January 29 2021 0Comment

Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing

While all types of roofs share a common purpose of protecting you and your property from elements, their similarities pretty much end there.

Most commercial roof types differ significantly in the pitch of the slope and the materials they are made of, which relies more on the size of your building.

Your building structure and other climatic conditions, such as intense heat or extreme cold, greatly influence the type of commercial roofing contractors to hire in Utah and roofing materials you will use. Will the roof surface be subject to high foot traffic? Do you intend to store anything on the roof? What will the roof be protecting?

All these are critical questions that will influence your choice of the right commercial roofing contractors Utah, for the job. These elements will also impact on your pick of the most suitable roofing materials for your commercial roofing system.

Check below for some interesting facts on commercial roofing and factors to consider before hiring a roofing contractor:

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

There are three main commercial roofing types or shapes to choose from: flat, low, and pitched. While most contractors install all these commercial roofing types, not all roofing contractors have the expertise or tools to get the job done right.

The type of roofline you choose can make a big difference in your roof’s functionality if you are building a new commercial building. Therefore, ensure you put all these critical factors into consideration to get the best out of your roof.

1. Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are quite common in most commercial buildings like warehouses, shopping centers, and big box stores. This is mainly because flat roofs are very budget-friendly, quick to install, and require fewer materials than other options.

  • Materials used: for flat roofs, you can choose from several material options like rubber rolled roofing, PVC, TPO, EPDM, metal roofing, bitumen, modified bitumen, etc.
  • Features: flat roofs are excellent for conserving energy since their reflective properties keep the building’s cooling costs lower during hot climates. Flat roofs also provide extra space for solar panels, satellite dishes, and air conditioners.
  • Maintenance: they are relatively easy to maintain because they provide easy access.

2. Low Slope Roofs

You will mostly find this type of roofing system on apartment buildings, industrial buildings, and warehouses. From a distance, low-slope roofs may appear flat. But they actually have a soft slope, which makes them unique.

  • Materials used: low slope roofs require similar roofing materials used for flat roofs. These include rubber rolled roofing, PVC, TPO, EPDM, metal roofing, bitumen, modified bitumen, etc.
  • Features: a low slope roof is a great in-between option for commercial buildings. Its roofing area is a little smaller than the high-pitched roof, making its installation less expensive. The slight slope also allows for better drainage and runoffs. The installation and repair of a slow slope roof are relatively simple and easy to perform. It provides storage space for some items like solar panels and air conditioners, depending on your roof’s shape and size.
  • Maintenance: a low slope roof is easy to maintain because its slight pitch makes runoff easy. Its only concern is the winter season. Snow can build up and add tremendous weight, which can interfere with its integrity. Low slope roofs are designed with saddles, valleys, and drains to make them maintenance-free. If necessary, you can make the necessary improvements and repairs to it to fit your roofing preferences.

3. Pitched Roofs

Pitched roofs create beautiful commercial buildings that look more like state buildings than stale warehouses. They are also less common in commercial buildings because they are more expensive.

  • Materials used: most commercial pitched roofs use different materials, including asphalt shingles, metal roofing, tile, slate, and rubber materials.
  • Features: its increased slopes make rain runoff and snow removal easy. These attributes can be very helpful in the winter months. This feature also means pitched roofs require fewer repairs and maintenance since liquid and other debris easily fall off it.
  • Maintenance: pitched roofs are difficult to work on. Professional commercial roofing contractors, however, have the experience and tools to maneuver around these roofs for repairs and maintenance.

Coverings for Commercial Roofing Systems

Commercial roof systems use PVC, TPO, and EPDM. These materials are highly flexible and robust. It is for that reason that many building owners and contractors prefer to use them. They are also highly resistant to cracking, peeling, and other types of weathering.

One main characteristic of commercial roofing coverings is that they are designed for single-layer installation.

1. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

TPO is the most used roofing material for low slopes. It includes reinforced roof sheets and heat-welded seams that are highly reflective. TPO is typically composed of ethylene-propylene and polypropylene rubber, which have been polymerized together. It forms part of the thermoplastic membrane category and comes in several different colors.

You can install TPO using different methods including, mechanically attached, ballasted, or adhered.

2. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC roofing materials come in two PVC layers with a polyester reinforcement scrim between. Its top ply contains additives to make its membrane UV resistant. The bottom ply is darker and contains plasticizers to allow for more flexibility, making installation easier.

Other key benefits of the PVC membrane include longevity, fire resistance, and durability. PVC is also weldable. Meaning you can have it welded to adjoining sheets to make it watertight. They are also recyclable and reusable in new sheets, making them very cost-efficient.

3. Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is excellent for its aesthetics, durability, and longevity. They are also used on both steep and low-slope roofs. Many building owners prefer metal roofs for their metallic appearance and durability, making them the preferred option for most commercial building owners.

Essentially, every building owner is always looking for roofing materials that have a longer lifespan and durability compared to the traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

4. Steep Slope

This type of roofing refers to roofing materials that are suitable for commercial roofs with slopes 3:12 or higher. While such roofs are mainly common in residential properties, some commercial buildings sometimes prefer this roofing style. This can be because of the design feature of the building. Steep slope roofs may be the perfect option if you are building a university or a hotel, for example.

The roof slope also affects the materials used. These can range from asphalt shingles to fiberglass laminate shingles, specialty asphalt shingles, wood shales, concrete tiles, metal, slate, and fiberglass 3-tab shingles.

5. Green Roofs

Green roofs are not suitable for every commercial space. But when installed, these roofs can reduce energy costs significantly with its natural insulation features. They also create enjoyable spaces and absorb stormwater, thereby lessening the need for expensive drainage systems.

Generally, green roofs improve air quality, making them perfect for installing green or vegetative roofing systems.

In Sum

When installing new commercial roofing systems or repairing your old one, hiring commercial roofing contractors Utah helps ensure the job is done right the first time. Professional commercial roofing contractors have the expertise to design, repair, and replace all types of commercial roofing systems.

Finding a reliable commercial roofing contractor also guarantees you the best roofing materials to ensure you have a strong and durable roofing system.


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