Is the cost of roofing almost always the first thing you think about when it comes to deciding on which roofing material you use? Are you researching your options on which roofing material is better suited for your property? Is climate, life span or average maintenance something that comes to mind when choosing your roofing products? Knowing the different types of roofing materials available and which ones are better suited for your commercial property will not only be more cost effective for you in the long run but provide you with the quality materials that match your specific needs. Listed, is a guide of the different roofing materials that are commonly used for commercial properties along with points to consider before purchasing your roofing system.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR ROOFING
EPDM, also known as Single Ply Roofing, stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer and is one of the best commercial roofing materials made of synthetic rubber. EDPM is known for its resistance against damaging UV rays and has a lifespan averaging up to 50 years. Its versatile membrane offers a variety of installation options and delivers long term weatherability as well as superior wind lift resistance. Types of EPDM are Fully Adhered EPDM, Ballasted EPDM and Mechanically Attached EPDM. Many commercial property owners prefer this roofing material because they don’t need to take off any equipment on their buildings prior to installation.
TPO is the abbreviated term for Thermoplastic polyolefin, another roofing material made of rubber. TPO is cheaper than EPDM and is becoming a popular pick amongst commercial property owners for its leak resistant capabilities, simple installation process and low maintenance. It’s fire and wind resistant, flexible,durable and comes in a variety of colors. Its UV resistance is dependent upon the thickness of the material but is ideally suited for flat roofing in virtually all commercial applications. Types of TPO include Mechanically Attached TPO, Fully Adhered TPO, Ballasted TPO and Vented TPO. Because this product is newer to the industry its important that it is properly installed by those with experience to keep it from coming loose.
BUR, also known as Built Up Roofing, is a roofing system that falls under the asphalt category. It provides multiple layers of protection against water where layers are bonded together on site with a hot bitumen. If a leak occurs it can be hard to decipher the source as there may be cracks amongst many of its layers. Types of BUR include Four-Ply Gravel Surface Built UP or Three-or-Four-Ply Smooth Built Up. Roofs that intend for heavy traffic where repairs can be made and desire for less maintenance may be well suited for this type of roofing.
Solar roofing, or solar panels, are often sought out for their ability to convert energy from the sun into electricity which also helps to protect the environment. Those who want to save money over the long term choose these photovoltaic solar panels as their roofing option for a sustainable roofing solution. This type of roofing doesn’t require maintenance costs but can be unreliable as weather patterns don’t always produce the amount of sun needed to generate energy.
Metal roofing, or corrugated roofing, is becoming more of a trend especially in residential areas. In the past, this material was not preferred as it was prone to rust but technological advancements have allowed for manufacturers to address this issue, making it rust resistant. The benefits of this roofing material are its long life span of more than 50 years, its reflective properties which help reduce energy bills by keeping the buildings internal structure cooler and the fact that it can be completely recycled making it environmentally friendly.
TTR is considered an up and coming unique product. It’s a combination of two separate roofing systems which consist of polyurethane foam and EDPM roofing material. The fusing of these two roofing systems eliminates their normal disadvantages allowing for installation of roofing landscapes as well as photovoltaic panels to be placed on top. It also provides maximum waterproof protection even when there are puncture sites. Another benefit is that this fusion of materials reflects the sun allowing the building to stay cooler, making it more cost efficient over the long run.
Modified bitumen is another asphalt based roofing system that is best suited for rooftops that expect higher amounts of traffic making it similar to built up roofing systems in this way. This material is highly reflective, durable and easy to apply with one of the main benefits being that it can last up to more than 20 years. There are different options to consider when purchasing this roofing system but a standard rule of thumb is to opt for the 2 or 3 ply selections as those will be less breakable. Cost will vary between the 1-3 ply options but part of the installation process includes granules which help protect from the heat of the sun.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING YOUR ROOFING
How does one know which roofing material will be best suited for them? There are several factors to consider. One is your geographical location. Consider weather trends, building codes and which direction your building faces. Potential snow and annual rainfall all vary from one location to the next and are worth considering. Other things like the size, shape and whether your building is a new or existing structure also come into play.
Second, knowing your buildings current type of HVAC and what equipment you have installed in case of a fire is important to know before deciding on your roofing. What are the building materials of your structure? Wood, metal, brick? Consider the size, shape, slope, deck, edge, protrusions and rooftop access. Will there be a high amount of foot traffic on your roof?
Lastly, know the use of your building. A school building has different roofing needs than that of a warehouse. Both may require leak proof roofing but the internal environment matters more with a building where people are actively coming to and from than one that has far less foot traffic. Is this building worth investing in energy saving materials? How long do you plan to own the building? A roof with a longer life expectancy is an ideal investment for one planning to own the building for more than 20 years versus one who only plans to be in the building a fraction of that time.
Choosing the right roofing material for your commercial property will require a lot of brain power as you go over what your building is being used for, what location it’s in and how you desire for it to be used; among many other questions you’ll need to answer. But investing in your thought process before making a decision on your roofing system will be well worth the time spent.