Why are flat roofs common on commercial buildings?
Are you looking for different options for commercial roofing? A typical commercial or industrial structure will have an expansive roof. It is important for that roof to provide the best coverage and protection possible. Not only for the contents, equipment, and machinery that could be inside, but the employees, customers, and visitors. That is why when it comes to deciding what type of material for a commercial roof replacement, it needs to be an informed decision.
The main reason a large commercial structure has flat roofing is the cost of construction. A flat roof is less expensive on a large structure than a sloped roof, like those common to residential homes. This is true when it comes to commercial roof replacement as well.
Replacing a flat roof isn’t cheaper than replacing a sloped roof initially, but they last longer. This means that another commercial roof replacement won’t be for another 30 to 40 years, depending on the type of roofing material.
However, they are not truly 100% flat. Although they appear flat looking from the ground, there is a slight slope of approximately two percent. The slope is enough to let water flow to the drains along the edge or to the center of the roof. A proper commercial roof replacement will take into consideration that same slight 2% slope.
Another reason there are flat roofs on most commercial buildings is for the HVAC system. With a roof placement of the HVAC system, it is safer from being damaged by trucks backing over them and from vandalism.
There is an energy-saving aspect to the HVAC system installed on the flat roof too. When an HVAC system is on the ground, it has to push the cold air up through the warm air. As we learned in grade school science, hot air rises and that makes the HVAC system work harder. When installed on the flat roof, it is pushing the cold air down into the building and doesn’t have to work as hard. That cuts back on energy costs.
The fourth reason for commercial flat roofs is the maintenance factor. When repairs are needed on a commercial roof, it is easier for the labor to walk around making the repair and apply roof coating. While safety equipment is still recommended and required, commercial roof replacement and repairs are easier on the flat surface.
What are the different types of commercial roofs?
There are several types of commercial roof replacement materials on the market today. In this article, we’re going to list the four most common along with the advantages they provide.
Single-Ply Roofing Membrane has been around a while and is time-tested on commercial, industrial, and manufacturing structures. This roofing material is made of rubber and other synthetics that are manufactured in sheets. The sheets are attached by ballast, mechanical fastener, or chemically adhered to the insulation, creating a protective layer for the structure. The benefits of a single-ply roofing membrane are:
- Long Lifespan – You won’t need another commercial roof replacement for 30 years or longer.
- Proven – EPDM, another name for single ply roofing membrane has been used for years on commercial, industrial, and manufacturing structures with flat roofing.
- Insulation Choice – Single-ply roofing membrane does not come with insulation included, leaving the building owner the option to choose what type of insulation they prefer.
- Class A Fire-Rated – TPO is another single ply flat roofing membranes, and along with EPDM, they both are Underwriters Laboratories rated Class A for fire resistance because of the fire retardant chemicals used when manufactured.
- Reflective / Retentive – EPDM single ply is the “black roof” which retains the sun UV rays, keeping the building warmer in the winter. TPO single ply flat roofing mater is usually white, which is a highly reflective material and good for structures in warmer climates where air conditioning is used.
The oldest of all commercial, industrial, and manufacturing roofing. Most use corrugated galvanized steel, while aluminum or steel is the choice for others. All are lightweight materials that can be installed on an existing material for commercial roof replacement, another environmental option. The benefits of metal roofing for a flat commercial roof include:
- Design – With a wide variety of colors, match any building architectural style.
- Stability – Metal roofing has strong ability against high winds and snow.
- Energy Efficient – Retains the sun UV rays and heat to keep a building warm.
- Fire Resistance – Metal panels will not transmit fire and is less likely to be damage by fire.
This type of roofing material is referred to as tar and gravel and has been used for more than 100 years. Installed in layers of asphalt or tar alternated with layers of supporting fabrics. The benefits of this type of roofing that can be expected is:
- Long Lifespan – Properly installed and maintained, can last up to 40 years or longer before needing another commercial roof replacement.
- Seamless and Waterproof – A continuous surface without any joints or seams eliminates possible leaking.
- UV Rays – Reflects the ultra-violet rays of the sun.
- Low- maintenance – There is little maintenance once the roofing is installed.
What is the best type of commercial roof?
A single-ply membrane is the best commercial roof replacement. EPDM, PVC, TPO, and metal can each be retrofitted over an existing roof, saving money and landfill waste.
What is commercial roof coating?
The primary purpose of having a roof coating installed on a commercial, industrial, or manufacturing structure is to re-saturate and revive old, existing roofs. A roof coating extends the life of the roof another 10 to 15 years, delaying the need for a commercial roof replacement. It helps keep the roof cool in the summer, warm in the winter and provides an additional layer of protection from foot traffic and weather.
How much does a commercial roof cost?
Commercial roof replacement costs will vary based on the size of the roof and the type of roofing materials used. The cost of spray foam roofing and coating average cost is:
- Spray Polyurethane Foam at 1.5 inch thickness: Between $1.65 up to $2.25 per square foot including materials and labor
- Silicone Coating: From $1.90 up to $2.60 per square foot including labor and materials
- Single-ply membrane roofing: From $3.50 up to $7.50 per square foot
Insulation is separate and the attachment process can vary.
- TPO Roofing Membrane: From $1.90 up to $3.50 per square foot for materials and labor
- EPDM Roofing Membrane: From $1.80 up to $3.50 per square foot for materials and labor.
How long does it take to install a commercial roof?
There are several factors taken into consideration when quoting a time frame for a commercial roof replacement installation. The average is 8 days and can take up to 14 days, some can be done in 5 days. The larger the roof, the longer the job will take. Factors that are considered include:
- The roofing material used
- The slope and size of the roof
- The number of crew members
- The weather
- Possible repairs
- The final inspection
With a commercial structure, the longer you can delay a commercial roof replacement, the better financially. By repairing the existing roof, you can avoid business disruption and save money. The basic rule of thumb is when a commercial roof has over 25% of the surface damaged, a commercial roof replacement is the better option.
How do you repair a commercial roof?
Most commercial roofs can be repaired in these 6 steps:
- Inspect the roof and identify the problems.
- Clean and clear the area needing repair.
- Remove any blisters, make any repairs needed.
- Remove excess water and allow surface to dry.
- Fill-in cracks and holes with roofing cement.
- Apply appropriate roofing membrane.
How much does it cost to fix a commercial roof?
As with a commercial roof replacement, there are several factors to be considered. The size of the roof, the amount and type of damage, the type of repair materials used, and the weather. For a commercial structure of a 20,000 square foot roof, the cost will average from $3.50 per square foot up to $7.50 per square foot. This includes labor and materials. Need a commercial roof replacement in Longwood and Orlando, FL?
Call WeatherShield Roofing Group at (407) 298-0100 today or send your request