Making a decision on what type of commercial roofing system you want to have or replace on your current commercial roof, there are many options to choose from. Therefore, trying to decide exactly what you want can be extremely stressful especially when you do not know a lot about commercial roofing. So the question you should ask is, how do I decide and what should I consider in order to make my decision? Well, for starters, flat roof systems have different types of roofing materials for your needs and budget. Therefore, you should consider each of the advantages and disadvantages before making any final decisions. You would also need to consider where you’re located, the use of the roof, your climate, and roof maintenance. Therefore, when considering buying a commercial flat roof system you need to know the materials that you want to go with. There are five types of commercial flat roofing materials that are the most commonly used on modern commercial flat roofs. These five materials are EPDM roofing, TPO roofing, PVC roofing, metal roofing and modified bitumen.
Some factors that you would want to consider when purchasing a new commercial flat roofing system is price. Price is one of the biggest factors many building owners and residential owners consider when purchasing a roofing system. When you’re basing your decision on price, take into consideration if your roof will need any extra attention or expense after the initial installation. For instance, your new roof may require regular maintenance and repair. Some roof types require far more maintenance than others do. Therefore, if you have a budget in place, you will want to consider how much you will be paying for a regular maintenance program to keep the roof running in good shape. Modified Bitumen roofs, for example, require frequent roof maintenance compared to EPDM, TPO or PVC roofs. Another thing is the price of any repairs, so you should ask yourself the question, is this roof system easily repairable and how quickly would it need to be repaired? This question should be based on your roof use, roof material and weather conditions in your area.
Now, if the system that you choose or already have is not one that has a long lifespan then you will most likely have to repair it within a ten year period. Especially if it requires frequent maintenance and repairs. Now, which one is going to cost you more annually? Is it going to be the flat roof that does not usually have a very long lifespan and requires more maintenance? Every roof system needs to be maintained, however, the amount of time and the cost to maintain it can vary quite a lot. Therefore, consider what the roof system may cost you on an annual basis over its lifespan. Hiring a commercial roofing contractor that has experience in commercial flat roofing can be a useful source of advice to help you make the right choice. The majority of the time the cheaper roofing material can be the most costly in the long run, when you factor in the cost of regular repairs and maintenance.
Another factor that you want to take into consideration when investing in a new commercial flat roof is the quality. As mentioned before, some roofs last much longer than others because of the maintenance requirements, the lifespan of the material, the roof itself and how it is used, and even the location of your property. So you might ask yourself; what is the quality of each roofing material you are considering? Is the material reinforced? Is it flexible? Is it a well-known brand? Is it durable enough for my roof? You’re going to want the quality to be high, affordable and you want to know if its performance truly meets your expectations.
The qualities that you would want to look for are durability, lifespan, sustainability, reputation, the characteristics of the material and so on. You want to ask, what puts that roofing material above the others?
Prefabrication is another factor to consider. Prefabrication generally means the material is fabricated at the manufactures so when applying on the job site, it would consist of more focus on installing the system than having to go through the full process of measuring, cutting and welding. The product would come pre-fitted for your roof which can take away from the labor costs to install and the roof can be installed much faster. This can help minimize disruptions to your business which can be an important issue in any commercial roof installation process.
Metal roofing is different from most other commercial flat roofing materials for a few reasons. A metal roof is an ideal choice with a roof slope that is greater than 2 inches. Metal roofs are mainly favored by facility managers because it is extremely durable, non-combustible and is able to reflect heat off your roof. The surface of the metal roof can be extremely hot when the sun beams down on it, however, a lot of that heat ends up being prevented from entering the building and saving on energy costs. Metal roofs are immune to cracks that affect single-ply roofs. However, metal roofs can be vulnerable to leaks around the seams and roof edges. Metal roofs can be customized and formed around angles and protrusions. While they are typically manufactured in large standardized sheets, there are some customization options available to commercial roofing contractors as they prepare to install.
When talking about the installation process and disruptions, keep in mind that some flat roofing materials need more time, space and heavy equipment for their installation. Other materials, such as PVC and TPO, require less installation time and little equipment to install. Some job sites can also become very messy and if you do not require a tear-off with certain roofing systems, then the debris will not be in the way of your business operations.
