Roofing is more complicated than one might initially believe. For example, residential roofing is entirely different from a commercial roofing system. Therefore, a commercial roofing project takes a little extra consideration, before choosing the right material for the job.
One of the first things you should consider is if the roof is flat or pitched. This will help you to determine which system is the best fit for the building and business. In fact, it’s best to get an expert opinion before making any purchases or signing a contract. Try reputable roofing contractors in Cape Cod to learn about the other significant differences between a residential and commercial roof.
Through consultation, you can learn about factors like roof shape, materials, installation methods and price. You’ll also have to be aware of the building codes, to make sure your choices are not crossing any regulations. A knowledgeable professional can assist you in finding out if you need to include ventilation systems, pipes or other standard additions as required by the law.
To help you get your research started, let’s take a closer look at three common types of commercial roofing systems.
A metal roofing system comes in vertical panels, which you’re likely to see on a pitched or low sloped roof, as opposed to a flat roof. While galvanized steel is the most common, it can be made of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, or tin. These roofs are great for protection against extreme heat, wildfires, strong winds or heavy snow. Furthermore, they come in a variety of different colors, for aesthetic appeal.
You’ll commonly find this roofing system sported atop supermarkets, trade centers and similar businesses especially in places with harsh weathers. It’s relatively simple to install – thanks to it lightweight build – but the installation method can vary, depending on the brand. While the panels interlock, it will have to be installed mechanically, if manual installation does not provide a tight enough seal.
Still, it’s worth it as these roofs are far less prone to damage, if it receives re-application of its protective acrylic coat from time to time. This will help protect the metal from elemental damages like rust or UV rays. Aside from that, this roof won’t experience punctures, break down or mold like many other materials would.
As for the cost of a metal roof, it really depends on what type of metal you are using. For example, galvanized steel can be as cheap as $5 – $7 per sq. ft. but it requires more maintenance. Aluminum, on the other hand, does a pretty good job of protecting itself and so it will tend to be more expensive like $8 -$13 per sq. ft.
All in all, this method of commercial roofing has been around for years, and it doesn’t seem to be going out of style any time soon. Similarly, built up Roofing systems are a reliable go-to for commercial business buildings.
Built Up Roofing (BUR)
Unlike metal roofing, a built-up roofing system will always be found on a flat roof. However, like metal, this system that has been around for a very long time – over 100 years. While today it has lost some appeal in lieu of other options, many businesses still go for this system.
If you’re unsure about whether this is the best choice for you, then speak with someone from a commercial roofing company.This will help youto gain some valuable insight on the subject. For example, you’ll learn that the BUR system is a wise choice for people who may expect lots of foot traffic on the roof of the building.
Given this, they are virtually shock resistant, as it is made up of alternating layers of bitumen and roofing felt. That material is then topped with the tar and gravel. While the bitumen, roofing felt, and tar protect the building, it is the gravel or rocks that protect those other materials. Otherwise, elements like heat, mold, or harsh weather will destroy the roof quickly.
The number of underlying layers that are applied will determine the labor required to complete the job and the durability of the finished project. That being said, a BUR system can last from 10 – 40 years, depending on how it was installed and the quality of the materials. Still, some noticeable drawbacks are that the color attracts heat, easily reaching as hot as 175 degrees. For this reason, one can assume that it’s not exactly energy efficient either.
Still, this product is cheaper than most, which may account for its level of popularity today. For a Built-up commercial roofing system one can expect to pay around $4 – $7 per sq. ft. and hardly ever much higher than that. Now let’s compare this layered choice to a single-ply alternative.
Single Ply Membrane Roofing
This roofing system is relatively new compared to the others, as it has only been around for about 40 or so years. Still, in that short amount of time it gained some seriously popularity, with some even claiming it revolutionized commercial roofing.
It’s easy to see why, when you learn of the versatility, easy labor and low maintenance that this system has to offer. Not to mention is will last for around 30 years. In terms of material, the single ply system is most often made from rubber (EDPM) or vinyl (PVC). As for labor, it can be installed chemically, manually, or through machine fastening.
A main difference is that rubber will block the sunlight, while PVC will absorb it. Vinyl will continuously expand and contract and is often paired with insulation for better protection of the building. Both materials stand strong against the elements or shock.
A single ply roofing system is also quite versatile when it comes to pricing. Depending on the quality of the materials and the installation methods, you could be paying anywhere from $4 -$10 per sq. ft. so it’s worth it to fully consider your options.
Hopefully, this article helped to illuminate some of your choices regarding commercial roofing systems. Take your time and seek out the best roofingcontractorsin your area. They will further guide you in your choices and picking the best option for your commercial building.