Do Flat Commercial Roofs Last Longer Than Sloped Roofing?

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The design and the sloping angle of your roof will determine not only the appearance of your building and the amount of useful space inside your building, but also the longevity of your roof and with it, the amount of money and effort that you will have to invest into roof replacements. As a general rule, flat structures are more durable than sloping roofs – here is why:

  • Continuity – flat roofs are more continuous than sloping roofs, they don’t have valleys, peaks, dormers and other roof features and this is true even for the flat structures installed on commercial facilities that often use the roof surface for installing AC units or for other pieces of equipment. As a result, flat roofs are less prone to developing leaks and to being lifted by winds;
  • More modern materials for superior weather resistance – the range of materials used for building flat roofs is much wider and includes more synthetic options than the range of the materials used for building pitched roofs. Skilled commercial roofers Denver contractors confirm that synthetic roofing solutions, such as EPDM, TPO, vinyl or polyurethane provide efficient protection against the weather and can stand up to most weather-related challenges, including severe events, such as hurricanes, heavy snowstorms and hail.

Why Are Flat Roofs Used Primarily for Commercial Roofing in Denver?

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In the past, low-sloping roofs, also called flat roofs (though they are never completely flat, since all roofs need a little slope to be able to shed water), were only used on commercial buildings, but today they are becoming increasingly widespread on modern residential architectures that feature sleek, boxy designs. However, when people think of flat roofs, they usually picture a building with a flat structure on the top, low-slope roofs being most typically used on flat roofs – here is why:

  • Cost-efficiency – commercial buildings are usually larger than residential architecture, many of them spreading on so many square feet that fitting them with a pitched roof would cost a fortune. Prominent commercial roofers in Denver confirm that the materials used on flat buildings are also cheaper than the materials used for building residential roofs;
  • Practicality – commercial buildings rarely need attics, therefore pitched roofs are useless on them. A flat roof also allows for the installation of outdoor air conditioning units, satellite dishes and other features on the rooftop, thus helping businesses save valuable space elsewhere around the building;
  • Versatility – flat roofs are versatile in terms of purpose of usage as well; many companies decide to transform their rooftops into recreation areas for employees or into rooftop gardens.

Top Roofing Materials for Commercial Roofing

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Commercial roofs need to be able to stand up to the weather, to provide energy-efficiency as well as durability, therefore they can be built with only the best and strongest materials. Here are some of the best materials used by popular commercial roofers in Denver:

  • Metal roofing – the most common alloys used for making metal roofs include copper, tin, aluminum, galvanized steel and stainless steel. Metal roofs offer durability of up to 60 years, they are easy to install and to maintain and they are excellent for roofs that need to provide superior energy-efficiency as well;
  • Built-up roofing – built from alternated layers of tar and gravel, the solution can last for around 20 years. Built-up roofs are affordable, easy to maintain and great for roofs that need to withstand not only harsh weather, but heavy foot traffic as well;
  • EPDM membrane – the material is practically a membrane made from durable and resistant synthetic rubber. EPDM is an elastic and very strong material that can resist puncture, UV radiation as well as chemicals, such as acids, some solvents or alcohol;
  • Spray-on roofing – these systems are made from polyurethane foam that hardens when it comes into contact with air. The solution can last for up to half a century and it has excellent insulating abilities while also being very affordable.

What Helps Make Commercial Roofing Safe?

Unlike residential roofing, commercial roofs are structures that are often stepped on or walked on, structures that often accommodate pieces of equipment that need to be accessed frequently for various purposes and that are often exposed to corrosive chemical spills.

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Consequently, commercial roofing structures need to meet very high safety requirements – here are some tips from leading commercial roofers in Denver to ensure compliance:

  • Regular maintenance – professional inspections, cleaning and the timely repair of any fault detected during the check-ups is essential for ensuring that the roof is in perfect conditions and strong enough to resist even heavy foot traffic;
  • Guard rails – a roof that gets lots of traffic needs solid and secure railings and guards to ensure safe walking around;
  • Safety trainings for your employees – anyone going up on the roof needs to be familiar with the rules of climbing on ladders safely and of moving around on the roof safely. To ensure that, enroll your staff into training sessions;
  • Safety gear for your employees – the people who climb up to the roof and perform any activity up there need to wear proper safety gear, composed at least of a hard hat, non-slop work shoes and work gloves. In special cases, personal fall arrest equipment, such as harnesses, might also be necessary.

Should I Have A Monthly Maintenance Plan for My Commercial Roof?

Roof maintenance is essential for maintaining the health of your commercial roofing. Ideally, you need yearly or six-monthly maintenance sessions that involve thorough cleaning for the roof and the gutters, professional inspections to reveal any faults and minor repairs to preserve the health of the structure.

While enrolling your roof into a monthly maintenance plan might be a bit too much, you need a plan that includes not only the semi-annual visits, but extra sessions whenever needed, after strong storms and other extreme weather events as well as minor repairs and inspection reports. These extra inspections are very important to catch any damage caused by the harsh weather in time, before it turns into a leak or before it causes other issues.

Many roofing companies offer commercial roof maintenance plans for very affordable fees, usually calculated based on the condition of the roof, the accessibility and the special features of the roof that need to be taken into consideration. The plans usually include one or two regular, scheduled visits, for the spring, the fall or for both, and a number of emergency visits. The agreements will also include the exact list of the services to be provided during maintenance sessions.