TPO is a very popular roof type and compared to PVC it is also the best flat roofing material to install. TPO is one of the fastest-growing commercial roofing systems on the market. It is made up of a single layer of synthetic and reinforcing scrim that can be used to cover flat roofs. Not only is TPO roofing material inexpensive, but it also has a decent lifespan between 10 and 20 years. In addition, the white coating that appears on many TPO roofs has all the same energy-saving properties as PVC roofs. They even require less maintenance than EPDM roofs.
When properly installed and maintained, your commercial single-ply membrane roof can last longer than 20 years. There are a lot of benefits when it comes to single-ply membrane roofing systems. For the fact that single-ply membrane roofing does not include the insulation factor, as a customer, you have more options to choose from to be able to insulate your facility’s roof. The most common TPO material is usually bright white with highly reflective properties. With the bright white roof installation, it is able to reflect UV rays and heat from the building, which end up saving you money during the summer months from decreased energy usage to cool the building interior. Single-Ply Membrane Roofing Systems have been the go-to roofing system for commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities for decades.
When talking about EPDM rubber roofs compared to the other flat roofing materials, it is one of the most inexpensive roofing materials around. It’s extremely easy to install, therefore you are able to install it yourself or hire a professional roofing contractor. One of the biggest advantages that EPDM rubber roofing has is that it’s very lightweight, therefore, the roof deck doesn’t need any kind of reinforcement. The way that it is installed is by stripping everything right off the roof and applying an adhesive then roll out the roof. There are few seams, which would mean that leaks are fairly rare and an extremely good quality EPDM roof can last you for up to 20 years. This roofing material is fairly durable, it doesn’t scratch or scuff easily, and it can be easily repaired if a leak was to occur. Roofing contractors would use liquid roofing membranes, latex tape or adhesives, and a type of rubber shingle to install over the EPDM roofing in order to repair and patch the leaks. The material may be black and doesn’t absorb heat, it isn’t easy for it to be damaged by UV rays, which in turn helps it hold up well in sunny climates.
PVC roofing is another commercial flat roof material on the market, some building owners usually prefer to use it. However, some roofing contractors usually don’t recommend it as a first option. PVC roofing is one of the most expensive roofing materials compared to other single-ply flat roof materials. However, for the extra expense, PVC roofing offers a good amount of benefits. One benefit would be that the reinforced membrane makes PVC roofs resistant to impact damage and cracking, which in any case would normally shorten the lifespan of single-ply roofs. With a PVC roof, commercial buildings, for instance, manufacturing facilities, wouldn’t face roofing problems that result from chemical exposure because PVC is extremely resistant to chemical damage. PVC roofing requires low maintenance and has a long lifespan, making a very popular material among commercial roofing contractors. With a PVC roof, it will keep your business building temperature cooler, reducing energy demands.
Modified Bitumen Roof
When you compare modified bitumen roofs to other commercial flat roofing materials, modified bitumen stands out as the more low-budget option. Modified bitumen roofs mainly use asphalt membrane as the base to the roof. The surface is vulnerable to cracking and blistering, which greatly reduces their typical lifespan. While this lifespan is less than the more advanced options, the installation savings can still make modified bitumen roofs a serious consideration for some businesses. However, some roofing contractors go back and forth with this option. Modified bitumen roofs are a single-ply membrane system that is most often roll-applied to the surface of your roof. Modified bitumen is quite similar to asphalt roofs, but they have additional polymers in their materials that provide added protection from the elements and help to increase the lifespan of the product. When comparing how popular this roofing material is to the other flat roofing materials, modified bitumen is the least popular flat roofing system. However, it is still pretty common on older roofs. Modified bitumen roofs are installed by rolling out the roofing material after it has been heated with a blow torch. This heating process allows the material to mold itself to the roof surface. However, many roofing contractors try to avoid using this roofing material because installation requires a heated blow torch which ends up being a liability. As well as it requires a lot of maintenance, therefore becoming a hassle.