Types of Commercial Roofing

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There are many commercial roofing types to choose from. Each type has its pros and cons. Shingle roofs are popular for smaller establishments like bars and mom-and-pop shops. However, they are prone to moss and mildew growth and require regular maintenance.

Metal roofs are a favorite commercial roofing option. They’re known for their durability and can last several decades if maintained properly. They are also highly resistant to fire, wind, and impact, making them a good choice for areas prone to severe weather.

Metal is also a sustainable material, able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan. This can help reduce the number of materials clogging landfills and support the goals of green building projects. A metal roof’s energy efficiency is a further perk, with some options able to reflect significant amounts of sunlight to lower the building’s cooling costs.

The initial cost of a metal roof may be higher than other commercial roofing options, but the added longevity and sustainability benefits can make it a worthwhile investment. The expected lifespan of a metal roof can range from 40-60 years, depending on the alloy used. In addition to their longevity, metal roofs require minimal maintenance, requiring only annual inspections and occasional debris removal.

There are a wide variety of metal roofing systems on the market, with different styles and aesthetics available to match the specific requirements of any building. Some designs mimic traditional shingle or tile roofing with the advantages of metal, including a wide color palette, low-maintenance upkeep, and resistance to harsh environmental conditions.

Other metal roofing options include standing seam and corrugated metal roofs. The latter is a great option for those on tight budgets as it uses less material to achieve the same visual effect as its more expensive counterparts. With hidden or exposed fasteners, these roofs are durable and can withstand the elements for decades.

Standing seam metal roofs are built from individually rolled metal sheets fabricated to take on a wavy silhouette. This system is extremely durable and can withstand high winds, heavy snowfall, and intense UV exposure. These roofs are very energy efficient, reflecting significant amounts of solar heat to cut down on cooling costs during the summer. They can also be combined with cool roof coatings to increase their energy efficiency further.

Asphalt shingles are among the most popular roofing materials on commercial buildings. This is due to their cost-effectiveness and versatility. They are available in a wide variety of colors, designs, profiles, and textures to fit the vision of any building owner. They also work well on roofs with different types of slopes. Depending on the type of shingle and its installation, it can protect against various elements like sunlight, heat, rain, snow, wind, and hail.

One of the main benefits of a shingle roof is that it can last a long time, provided that proper maintenance is performed. A commercial roofing company will conduct regular assessments and repairs to keep the shingles in great condition. In addition, preventative maintenance tasks such as cleaning the gutters and checking pipe penetrations and flashings are essential.

Another advantage of a shingle roof is that the material will reduce noise, particularly from traffic and airplanes. This is because the shingles will help to absorb sound and reduce its transfer to the inside of the building. The occupants will enjoy a quieter, more peaceful working environment.

Aside from that, a shingle roof will protect the structure of a building against damage caused by fire and winds. It is proven to withstand bad weather conditions such as extreme sun exposure and freezing temperatures. This is because the shingles are made to withstand these conditions, resulting in a strong, durable structure.

Lastly, a shingle roof will provide insulation for the building. This will help to reduce energy costs and keep the building warm during colder months. Aside from that, shingle roofing will also help to filter out noise from outside the building, such as traffic, airplanes, and barking dogs.

The final benefit of a shingle roof is that they are easy to install and maintain. The shingles can be easily cut to fit any roof shape. Furthermore, the shingles are relatively lightweight, reducing installation time and labor costs. Moreover, a shingle roof can be quickly repaired by roofing experts.

A tar and gravel built-up roof (BUR) is a long-standing roofing solution. It has several advantages for commercial buildings, including durability and longevity. This type of roof typically requires less maintenance than other roofing solutions, and it is also more affordable over time than some options.

A BUR is a multi-layered roofing system that provides strength, waterproofing, and insulation. A typical tar and gravel roof comprises several alternating felt materials saturated with bitumen, a sticky petroleum-based substance. The layered structure helps the roof withstand stress and other impacts, making it a good choice for a flat or low-slope roof.

Depending on the type of BUR roof, three to five different laminated layers create a finished membrane for the roof. Asphalt or coal tar is often used as the bitumen layer, while organic or fiberglass mats are the reinforcing fabrics. The top layer is a mixture of gravel or crushed stone, which protects the underlying layers from sun damage and other weather conditions.

In addition to providing a layer of thermal insulation, the gravel on a tar and gravel roof helps reduce the impact of storms. It can also help prevent water runoff and improve the roofing system’s longevity. When properly installed, a tar and gravel roof is a cost-effective option that can last for decades.

While a tar and gravel roof is fairly durable, it does require routine maintenance to keep it in good condition. This includes inspections, patching, and repairing minor issues. A professional commercial roofing contractor can tell you if this roof is right for your facility.

Another consideration when deciding whether or not a tar and gravel roof is right for your building is how easy it will be to find and fix leaks. Because a tar and gravel roof is more porous than other roofing solutions, it may be harder to pinpoint the source of a leak. This can make the job more challenging, but it is generally not impossible.

Single-ply membrane roofs are a popular option for many commercial roofing applications. They are prefabricated in factories with high levels of quality control and have rapidly displaced older choices such as tar paper, offering superior resilience and cost-effectiveness. They are durable, reflective, and highly resistant to weather, chemicals, and other environmental factors.

The most common types of single-ply membranes include EPDM, TPO, and PVC. Each offers different benefits for specific commercial roofing applications, but all are strong, versatile, and resilient. TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) is a popular choice for roofs because it has an energy-efficient white surface that can help reduce the building’s cooling costs. It is also resistant to chemical exposure and UV rays. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a durable synthetic rubber membrane that offers excellent resistance to extreme temperatures and ozone exposure. It’s also resistant to solvents, scuffing, and abrasions, making it a good choice for low-slope and flat roofs.

Both TPO and EPDM are typically manufactured in large sheets with dimensions that require mechanical lifting and transportation to the site of the new roof installation. They are available in various thicknesses and colors, but both are very durable with long lifespans. Once installed, they can provide extra protection from sunlight, wind, and rain for years.

Choosing the right single-ply system for your project requires consulting with a licensed and experienced professional contractor who can review your options. Many factors are to consider, including attachment methods, local regulations, site location, and aesthetic requirements. The best single-ply membrane for your project depends on the detailing and flashing required, attachment method, insurance, energy requirements, and whether it’s a new construction or a re-cover.

Regardless of the type of single-ply membrane you choose, it’s important to have quality installation and maintenance. A well-maintained commercial single-ply roof is durable and will protect your building’s occupants and contents for decades. It’s also easy to repair and replace, providing a great return on investment for your business.