What is commercial roofing?
The installation of commercial roofs for offices, warehouses, and other large commercial buildings is referred to as commercial roofing. Commercial Roofing Gainsville is a vital component of any business.It serves as a protective and structural cover for your commercial property, its occupants as well as various equipment kept in the building.A dependable commercial roof is crucial for the operation of any company because even small leaks can result in costly repairs and disruptions to regular operations.
Is there a difference between commercial roofing and residential roofing?
While residential and commercial roofing systems both serve the same basic purpose of sheltering your home or property from the elements like rain and snow, that’s where the similarities between the two end. Commercial and residential roofs vary in their design. A commercial roof tends to have a low slope or is entirely flat which is not visible from the ground while a residential roof typically has a steep slope roof that is visible from the ground. Residential roofing uses materials like asphalt, shingles, and slate but commercial roofing materials come in a wide range of materials. The commercial roofing materials to be used in a building are determined by the structure of the building itself and other environmental factors like extreme cold and intense heat.
What are the different types of commercial roofs?
There are 3 common types of roofs;
- Flat Roofs
In commercial roofing, a flat roof is a misleading term. The roofs of commercial buildings may appear flat from the ground, but they actually have a very slight slopethat allows water to either flow into a drain hole in the center or towards the edge.One of the main advantages of flat roofs is that it is affordable to install and easier to access and maintain.They also offer more usable space and it allows business owners to keep air conditioning units on the roof rather than on the ground.
- Low-Slope Roofs
Any roofing system with a slope of three inches per foot or less is considered a low-slope roof. This means that for every horizontal foot, the roof level goes up less than 3 inches vertically. Low-sloped systems are quite popular in commercial buildings because they combine the benefits of affordability and ease of installation and maintenance with more efficient drainage. Low-slope roofs as well as flat roofs reduce the amount of unused space between the ceiling and the roof, making it easier to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.These roofing systems are common among warehouses, big box stores, and shopping centers.
- Steep-Slope Roofs
A roof with a slope of 3:12 or more is considered to have a steep slope roof structure.Steep-sloped roofing systems are less prevalentin commercial buildings,due to the fact that they tend to be too expensive and impractical for larger commercial buildings. One of the disadvantages of steep-slope roofs is that it is difficult and dangerous to install and repair when needed. The advantage however of a steep-slope roofis that it can provide better water drainage and require less cleanup of collected debris.
What are the different types of commercial roofing materials?
Once you have identified the roof’s slope, you are ready to select the type of roofing material that best meets the needs of your commercial building. Below are the most common commercial roofing materials that are readily available in the market.
- Commercial metal roofing system
The use of metal roofing for commercial buildings is quite common nowadays. Building owners are now opting for metal roofs to take advantage of their longer lifespan which will last for 40-60 years when properly maintained. Metal roofing is durable compared to other types of commercial roofing. Another important characteristic of metal roofing is that it won’t catch on fire and it adds aesthetic value to the property, however, it can get quite expensive.Metal roofing is used on both low-slope and steep roofs.
- Commercial green roofing system
Green roofs, also known as ‘vegetated roofs’ or ‘living roofs’ are ballasted roofs consisting of a waterproofing membrane, growing medium, and vegetation overlying a traditional roof.Green roofs can improve air quality and may help reduce lowering temperature during hot seasons. One disadvantage of green roofing is that this type of roofing needs constant monitoring and is expensive to maintain.
- Commercial built-up roofing system
BUR for short, built-up roofing is among the oldest roofing system available on the market. Built-up roofing membranes are made up of a tar-and-gravel mixandconsist of 3-5 layers of this mixture for enhanced protection, especially in extreme climatic conditions. Although it is cheaper to install, built-up roofing system has a short lifespan and leaks are common as it begins to age.
- Commercial modified bitumen roofing system
Modified bitumen roofing is an asphalt-type flat roofing and has different modifiers like fiberglass and polyester added to it to strengthen the roof.It can be applied in multiple layers and is a viable option for installation through all four seasons.Installation is also cost-effective and the material is very waterproof. Modified bitumen roofing isalso resistant to damage during a storm.
- Commercial EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofing system
A popular type of membrane roofing and is known for its elasticity and toughness. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or simply known as EPDMis made of a single-ply type of rubber, a type of material that is flexible and can withstand temperature fluctuations. This type of roofing system is resistant to extreme weather and pollution and also will last a long time and is easy to maintain.EPDM roofing material is used in low-slope commercial buildings all over the world.
- Commercial PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing system
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC for short is a type of roofing material that is composed of two layers of PVC with a layer of polyester reinforcement in between. The top ply contains additives that make this type of roofing system UV resistant. It is also resistant to bacteria growth, extreme temperatures, and even most types of harmful chemicals. Other benefits of a PVC membrane are longevity, durability, and fire resistance.
- Commercial Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofingsystem
While this type of roofing system is not the most familiar type of roofing system in the market, thismethod has been around since the early 1960s for industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. Spray Polyurethane Foam, more commonly known as SPF, is a material that is sprayed as a liquid in an existing roof so it can expand into a foam, creating a solid layer across the roof.It is an eco-friendly type of roofing system that can waterproof your existing roofing and can add an insulating factor. It can be used in any climate and will last up to 50 years with correct installation and maintenance.
- TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) commercial roofing system
Thermoplastic Polyolefin or TPO for short is a single-ply roofing membrane and comes in a variety of colors, but the most popular are white, grey, and tan. TPOis composed of synthetic components -i.e. a combination of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, along with a fabric-reinforcing scrim that stabilizes and strengthens the membrane for improved and increased performance.
All of the roofing materials discussed above have their own advantages and disadvantages, make sure to ask your contractor what’s suited you best in terms of the dimension of your building, the extreme temperatures your area may have, the availability of the materials, and what suited best with your targeted budget. Commercial roofing contractors keep abreast of the advances in commercial roofing technology and are knowledgeable on the best roofing solution based on the needs of your project.
Remember, a roof is more than a cover for your commercial property. The commercial roof that covers your building is your building’s first line of defense against extreme temperatures, from strong winds to damaging UV solar radiation, from heavy rain and freezing ice and snow. You have to make sure that the commercial roofing materials you will choose will be doing its job to protect your investment in the building and what’s inside it.