A roof may be termed as an architectural top covering of a structure. The roof designs vary in terms of roofing materials in support and providing interior against extreme temperatures, rain, sunlight, wind, and snow. Roofing materials used in cover tops depend on the purpose of the building. Commercial roofing is a type of material that is used to cover and seal commercial structure roofs. Commercial roofs are popular due to their durability, versatility, lightweight nature, and require no maintenance.
Roof companies integrate materials that conserve energy by reducing consumption. Materials used in manufacturing commercial roofing include pre-finished steel, zinc, and copper. Popular eco-friendly roofing is solar roofing. Solar roofing is efficient in saving money. Popular commercial roofing is flat roofing. Flat roofing is a durable option if properly maintained. Flat roofing features different options like PVC, TPO, and EPDM.
Commercial roofing features a flat slope that differs from residential roofing. For a commercial building, the Dura ply pre-fabricated single-ply system is identified as the best roofing. The ply system incorporates a highly reflective white membrane which is imperative in saving lots of energy. Dura plies roofing system is easy to install, durable, leakproof, wind-resistant, and requires no maintenance. Some merits depicted by commercial roofing include;
- Low temperatures within the structure
- Lower load of cooling on the HVAC system
- Easier occupancy
Solar Panel Roofing
Traditionally, solar panels were integrated and installed on existing roofs with racking systems to concentrate more watts and power capacity. Modern technology has initiated innovation of solar roof tiles also known as solar shingles. Unlike conventional solar panels, solar shingles are part of the roof itself. The viable renovation has combined the roof installation and solar array into a single component. Solar tiles achieve a lower cost than the sum of the normal roof and solar panels.
The roofs are installed and embedded with monocrystalline solar cells. Solar roof panels feature aluminum frames, polymer-based back sheets, and junction boxes. Solar roofs integrate varying options and designs. The solar roof systems generate electricity as they cover the roof. Solar roofing is easily accessible these days.
Solar Panel Company
A complex solar roofing system generates hot water and thermal energy essential in cooling building interiors. For convenience in generating thermal energy, solar systems can be integrated into roofing system by;
- Mounting on a flat roof with additional weight to prevent uplift by wind
- Mounting on an existing roof
- Integration in the covering of pitched roofs
- Integration in a commercial roof membrane material
Installation of solar roofing by professionals facilitates the generation of extra energy that can be utilized within facilities and residential areas. Generated energy facilitates in cutting costs of bills for a long time. Solar panels within an area of 17.6 sq. ft can produce a capacity of 300 Watts. Solar roofing is highly durable hence a long-term service life. Solar panels maximize electricity production.
Solar tiles generate 5 watts per square foot. Solar panels produce more than three times more energy per square foot. You can integrate the cooling services and heating systems with the power generated from solar panels to counter energy bills. With just two hours of sunlight per day, solar roofing can still sustain power in your home.
Membrane Materials Used For Commercial Roofing
Commercial PVC Membrane: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a popular material used in roofing in the modern world. It is imperative for most rooftops especially if risks of fire are high.
Pros of PVC
- It is highly durable with long life and fire resistance properties
- It integrates self-extinguishing features unlike other membranes
- It is highly energy-efficient due to the light-colored membrane sheets.
- Minimizes the cost of heating and cooling bills
- Helps in preventing heat island effect in the house
- They integrate a slightly higher up-front cost
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is an alternative cost-effective commercial roofing membrane. The roofing membrane material has been in use since 1986.
Advantages of Thermoplastic Polyolefin
- They are cheap and affordable compared to other materials.
- They are durable and highly flexible allowing commercial roofing contractors to mold the material into unique designs.
- They are highly efficient in stretching, allowing easy edge-to-edge fabrication
- The materials are eco-friendly and recyclable
- The membrane facilitates an easy flow of moving water off the roof.
- The material incorporates lightweight properties. Light color reflects heat away from the building.
Demerits Associated With TPO Membranes
- It doesn’t have a distinct longevity
Commercial EPDM membrane material is a darker synthetic rubber used in low-sloped and flat roofs.
Pros of EPDM
- It can easily stretch to fit any roof
- Has a good track record with over 6o years in the roofing market
- It’s highly durable hence excellent protection from extreme weather conditions
- Darker properties promote cooler climates
Cons of EPDM
- Hot weather can lead to shrinking of the membrane causing wear and tear.
- The membrane may degrade from UV sunlight causing leakages
- Requires often maintenance procedures for long-lasting service
- The membrane lacks insulation
Roofing Designs: Commercial Flat roofs
With varying designs in roofing, local roofer may choose the best style for a building structure. Flat roofs are common for most buildings. This type of roof came after pitched roofs in the 1920s. Roof contractors reap benefits such as;
- Commercial flat roofs are cost-effective since they require less material
- They are easier and quicker to install – this saves cost for the building owner
- Offer a variety of materials and membranes to choose from – such as EPDM, PVC, bitumen, and built-up roofing
- Offer a wide variety of colors to choose from
- Reflective properties aid in reducing waste from cooling cost
- Air conditioning appliances can be moved to the roof while solar panels and satellite dishes are easy to install on a flat roof
- Drain cleaning and maintenance can easily be achieved. Workmen can easily walk safely on top of the roof regardless of weather conditions.
Cons of Flat roofs
- Poor drainage causing increased water damage
- Standing and stagnating water degrade the roofing materials leading to extra maintenance and repair costs
- High rate of leaking water
Commercial Low-Sloped Roofs
They are most common in industrial buildings, warehouses, factories, and apartments. They have a slight pitch, unlike a flat roofing system.