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Talk to trusted Interstate Roofing specialists about what maintenance program makes the most sense for your commercial roof.

Cutting Edge Materials for Commercial Roofing

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The range of commercial roofing materials is continuously expanding, with new solutions entering the market all the time. Here are some cutting edge options:

  • Glass roof tiles – featuring a style inspired by classic, terracotta tiles and suitable for pitched roofs, these glass roof covering elements absorb the heat of the sun, but they don’t transfer that heat towards the building. The glass tiles are practically attractive solar panels that transform the sun’s heat into energy to heat the water in the building;
  • Silicone roof coatings – silicone is a material that possesses outstanding waterproofing qualities and is very resistant to impact, too. When used for strengthening commercial roofs, silicone roof coatings add all these great qualities to the already existing features of the roof;
  • Green roofs – as companies are becoming more environment-conscious, trending commercial roofers in Denver affirm that the demand for eco-friendly roofing solutions is growing. One of the most organic options of the kind is green roofing, a type of roof surface that is covered in vegetation. The solution is heavy, consisting of a layer of soil, plants selected carefully to be able to thrive on the rooftop and a special drainage and irrigation system to ensure that the plants are kept moist, but there is no ponding water.

The Best Choice of Flat Roofing Products in A Cold Climate

Cold climate conditions pose special challenges for roofs, especially for flat structures that are more vulnerable to the pressure caused by thick layers of snow and ice as well as to strong winds.

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Fortunately, the owners of flat roofs have several good options at their disposal – here are some:

  • Built-up roofs – these solutions use a layered structure, made up from alternating layers of asphalt and some type of aggregate, such as gravel. The resulting roof is very strong and durable and requires very little maintenance, while also providing efficient insulation to the building from the top;
  • EPDM – ethylene propylene diene monomer is a lightweight, elastic material that is easy to install, resistant to harsh weather and that can offer a durability of up to half a century. The material is especially suitable for regions that get wide fluctuations in temperature;
  • Modified bitumen roofs – this solution is similar to built-up roofs. Accomplished commercial roofers in Denver install using a combination of tar and gravel, and the process requires the presence of heat. These roofing options are excellent for areas where resistance to oxidization and to UV radiation is essential and they provide great strength and stability when covered in thick layers of snow as well.

Should I Wait Until Spring to Have My Commercial Roof Replaced?

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Commercial roof replacement is a task that is best handled among comfortable temperature conditions, that is why the peak period for roofing jobs is from spring through fall. However, roof replacement is possible during the winter, too, but with some limitations. Here are some things to consider before deciding to go ahead with your roof replacement project or to postpone it until spring:

  • Roof replacement might take longer in winter – some of the great commercial roofers Denver has comment that roofing work cannot be done when it is raining or snowing, so if you live in an area that gets lots of precipitation, you should be prepared for many days when no progress can be made on your roof;
  • Not all materials can be used in winter – some materials, such as asphalt shingles, some flashing types and most adhesives, change behavior when the temperature around is under a certain level. If you are planning to use those materials, it might be a better idea to postpone your project until spring;
  • Easier availability of roofers – most roofers get less work in winter, which means it is easier to hire a roofer for your project and many roofers also practice more favorable rates to attract customers during such off-peak periods.

What Warranties are Available for Commercial Roofs?

If you are currently planning to have a new commercial roof installed and you want to know about the documents that should come with your new roof, here are the types of warranties that are usually offered with new commercial roofs:

  • Manufacturer’s material warranty – this type of warranty is issued by the material manufacturer and it is usually for 10-30 years, depending on the roofing material it is issued for. The warranty provides coverage for any defects or failure of the material that is due to manufacturing defects, usually at the prorated value of the material;
  • Manufacturer’s system warranty – these documents are also issued by the material manufacturer and they also provide coverage for 10-30 years, but they are broader than material warranties and they provide coverage for specific defects in workmanship. They usually exclude the roof components that are not produced by the manufacturer that issues the warranty;
  • Contractor’s workmanship warranty – this type of document is issued by the roofer who installs the roof and they usually provide coverage for the defects caused by improper installation for a relatively short period, usually between 1-5 years.

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To be sure what is and what is not covered by warranty on your roof, bring up the issue when you talk to commercial roofers in Denver and also review the documents attentively.

The Most Common Types of Highly Efficient Roofing Materials

Getting an new roof for your home can be a difficult venture, especially if you don’t know a lot about roofing and you don’t even know where you should start.

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The following information should help you get the ball rolling and give you a few helpful pointers regarding the most popular types of roofing materials you should consider:

  • In terms of the upfront cost, commercial roofers Denver based contractors confirm that asphalt shingles tend to be the most efficient and advantageous roofing materials you can consider. Easy to install, affordable, easy to repair and relatively low maintenance, asphalt shingles can last for up to 15-20 years without a problem.
  • If you want the most versatile and energy efficient type of roofing, you can opt for metal – including copper, steel and aluminum roofing products. These materials are fire-resistant, overall affordable (except for copper), and can last for up to 50 years without the need for a whole lot of maintenance work.
  • The most durable and oftentimes the most popular type of roofing you can buy is natural slate. Unlike synthetic slate, it has a more appealing look and a better feel overall. Also, natural slate is known to last for more than 100 years, with some old buildings dating back even longer than 150-200 years still having their original slate roofs intact today.