Every roofing type has its ups and downs. If you have an industrial building, you will discover that finding a new roof for your building can be overwhelming. Your utmost concern should be what best meets your purpose and budget, but longevity, efficiency, and some level of resistance are what any roofing option you choose for a commercial facility should offer. Thus, you need to know what options youve got, and how each option compares to another.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common commercial roofing types and what up and downside you can expect from them.
Here we go;
1. Built-up Roofing (BUR)
Perhaps, this is the most common roofing system that has been in existence for more than 100 years. A built-up roof involves alternating layers of gravel and tar that are built into piles. The strength of the roofing depends on the number of layers, which invariably influence the cost. They are easy and cost-effective to use and maintain. It has a reasonable lifespan of around 20 years.
BUR is a flexible roof type that can carry weight and cope with vibrations if you have an industry with heavy machines. One thing that may not sit well with you is the fairly short lifespan. As the roof gets towards the end of its useful lifespan, there is a high probability of leak which may be difficult to trace and control.
Nonetheless, BUR roofing is very cheap, easy to maintain, and also offers resistance to UV rays from sunlight. The Bottom line is that people no longer consider BUR as an option for commercial roofing since there are better alternatives nowadays.
2. Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is another type of roofing that is very durable and has become popular for industrial use. It has an impressive life span of more than 50 years. Metal roofing is made from various metal materials such as galvanized steel, silicon-coated steel, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum.
Today, contractors are adopting the use of more advanced metal roofing systems. This is better than the traditional metal roofing because they now have integrated solar panels; used to generate energy from sunlight. Plus, a snow removal system that is very useful in winter.
Metal roofing has been around for more than 4 decades. It is more sustainable and more durable than other roofing types. Its fire resistance property makes it one of the most considered types of roofing for commercial buildings.
On top of that, metal roofing has an attractive look. The only downside is that they are more susceptible to corrosion due to the effect of elements. The good news is that manufacturers today are embracing the production of metal roofs with anti-element protective layers.
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF Roofing)
Also called spray-on roofing, SPF is a form of roofing that involves spraying polyurethane foam, hence the name. The material spreads as a liquid and expands to up to 20 times its original liquid size as it rapidly solidifies within seconds. Despite having been around since the ’60s, few people know about SPF as a type of roofing.
Today, SPF is often added as an extra layer to existing roofing to serve the purpose of an eco-friendly protective layer. If well installed and maintained, it has a useful lifespan of more than 50 years. This roofing type is embraced as a commercial roofing option because of its expansive and insulating properties.
The expansive property makes it less prone to leakages since they are not joined together. The insulating property helps to keep your facility always cool and under bearable temperatures. On the downside, in colder weather, they are prone to punctures and cracking. Having an SPF roof requires thorough inspection, especially in winter.
Thermoplastic PVC Membrane
Today, PVC is arguably the best roofing option for commercial purposes. Ask any commercial roofing contractors about the best roofing type, and they’d quickly recommend Thermoplastic PVC Membrane roofing as the best bet. The reason is that PVC roofing is lightweight. It does not put unnecessary pressure on the building. It offers self-insulation to heat and is resistant to pressure.
There is nothing any roofing type can offer that you will not find in PVC. They are used mainly for adverse conditions and weather where top-the-line strength and durability are required. Because it excels better in all ramifications, PVC has become so popular that there are a lot of fake products on the market. Thanks to its ever-increasing demand. It takes a trained eye to separate the bad from the good.
The biggest advantage PVC has over other types of roofing is that; PVC can act as a self-extinguisher to fire. While some roofing types will melt away in any case of rooftop fire, PVC has the property to extinguish the fire.
The only factor that could scare you away from PVC is the cost of installation. But looking at longevity, efficiency, and strength, you will quickly realize that it is worth its price in gold.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing
After PVC comes Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing. TPO is a modern roofing membrane that experts recognize as the closest alternative to PVC. TPO market is fast-growing, in the United States of America, the TPO market grows twice bigger every year.
TPO has a lot in common with PVC. For owners who want to go green, TPO is an eco-friendly roofing system that is friendly to nature and even recyclable. Like PVC, TPO is also light in weight and will not put pressure on the building. Most contractors recommend it for owners who want the benefit of PVC but at a friendlier cost.
TPO is a flexible roofing membrane that can be mold to fit the exact design of your roof. It uses a hot-air gun to seal the seams and give a seamless edge-to-edge fabrication. The biggest argument against this type of roofing is that it is not time-tested compared to others. Although durable, it exacts life expectancy is a theory that is yet to be verified by reality.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing
Popularly referred to as rubber roofing, EPDM is another reliable roofing membrane with a proven track record in the commercial roofing realm. It has been on the market for more than 60 years. The decades-long history of EPDM is enough proof that it is a good bet for commercial roofing.
EPDM is a synthetic rubber that stretches to form-fit roofs of any type. This type of roofing works better for flat and low-slope roofs. EPDM comes in a dark color, making them a better option for an area with cold weather. However, they also come with a white coating to be used in temperate regions. The white coating reflects heat off the roof.
The other side of EPDM is that it is not self-insulating. You will need to look for other insulation options to keep your heat in your facility bearable. Also, hot weather can cause the roof to tear and shrink. And lastly, EPDM requires regular maintenance.
While you hunt for the best commercial roofing type, never forget that the choice of a commercial roofing contractor is also crucial. A great roofing type in the wrong hand will result in a mess. Make sure a good contractor handles the installation and maintenance of your commercial roofing needs.