Merits of low-sloped roofs
- Allow free flow of water runoff into drains, saddles, and valleys
- Allows easy and safe movement of rooftop during installation and maintenance
- Easy to undertake repair and perform water management measures
- Eliminates the standing water problem
- Easy to install satellite dishes, air conditioners, and solar panels on the roofing
- Ability to integrate a wide variety of materials such as rubber roofing, TPO, and EPDM
Disadvantages of Low-Sloped Roofs
- Requires precise adherence to building codes
Commercial Pitched Roofs
They are commonly used for residential roofing services.
- Provides an increased flow of runoff water and snow
- Minimizes the risk of water build-up thereby eliminating mold and leak water hurdles
- Easy to get rid of debris on the roof
- Reduced cost in repairs as most liquid and debris roll-off
- It is difficult to perform maintenance and repairs due to the inclined nature of the roof
- Requires specialized tools to maneuver around the roof
- Requires increased safety procedures while transferring and installing materials on top
Commercial Metal Retrofit Roofing
This involves re-roofing of old roof surface using a durable membrane. It is a cost-effective method of ensuring roof systems are long-lasting. Retrofitting can extend the life of the original roof by up to 20 years.
Pros of metal retrofit roofs
- They are cost-effective – The upgrade promotes an extensive roof life at a cheaper cost compared to replacements
- It creates a double protection installation. The initial roof protects the building interior while the outer membrane creates barrier protection
- Easy to install- You can install the re-roof without interrupting day activities
- It is eco-friendly – Retrofitting entails placing of membrane on top of the roof hence minimizing landfill waste and scrap materials
- Addition of insulation membrane aids in saving energy costs as temperatures are easily regulated
Cons Associated With Metal Retrofit Roofs
- Incurs extra cost on an already existing roofing
Common Types of Commercial Roofing And Their Advantages
Membrane roofing is a recognized commercial roofing material that fits your budget and facility requirements. They are sheets of rubber and synthetics, mechanically fastened and ballasted with a layer of insulating chemical protection on your facility. A single-ply membrane is a valuable option for industrial, commercial, and manufacturing structures.
Pros of single-ply membrane
- They are highly durable with a longevity of up to 30 years if well maintained
- Customer choice of insulation
- Excellent track record for commercial flat roofing – Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing on facilities can be tracked
- Class A fire-rated- Fire retardant chemicals can be added in EPDM and TPO membranes during the manufacturing process
- Retentive/ reflective – TPO membranes are highly reflective whereas EPDM has natural dark color on the membrane
It is the commonly recognized mode of commercial roofing system. Being one of the oldest roofing systems, it incorporates corrugated galvanized steel/aluminum or tin. Metal sheets are relatively light hence can be installed on top of an existing roof. Upon installation of metal roofing on a commercial facility, a coating of waterproof, UV protection, and rust protection can be applied. Corrugated sheets are inexpensive as the price range depends on the type, design, and style of the metal panel.
Pros of Metal Roofing
- They are highly durable with up to 40 years of service if well maintained
- They offer a wide variety of design and color choices
- Metal panels do not promulgate fire incidents as they are less prone to fire damage
- They are highly stable in resisting and holding up to high winds and extreme weather conditions
- Metal sheets can be made from recycled materials
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing (SPF)
This is an eco-friendly roofing option for industrial, manufacturing, and commercial facilities. Spray polyurethane foam roofing entails spraying a liquid on an existing roof to create a solid layer. The spray material expands to form foam. This type of roofing has existed since the early 1960s. SPF roofing is suitable for any climate and can last for up to 50 years. The cost of installing sprat polyurethane foam depends on the thickness and building structure.
Pros of SPF Roofing
- Spray polyurethane foam articulates moisture, air, and thermal barrier hence facilitating energy efficiency
- The SPF roofing is highly durable – due to the ability in expanding and contracting, there is minimal likelihood of cracks and splitting
- They are waterproof and seamless – continuous surface with no joints eliminates possible vulnerabilities of leaking
- Environmentally-friendly – Materials used for spray polyurethane roofing are free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Low in the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP). The SPF does not wear and tear easily hence minimal stripping that eliminates costly roof tear-offs
This type of roofing is also known as tar and gravel. Built-up roofing integrates alternating layers of asphalt and supporting fabrics onto the roof. Depending on the density you want to incorporate in the roofing, you can decide the number of layers that are installed ensuring the topmost layer consist of gravel/stone. The price to incorporate this type of roofing depends on the installation materials you choose. A well-maintained built-up roof can last for up to 40 years.
Advantages of Built-up Roofing
- They are seamless and waterproof – Built-up roofing features a continuous solid surface that removes the most vulnerable area for leaking
- It offers protection against ultraviolet rays
- It requires minimal maintenance after installation
This type of roofing is common for residential roofing. Shingle roofing is often used for steep-slope commercial roofing. Different materials such as ceramic, slate, wood, metal, asphalt, and plastic can be used to manufacture shingle roofing. Shingle roofing can either be architectural or asphalt. Architectural shingles feature multi-layered, durable, and weatherproof materials. Asphalt shingles are common due to their cost-effective nature. Depending on the type and style of shingles, a typical shingle roofing system is relatively cheap.
Advantages of Shingle Roofing
- They offer a wide range of design and color
- They are highly durable with a class IV hail rating
- They are easy to repair once you spot a damaged area
If the roofing is built and maintained properly, there are high chances of long-term service. Commercial roofing is suitable for both residential and commercial purposes. It is vital to consult and hire an experienced commercial roofing contractor to undertake installation and repairs in the roofing system. If you are considering a roof upgrade to a solar power system, seek detailed quotes from reputable roofers for proper installation.