Which Commercial Roof is Right for You

When you think about it, roofs play a very important part in finishing off a building. Your commercial roof will be responsible for separating the inside of your building from the potentially harsh weather outside, like rain, hail or snow. A proper roofing system ensures your roof can efficiently drain any water in order to prevent damage. Your roof should also be resistant against sun exposure in order to avoid sun damage.

If you are in the process of constructing a commercial building, then you’re going to need to consider roofing options sooner or later. The way you roof a commercial building will depend on a couple of things.

EPDM

EPDM (Ethyline Propolyne Diene Terpolymer) is a durable and environmentally friendly option to go for when roofing your commercial building. Generally, EPDM is long-lasting and versatile, making it a good option for a wide variety of projects.

There are many benefits to choosing EPDM including:

  • EPDM is a rubber-type roofing. The material is resistant to weather and generally very durable.
  • EPDM is reasonably cost effective to install. The fact that the material is light, makes installation somewhat cheaper, as it’s easy to put in place.
  • A EPDM roof could last as long as 50 years without needing to be replaced! That means that your EPDM roof is not only cost effective to install, but will continue paying for itself because it’s such a low maintenance option.

Thermoplastic (TPO)

A thermoplastic roof is made from materials like TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) and PVC (poly vinyl chloride). These are lightweight materials that are excellent for using on your commercial building.

As with EPDM, there are plenty of great advantages that come with using TPO for your building. Some of the advantages of a TPO roofing system include:

  • TPO roofs are really sturdy, and are highly resistant to sun damage, chemicals, water and tears.
  • The material is available in sheets varying in thickness. You can choose between 45 mils to 85 mils. If you choose thinner sheets, you can cut on the cost, although thicker sheets tend to be more durable.
  • TPO is available in different colors, but white tends to be a popular choice because of its ability to reflect sunlight. If, however, you want your roof to fit in with the rest of your color scheme, feel free to explore other options.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is an asphalt-based material that’s been a long time favorite for building flat roofs. Because the material has been in use for somewhat longer than other alternative, you can count on what you’re getting with a modified bitumen roof.

Some of the advantages of a modified bitumen roof include:

  • During installation, roofing seams are melted together, making modified bitumen roofs very resistant to leaks.
  • The material also proves very tough when it comes to pressure. Modified bitumen roofs can carry more foot traffic and aren’t prone to structural damage from relatively light impacts.
  • As a material, modified bitumen is very temperature resistant, meaning it’s a great option for you if temperatures between seasons fluctuate a lot where your commercial building will be.

There are some disadvantages to this material for roofs, however. Without exception, modified bitumen roofs are black, meaning they’ll be prone absorbing heat instead of reflecting sunlight. This is a major problem if you’re planning to build somewhere hot where there aren’t any trees for shade. The material is also much less durable if you opt for the 1 ply option instead of 2 or 3 ply roofing.

Built-up Roofing

Built-up roofing is a bit like its name. With this roofing option, various materials are layered on top of each other and sealed using bitumen, such as asphalt or coal pitch. The layers are made out of various kinds of felts, fabrics and mats.

Some of the advantages of a built-up roofing system include:

  • A good built-up roof will be incredibly waterproof, making it ideal for locations that regularly have wet weather.
  • Like many other commercial roofing options, built-up roofs provide a high level of UV protection.
  • The maintenance on a built-up roof will generally be reasonably low-cost.

But there are some disadvantages to installing a built-up roof on your commercial building. Far starters, the option isn’t very environmentally friendly, and the fumes that will be present while the roof is still being installed can be pretty hazardous. Having a built-up roof installed will also take quite a bit longer than some of the other options, so it’s not a good choice when you’re behind on your building project and want to get back on schedule.

Other Options

If none of the roofing options described here looked like a fit for your commercial building, don’t feel like you have to settle just yet.

Some other great commercial roofing options include:

  • Metal roofs
  • Coated roof systems
  • Skylights (to let natural light into your building)

If you would like to know more about roofing options, feel free to contact 1 OAK to help you with your roofing needs. We’ll be able to give you advice if you describe your needs and project. At 1 OAK, we not only install both residential and commercial roofs, we also re-roof buildings, as well as do roof maintenance and repairs. We pride ourselves in being your one-stop flat roofing solution.

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