Legacy Roofing Contractors

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Legacy roofing contractors is our commercial exclusive roofing division. At Legacy roofing we’ve been servicing and replacing Commercial and Industrial roofs for over 65 years. Owner Mark Washburn’s Grandfather, Herman Krumwiede, opened Krumwiede roofing in 1952. After working for, and helping run Krumwiede roofing for many years, Mark’s Father, James Washburn Sr. started Ability Roofer’s in Franklin Park, IL. Mark worked, supervised, and helped run Ability Roofers for 20 plus years, and opened Shingle Company Construction in 2005. Legacy Roofing Contractors was added as our commercial branch the following year.

Repair or Replace a Commercial Roof?

Nothing can take the place of an experienced commercial roofing contractor At Legacy Roofing Contractors, we can let you know if, and when to replace your commercial roof system. If your commercial roof is giving you problems, is more than 15 years old, or hasn’t been evaluated in 2 or more years, call legacy roofing for a low-cost evaluation of your current commercial roof system. We’ll consider current type, condition, climate, age, and compatibility so we can confidently suggest the repairs or replacement needed your individual roof.

Maintenance on Commercial Roofs

Regular inspection and maintenance of your commercial roof system by a licensed roofing contractor is important to its lifespan. The professionals at legacy roofing contractors perform hundreds of detailed inspections and evaluations every year. Legacy Roofing Contractors ensures all repairs are done in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, applicable codes, and local regulations. Roof Inspections should be performed at least every two years, and after any major weather event.

Commercial Roof Warranties

Most commercial roofing systems installed by licensed professional contractors include a limited 10–20-year warranty. Length depends on manufacturer, and type of roof installed. Understanding the details of a commercial roofing warranty is important, and there are two types you should be aware of. First is the manufacturer warranty which covers defects in the material itself. Second is the commercial roofing contractor warranty which provides a warranty for workmanship along with a certificate for your records. Legacy Roofing Contractors warranties begin at 10 years for new roof systems, and our craftsmanship warranty covers problems due to installation.

Choosing Material

What is the best commercial roof?
A question asked commonly and deserving of a simple answer. The basis of a commercial roof system is to be watertight, or to keep water out of a building and keep its contents dry. Today’s variety of flat (or low slope) commercial roofing materials no longer makes it an easy choice. At legacy roofing contractors we will direct you to the best system for your individual needs. Every project is different and deserves the full attention of a quality commercial roofing contractor which is what you’ll receive from Legacy Roofing.

Liquid and Spray Foam Roofing

Man applying spray roofing

Silicone Roof

Liquid applied roofing includes hot and cold polymer-modified asphalt, single-component asphalt, or coal tar-extended urethane, and two-component urethane elastomers.

These systems require extensive preparation of the substrate, which must be dry and dust-free with patched cracks. Liquid applied coatings are highly elastic, and self-flashing, and are easily applied to contoured surfaces. Spray foam durability in cold and wet climates in the past has not been stellar, and if not installed correctly will not be a good choice.

Metal Roofs

Metal roof on strip mall

Standing Seam

In general metal roofs are for commercial use in steep slope applications (where roofs are steeper than a 4in12 pitch). One of the world’s oldest roofing systems. Metal roofing began with materials like the bronze on Rome’s Pantheon. Lead roofing later joined bronze as a popular choice for cathedrals and castles throughout Europe during medieval times. Many of today’s low slope metal roofs are made of corrugated galvanized steel (coated with zinc). commercial metal roof systems such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel and tin are also used. Benefits of metal roofing include long lifespan, and heat resistance. Additionally, metal roofs can withstand high winds and are largely impact resistant. However, the cost of metal roof systems is much higher than other types of low slope roofing material.

Structural metal roofing or “standing seam” roofing consists of interlocking panels that run vertically along the roof. These panels can come pre-painted, mill finish, or clear acrylic finished. Most metal roofing requires machine seaming during installation.

Built Up Roofing (BUR)

“Hot Tar! One of my favorites! — Yelling “Hot tar!!” to let everyone know it was time to start working when we filled the first bucket of boiling hot tar in the morning!”

– Mark Washburn, President – Legacy Roofing Contractors

Popular in North America for more than 100 years, Built Up Roofing (BUR) Systems are composed of alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt), and roofing fabrics called roofing “felt” in its many forms. The “felt” membrane is reinforced with either glass-fiber mats or organic mats (ply sheets) and when joined with the bitumen form a long lasting roofing surface. The number of “plies” on a roof implies the number of layers of felt RE: a “four ply” denotes an offset four-layer flat roof membrane system with layers of tar in between.

