspection and address the building envelope needs immediately.

What Causes Masonry Damage?

The two leading causes of masonry damage are moisture penetration and extreme temperature changes (freeze and thaw cycles). When water invades masonry walls, they’re susceptible to damage that ruins their structural integrity. Although masonry is resistant to harmful elements and natural disasters, such as fire and earthquakes, the bricks easily absorb moisture.

During hot or rainy seasons, water leaks into cracks in the brick mortar. During the winter, the building freezes the water in place, leading to more cracks and damaging expansion. As a result, water penetration causes issues for other building assemblages, such as wood, metal, doors, and windows. These kinds of disruptions to the brick and mortar cause severe problems over time. Schedule commercial masonry repair as soon as possible before issues get worse.

Does Your Building Need Masonry Restoration?

It’s vital to look out for signs of masonry problems to address foundational damage immediately. Some indicators you need masonry restoration are more obvious than others. There may be problems that go unnoticed to the untrained eye. However, these are a few of the most apparent indicators of masonry damage:

Deterioration or Missing Mortar

Mortar is the mixture of sand, a binder, like cement or lime, and water. It’s essentially the adhesive substance that holds the brick in place. Mortar is subject to deterioration without appropriate maintenance. A rule of thumb is to schedule masonry wall repointing every 15 to 20 years. Otherwise, you’ll notice gaps or mortar falling out of bricks. Until the issue is addressed, the bricks rub against each other and begin to warp.

Damaged Bricks

Your bricks’ appearance speaks volumes of their condition. When bricks are compacted, cracked, or bulging out of place, water damage is beginning to take a toll, and the foundation is overwhelmed. Another telltale sign of masonry problems is large cracks, especially at a 30-degree angle or greater. In this case, your bricks are on the verge of collapsing, which is expensive to repair and dangerous to people in or near the building.

Interior Damage

Some interior signs of masonry problems include deformed window seals and splitting plaster. When your bricks display external damage, usually the inside is visibly affected as well. Bricks leaking water, cracking, or bulging is bad news for the foundation, and it starts to show as window frames shift and become misshapen.


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Simpson Unlimited Is One Contractor Supplying All Your Building’s Needs

Don’t worry about hiring several contractors for your commercial building’s exterior needs—Simpson Unlimited is your one-stop shop. We perform specialized architectural and engineering services. In addition to masonry and concrete repair, we also provide thru-wall flashing and above and below-grade waterproofing. Additionally, we pride ourselves on being the “swiss army knife” of commercial roofing services. No matter what your facility needs, we perform repairs and restoration services with the utmost professionalism.

Our service range extends throughout Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. to better meet our clients’ needs. You deserve a responsible, devoted team that eliminates your worries and puts your mind at ease. You deserve the Simpson Unlimited advantage.