Types of Commercial Roofs

We Coat – Commercial Roof Coating In North Carolina installation, repair and maintenance requires a different approach than residential roofing. A business’s assets, customers and employees rely on its roof to protect them from the elements.

A wide range of materials can be used on low-sloped commercial roofs. Shingles are a popular choice for their affordability and durability. They also come in a variety of styles, from fiberglass 3-tab shingles to architectural and specialty shingles.

Single-Ply Membrane

Essentially, single-ply membrane is a sheet of rubber or other synthetic material that can be ballasted, mechanically fastened or chemically adhered to insulation to create a layer of protection on your commercial roof. The two most common types of single-ply membrane roofing for flat, low-slope commercial roofs are Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). Both offer different benefits depending on the cost, climate, energy needs, or other requirements you may have for your commercial roof.

Both TPO and EPDM are strong, flexible, durable, and highly watertight. They also offer great energy efficiency for your building, with TPO’s reflective surface helping to lower air conditioning costs in warmer climates and EPDM’s black surface absorbing the sun’s heat and retaining it inside the building.

The installation process for both TPO and EPDM is similar, with the existing substrate being prepared either by cleaning or removing the old roof before the insulation layers are installed. Then, the cover board is added and the single-ply membrane is attached. The final step is to seal the seams. TPO’s seams are welded together with heat from a hot-air gun, while EPDM’s seams are taped and then glued down.

PIB is another type of single-ply membrane that can be used for flat, low-slope commercial roofs. Developed in the 1930s, it’s one of the oldest single-ply roofing membranes on the market today and roofs are still performing after 50 years or more. Made from Oppanol, which is a recycled plastic found in everything from chewing gum to surgical dressings, PIB is both biodegradable and environmentally friendly with a complete life cycle assessment to ISO14040. It’s also available with a copper paint finish that weathers to a natural verdigis over time.

Seamless Elastomeric Coating

Elastomeric roof coatings can provide a layer of defense for any type of commercial roofing system. They are easy to maintain and provide extra reinforcement against high winds. They can also be easily repaired if they are damaged. They are a great choice for businesses that want to extend the life of their existing roof rather than invest in an expensive replacement.

Roof coatings are typically applied in bonded layers, providing a seamless membrane that resists thermal movement. They can be applied to almost any surface and can help improve the performance of any roof. They can be resistant to animal fats, most chemicals, and discourage bird life from laying eggs on the roof. Some can even be made to withstand the pressure of heavy traffic, making them a good choice for large industrial properties with multiple access points.

One of the main benefits of these roof coatings is that they are highly reflective and protect against UV rays. This helps to reduce energy costs by lowering the temperature of the roof and reducing the need for air conditioning. They can also help you qualify for ENERGY STAR or LEED certification.

These coatings are typically spray-applied, but it is important to follow all application instructions carefully. The right tools and equipment are necessary to make the job easier and safer. The proper safety equipment includes goggles, hard hats, work gloves, and protective clothing. You will also need a power drill with mixer, plastic roller covers, all-purpose brushes, mallets, push brooms, and the appropriate solvents. It is also important to ensure that all materials are mixed thoroughly before applying them. If they aren’t mixed properly, it may cause the resulting coating to crack or flake off of the roof.

Asphalt Shingles

A commercial roof can be constructed from a variety of materials, including asphalt shingles. These are a popular choice for steep-sloped roofs, as they offer weatherproofing and insulation with cost efficiency. In addition, asphalt shingles are fire-resistant and durable against harsh weather conditions, such as high winds.

The most common shingle is the three-tab variety, which is available in a wide range of colors and styles. Alternatively, homeowners can opt for architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles. These shingles have several layers that create shadow lines and thickness variations, creating a more distinctive look. Both types of shingles have different advantages, but the three-tab variety is the most budget-friendly option.

Despite being relatively inexpensive, asphalt shingles have excellent durability and can last up to 30 years, provided they are installed by a professional roofing contractor and properly maintained throughout their expected lifespan. In addition to their durability, shingles are also water-resistant and can help prevent mold growth, rot, or leaks.

The shingles are also class-rated for impact resistance, which can help reduce insurance premiums, if available in your area. To determine the class, the shingles are subjected to a rigorous test by the Underwriters Laboratory. Differently sized steel balls are dropped onto the shingles from various heights, and how well they hold up under pressure is determined by the resulting rating. In addition to their durability, shingles require low upkeep and are easy to repair by a trained professional roofing contractor. However, a quality roof should still be inspected regularly to ensure the integrity of the structure. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that homeowners get their roofs inspected at least twice per year, in the fall and spring.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing can take on a variety of shapes and hues depending on the type you choose. Some look effortlessly modern (like standing seam), while others evoke traditional charms (like metal shingles).

Metal is durable, insulating and highly reflective. Its reflective surface helps reduce indoor heating and cooling levels, which is a big benefit for businesses with energy costs. Additionally, it can be compatible with solar photovoltaic systems that generate renewable energy.

Another advantage of commercial metal roofing is that it is fire resistant. This is an important feature when it comes to protecting your investment, as well as the safety of your employees and customers.

However, a drawback of this option is that it can be loud during construction and after. Heavy rains and hail bouncing off of a metal roof can also create a noise that some commercial facilities don’t find appealing.

In addition, metal is more expensive upfront than other types of roofing. But the fact that it can last up to sixty years and requires minimal maintenance makes it a cost-effective and durable choice.

The most popular types of metal roofing are insulated metal panels and metal shingles. IMPs feature a built-in air and water barrier, which allows for a tighter building enclosure and enhanced energy efficiency. They have a three-hour fire rating, and are often used in hurricane-prone areas. Metal shingles, on the other hand, are available in many colors and can mimic the appearance of shingles or tiles. As a result, they are a popular choice for re-roofing projects and new construction. They can be installed in large sections or in a corrugated design, allowing for a customized aesthetic.

Tar and Gravel Built-Up Roofing

A tar and gravel built-up roof, or BUR, is a time-tested roofing solution for commercial and industrial buildings with flat or low-sloped roofs. This layered system protects these structures against water, extreme weather conditions, and foot traffic. It also provides insulation and fire resistance.

These traditional roofs consist of 3 to 5 laminated layers of asphalt based sheets, hot tar, and roofing felt. They are topped with a layer of light colored gravel. The gravel helps to weigh down the layers, and also reflects some of the sun’s rays away from the underlying materials.

The tar and gravel layers help the underlying roofing materials to stay intact, allowing them to extend their lifespan. This makes a tar and gravel roof a good choice for building owners with a budget and a long-term commitment to their commercial property.

However, a commercial property owner will need to understand that tar and gravel roofs add significantly to the overall weight of a structure. This can strain the building’s foundation, especially if it’s constructed of wood. It can also reduce a building’s energy efficiency, since black tar tends to retain heat and increase air conditioning costs.

Like other roofing systems, a tar and gravel roof will need regular inspections and maintenance. These will include removing debris, repairing leaks and blistering, and addressing other signs of wear and tear. In addition, regular maintenance will help extend the roof’s lifespan and prevent minor issues from developing into major problems. For example, keeping up with routine debris removal will help to prevent water ponding, which can lead to costly leaks. Regular inspections will also help to spot any signs of surface damage and to identify potential problems with the underlying roofing materials.