TYPES OF COMMERCIAL ROOFS
If you’re in the process of constructing a new building, or planning the replacement of an outdated roof on an existing building, there are four main types of commercial roofing systems to consider:
TPO roofing systems are among the fastest growing commercial roofing systems. Made of an especially durable material with a low-temperature flexibility and a high-temperature tolerance, these roofs are exceptionally resistant to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. TPO roofs can be expected to have a lifespan of 20+ years, and also feature a high resistance to fire, punctures, chemicals and high winds.
EPDM roofing offers superior durability and versatility, making it one of the longest lasting types of commercial roofs available. EPDM commercial roofing systems are also typically easier to install, maintain and repair than most other types of commercial roofs.
PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PANELS
As energy costs continue to rise and America looks towards green and sustainable energy, many building owners are turning to solar energy roofing systems. PV solar panels installed over a rooftop or used with glass, membrane and roof-mounted tile, absorb sunlight and convert it to energy that can be used to power a building. Although not in wide use, PV panel roofs offer great potential to conserve energy and control skyrocketing costs.
Perhaps of all the types of commercial roofs available today, green roofing systems have experienced the greatest surge in popularity in the last few years. Sedum green roofs are typically flat roofs that are partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil and planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofing systems reduce the urban heat island effect by soaking up heat and also are found to dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value – lengthening the lifespan of the roof by as much as two to three times longer and saving on heating and cooling costs.
Beyond TPO and EPDM flat roofs, modified roofing is an option, which uses redundant layers of roofing to create a durable weather-resistant surface. Similar to modified roofing, built-up roofing is a viable commercial roof choice depending on the roof’s sloop and complexities.
6 MOST COMMON COMMERCIAL ROOFS AND ROOFING MATERIALS
Commercial roofs come in many forms, with each one built according to the needs of the building and the budget of the owner. The kind of roof your commercial property has plays an integral role in the overall health of the building, and the longevity of the roof itself. The surrounding environment, typical weather, and any extraneous variables such as animals, foliage, etc. will also have an impact on the integrity of the roof over time.
To help you gain an understanding of what it takes to construct a quality commercial roof, we’re going to look at the most common classifications of commercials roofs and the roofing materials used to create them.
It’s important to note that most commercial roofs are either flat or low slope, which narrows down the available roofing materials. The six most common roof classifications include:
1.Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane
3.Modified Bitumen Roofing
4.Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane
5.Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane
6.Garden “Green” Roofing System
1. BUILT-UP ROOFING MEMBRANE
Built-up roofing, or “BUR” as it’s commonly known, is essentially your standard tar-and-gravel roof. It’s built with multiple layers (piles). This is a flexible roof type as the number of layers can be varied to help control costs or meet certain durability requirements you may need to address. It’s a very old low-slope roof system, and is one of the most cost-effective and tough roofing types available today.
2. MODIFIED BITUMEN ROOFING
Reinforced roof fabrics are applied to act as “carriers” for bitumen, which is later cut and installed in layers similar to BUR membranes. These roofing systems are generally fastened to commercial rooftops as two-ply systems, adhered to the roofing deck for maximum stability and protection.
Maintenance of modified bitumen roofs are simple and can typically be handled with annual inspections and cleaning. They offer enhanced tensile strength compared to most other flat roof types that experience regular foot traffic, and that means if you anticipate a lot of activity on your commercial building roof, modified bitumen may be ideal.
3. THERMOSET ROOF MEMBRANE
Also known as EPDM roofing, Thermoset roof system offer long-lasting durability and versatility, paired with a simple installation and ease of maintenance/repair when compared to most other commercial roof types. EPDM boasts a strong resistance to ultraviolet light and ozone, and is constructed from a single-ply rubber material.