Posted on July 14, 2023
How Commercial Roofing Materials Affect the Longevity and Functionality of a Building
Commercial Roofing Columbus GA involves the maintenance of roofs for buildings larger than a family home, including offices, and apartment complexes. The roofs are almost always flat and may house industrial equipment or piping.
Working on a commercial roof requires more skill and knowledge than residential work. It’s also a more dangerous job due to the heights and tools involved.
The type of material used on a commercial roof has an impact on the longevity and functionality of the roofing system. There are a variety of materials from which to choose, and each has its own pros and cons. For building owners looking to update their current structures or put up a new facility, understanding the different commercial roof materials can help them make an informed decision about the best option for their property.
Single-Ply Membrane Commercial Roofing
Single-ply membranes are sheets of rubber or other synthetic materials that can be ballasted, mechanically fastened, or chemically adhered to insulation on commercial buildings. This type of roofing is highly effective in keeping the elements out and creating a barrier over the structure. These membranes are available in many different styles and colors, but EPDM and TPO are the most popular options.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) membranes are dark, durable synthetic rubbers that are primarily found on flat and low-sloped commercial roofing. It is highly effective in cold climates and can be curved to fit the shape of the roof. EPDM roofs are easily repaired with adhesives or seam tape, but they are also prone to punctures and can shrink.
TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) membranes are a more recent type of single-ply commercial roofing that is quickly gaining popularity. This type of roof is highly energy efficient and has the ability to reduce costs on heating and cooling while also decreasing the amount of air pollution in an area. TPO is extremely flexible and has a low upfront cost. It is highly resistant to abrasions and chemicals, including fats and oils, and has excellent fire resistance.
Modified bitumen (MB) is another form of asphalt-based commercial roofing that is a good choice for flat and low-sloped roofs. This type of commercial roof is quite durable and resistant to abrasions, chemicals, and extreme temperatures. MB roofs can have a lifespan of up to 20 years and require regular maintenance and repairs.
Metal roofs are a relatively new development in the world of commercial roofing and are ideal for a number of reasons, such as their low water absorption rate, their durability, and the fact that they pair well with other green technologies such as solar panels. However, they are not suitable for all types of commercial buildings and may not be easy for roofing contractors to work on, depending on the incline of the roof.
Commercial roofing not only protects a building from the elements but also enhances its overall appearance. When properly maintained, it can last for several years or more. It can also provide other benefits, such as savings in energy costs and improved productivity among employees.
Professional commercial contractors use streamlined processes and advanced equipment, which can save time and money on your project. Moreover, they have established relationships with suppliers, enabling them to get quality materials at competitive prices.
Moreover, they follow safety guidelines and protocols during the roofing process, which ensures that the job is done correctly without any accidents or injuries. They also carry liability insurance coverage, ensuring that they cover any damages that occur during the roof repair process. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your property is in good hands.
While many commercial building owners are aware of the damage that can be done to their roofing materials by severe weather conditions such as hail storms, hurricanes, or tornado outbreaks, the damaging effects of direct sunlight and heat are often underestimated. These conditions can be just as damaging to commercial roofs and can result in costly repairs for your facility.
The color and material of your commercial roofing directly affect the temperature of the roof. Dark-colored roofs absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into heat, while white roofs reflect those rays into the atmosphere. This reflects heat away from the building and can help keep your HVAC system running more efficiently, which in turn lowers your energy costs.
Temperature can also be affected by the humidity levels in your area and the level of air movement on your roof. A high amount of moisture in the air can cause your commercial roof to swell, which can weaken and break down the sealant materials on your roof. Air movement also increases the overall heat of your roof, which can shorten its lifespan if it is not properly cared for.
Another common problem is the accumulation of debris on your commercial roof. This can include things like fallen leaves or branches, dirt, and other substances from a variety of sources. These items can create a breeding ground for mold and other unwanted substances that can damage or deteriorate your commercial roofing materials. In addition, they can trap water on the roof, which can lead to leaks and other serious damage to your commercial roofing.
Lastly, the UV radiation from the sun can slowly degrade your roof’s materials and reduce their lifespan. This is especially true of wood and shingle roofs, which may bleach or blacken over time. In addition, UV rays can also break down the chemical bonds in your roof’s membranes, which will eventually lead to cracking and leaks.
If you are looking for a more durable and protective roof for your commercial property, a thermoplastic or PVC roof could be the right choice. These are made from a thicker plastic and are very reflective, helping to keep the heat down in your building. In addition, this type of roof is also resistant to punctures and chemicals such as animal fats and oils.
Whether you have a flat commercial roof or one with more slope, it’s vital to keep it clean. Piles of natural debris like twigs and leaves trap moisture, which can encourage the growth of mold and cause deterioration. You can reduce the amount of debris on your roof by implementing a cleaning schedule and limiting how often people walk on it.
It’s a good idea to have a professional roofer inspect your building’s roof periodically to spot any problems early and prevent them from worsening. Regular inspections can help you extend the life of your commercial roofing by years, if not decades. It can also protect the resale value of your property and prevent safety issues for your tenants.
A commercial roof inspection should include a visual inspection, gutter and drain cleaning, and minor repairs. It should also be performed at the beginning of the season to catch any issues before they get out of hand. Your inspector can look for signs of ponding, punctures, stains, blisters, and any other damage that requires attention.
Keeping up with your commercial roof maintenance can help you save on costly repairs and replacements. It will also prolong the life of your building’s roof and help you comply with any warranty requirements. Most roof warranties require that you conduct regular maintenance and inspections to avoid more severe damage.
Most commercial roofing contractors offer maintenance plans that can help you save money on repairs and extend the life of your commercial roof. They will usually involve regular visits by a contractor for a visual inspection, gutter and drain cleaning, debris removal, and minor repairs. Some of these programs will also cover any necessary structural repairs and can help you stay within your budget.
When was the last time you had your commercial roof inspected? If you can’t remember, it’s time to call a roofing contractor. Commercial roofs are exposed to heavy foot traffic and weather extremes, so they are prone to wear and tear. Regular maintenance and inspections can prevent small issues from turning into large, expensive problems.