Roofer swinging hot tar mop

Hot Tar

BUR systems are redundant, meaning if one layer breaks down, multiple remaining layers provide immediate protection. These systems also offer great tolerance for building stress and resistance to thermal shock, high puncture resistance and outstanding membrane strength and toughness for proven long-term durability.

BUR systems can include SBS, fiberglass or organic felts, and offer many options to suit a variety of building needs. The key to this system is the repetitive layers. BUR is also known for its superior fire resistance. Reflective surfacing options also are available to offer maximum membrane protection, superior puncture resistance and high resistance to foot traffic and mechanical maintenance.

Modified Bitumen (Modified)

Modified Bitumen or “Modified” roofs are constructed using factory-fabricated layers of asphalt that are “modified,” using a rubber or plastic increased flexibility, and longevity. They’re combined with a reinforcement for added strength and stability. Bitumen (or asphalt) is a sticky, black liquid, or semi-solid form of petroleum. It’s found in natural deposits, or refined, and is used in roads and roofing.

Man torching down roll of roof membrane


In modified bitumen, there are two membranes used today: APP (atactic polypropylene) and SBS (styrene butadiene styrene). APP and SBS refer to the type of polymers that are added to the asphalt. A variety of reinforcements are used. Fiber glass, polyester mats, and scrims. Scrim is a fabric made from continuous filament yarn.

Modified membranes are typically installed in two- or three-ply systems. SBS is mopped down using hot asphalt or heat welded to melt the asphalt so that it flows onto the substrate. Seams are sealed by the same technique. The membrane system may be held in place on the roof by fully adhering the base sheet, mechanically attaching the base sheet, or using ballast. APP Bitumen is heat welded, or “torched” down. In a similar fashion over base sheet.

Modified bitumen roofing systems are installed fairly quickly. Are easy to maintain, and cost efficient. Modified membranes are either hot mopped like traditional BUR, or applied as a torch down product.

Single Ply Membrane

The single ply membrane market has grown exponentially in the past 40 years. A reliable commercial roofing application, single ply offers an extended service life and requires relatively low maintenance.

Rising petroleum prices during the 1970’s energy crisis. As well as,
frustration with conventional bituminous roofing provided a market. The less labor-intensive field installation of lighter materials versus the heavy field labor required of the conventional systems. The Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) classifies single ply commercial roofing membranes as “flexible sheets of compounded synthetic materials that are manufactured in a factory to strict quality control requirements”. Single ply roofing systems provide strength, flexibility and long-lasting durability, and the pre-fabricated sheets, consistency in quality, versatility in the attachment methods, and wider applicability offer many advantages over bitumen or asphalt.

There are two major categories of single ply membranes:

Thermosets and Thermoplastics.

tpo roof


Thermoset membrane is made from rubber polymers. The most commonly used polymer is EPDM or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. EPDM is a durable (but thin) rubber roofing solution and available in both black and white. Thermoset membranes are successful for use as roofing materials because of their proven ability to ward off the damaging effects of light and most common chemicals found on roofs. EPDM in our experience though is not as less resistant to puncture damage due to its thin, and soft profile. The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) offers detailed information on EPDM roof resources.

Thermoplastic membranes are made from polymers which soften when heated and harden when cooled. These pre-fabricated sheets are applied on the job site using one of the standard installation techniques for sheet membrane systems (fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted). This process is repetitive provided the material is not heated above the point at which decomposition occurs, and the membranes can be welded together with heat or solvents. When welded, they develop a bond strength which equals or surpasses the strength of the base material. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), blends or alloys of PVC and thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) are the most common types of thermoplastic roofing membranes.

Insulation and Vapor Retarders

Iso Insulation being laid down by roofer

Iso Board

Insulation is a vital part in roof systems, serving many functions in addition to the primary purpose of energy conservation. It reduces heat transfer in or out of a building and is generally installed either just below the roofing membrane, or waterproofing system. Insulation comes in rigid, semi-rigid boards, or panels which are made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, fiberboard, fiber glass and composite insulating materials.

Polyisocyanurate (iso) is a closed-cell, rigid foam board used in roof and wall assemblies within commercial and residential buildings. Because of its high thermal performance, it’s the top choice for architects, builders, building owners, and contractors. It is also North America’s most widely used, and readily available insulation product. ISO is stable and compatible with a variety of roofing systems.