Commercial buildings can use sloping, flat as well as arched roofs, but when it comes to the roof type that works best for really large commercial buildings, flat structures seem to be most common choice partly due to the stability, durability, strength and easy maintenance offered by the option and partly due to the lower costs of building flat roofs compared to arched or pitched designs. Here are some of the materials that respected commercial roofing Denver CO pros commonly use on large flat roofs:
- Metal in the form of sheets or panels – the traditional solution for commercial roofs, metal roofing systems come in a variety of alloys and they are preferred by the owners of commercial buildings for their affordability, their strength and their durability for around 30 years;
- EPDM – the single-ply membrane is made from synthetic material that come in large sheets that are simply rolled out on the roof surface and fastened. The material is resistant to punctures, UV radiation and chemical spills and it can stand up to harsh weather as well;
- TPO – another lightweight, durable and puncture-resistant membrane, TPO is also a synthetic material that is quick and easy to install and works great for small as well as for large roofs.
Commercial and residential roofs are different in many ways – here are some of the most important differences addressed by Interstate Roofing professionals:
- The design – the most obvious difference between the two roof types is the shape: commercial roofs are usually flat structures, while residential structures usually feature a pitch, though many modern residential architectures use flat roofs, too;
- The materials used – while the most common materials used on pitched residential roofs are asphalt shingles, metal, clay, cement and slate, commercial roofs are usually built from synthetic membranes, such as TPO or EPDM or feature a built-up structure, such combinations of tar and gravel or modified bitumen. The residential buildings that have flat roofs use the same materials as commercial architecture;
- Installation and repair – commercial and residential roofs have very different needs and requirements in terms of installation and repair. Commercial roofs are usually larger and they consist of more layers than residential structures, therefore they take longer to build – while the roof on an average-sized home can be installed in a couple of days, the installation of a roof on a large commercial building can take a month. The same goes for repair: Interstate Roofing commercial roofers suggest that flat roofing structures take longer to repair and the repair procedures usually require more experience and knowledge than the repair of sloping roofs.
Metal roofing systems enjoy huge popularity throughout the nation, Denver being no exception. Commercial roofing Denver CO advisors substantiate that these features make metal panels an excellent choice for commercial buildings in the Mile-High City:
- Longevity – correctly installed metal roofs can last for over three decades without requiring any major repair;
- Durability – metal, especially the alloys used for making the panels for commercial roofs, can stand up to harsh weather of all kinds, including rain, snow, harsh sunshine and winds. The resistance of metal roofing systems can be further enhanced with specialized coatings applied at regular intervals;
- Easy installation – metal roofing systems usually come in the form of kits, with easy to follow instructions and all the tools and components needed for the installation, therefore they can be installed without any specialized knowledge;
- Easy maintenance – metal roofing systems do not need any special attention, other than the regular inspections and cleaning that all roofs need;
- Safety – metal is a non-combustible material, therefore it is ideal for buildings in which there are sensitive activities performed, such as for warehouses used for the storage of flammable materials. Metal is also impervious to pests, so metal roofing systems are the perfect solution for buildings in regions where termites and other invaders are a risk.
Having a new roof installed on a commercial facility or having a damaged roof repaired are considerable expenses, therefore it is very important for business owners to know that the roofer they hire for the job has the experience and the knowledge to provide the best service. Here is how to find out about the prospective commercial roofing Denver CO contractor’s previous experience:
- Check the roofer’s website – most roofers today operate their own company website on which they usually provide information regarding their previous experience. Check multiple roofing websites before contacting potential roofers to hire and take the time to visit the relevant pages on the websites;
- Ask the roofer to tell you about their previous experience – the process of hiring a roofer should include an interview as well. During the meeting, ask the roofer to tell you about their experience;
- Ask for verifiable references – your roofer will probably have a portfolio with facilities that they worked on in the past. Get a list with those references and drive to the addresses to see the roofs with your own eyes. You can also ask the owners of those businesses to tell you what they think about the services provided by the roofer you are verifying.
Flat roofs are special in many ways, one of the features that you need to pay attention to being that they are more sensitive to the accumulation of debris than pitched roofs.
The dust, dirt, feathers, twigs, leaves and other debris carried by the wind tend to settle on flat surfaces, then the accumulations absorb and trap the water from the air and cause damage to the roof surface underneath. Commercial roofing Denver CO experts confirm that the only way to prevent the issue is to clean the roof at regular intervals, at least every six months and to include additional cleaning sessions whenever necessary, after storms or other forms of severe weather. Here is how to do it right:
- Stay away from your pressure washer – however tempting it may be to use the appliance, the strong jet of the pressure washer might damage the roof, so you should not use it;
- Sweep the roof first – dust turns to mud when it comes into contact with water. To avoid that, always start the cleaning process sweeping the roof with a broom to eliminate dry debris;
- Wash and rinse the roof – use a soap and water solution or a mild chlorine solution to remove the remaining dirt from the roof, then rinse the roof thoroughly to remove any chemical residue;
- Clean the gutters – the roof cleaning process might send debris to the gutters, so when you are done cleaning the roof surface, always clean the drainage pipes.
Although the lifespan of a roof can be of several decades, depending on the materials chosen, this does not mean that, as soon as it is installed, you can forget about it, on the contrary. In order to have a roof in good shape for a long time, you must take care of it.
Although some maintenance operations are easy to perform and can even be done by building owners/ managers, it is best to contact a commercial roofer and create a maintenance plan. This way, you will not forget when the time comes for the periodic maintenance, because the roofing company is obliged by contract to come and do its job.
By leaving the roof in the hands of skilled commercial roofing Denver CO professionals, you will not have to worry that you may void the warranties or your insurer may refuse to compensate you if disaster strikes and your roof gets damaged. Hiring roofing professionals to perform regular maintenance is the obligation of the owner. If you do it, you cannot be accused of neglect. Besides, your roof will remain in good shape, your business will be protected, you will enjoy peace of mind and keep the roofing repair costs low.
If you ever doubted the benefits of a regular commercial roof inspection, imagine yourself inside your commercial property, never sweeping, never cleaning trash, never moping the floors etc. With such neglect, your customers will avoid you and you may not have a business for very long… So, why would you think neglecting your roof is any different?
If the roof fails to protect you, you will lose comfort, money and precious time. Besides, the reputation of your business may be affected too.
A commercial roof should be inspected by professional roofers twice a year. This way, problems will have less time to develop and you will be able to avoid costly repairs and other associated problems. Besides, your proactive attitude will be essential if you ever need to make an insurance claim (insurance companies do not cover damage caused by neglect, so you will have to make proof of regular roof maintenance).
You can get free inspections from commercial roofing Denver CO companies, because most of them use these inspections as opportunities to connect with potential clients, to present their offers and prove their availability and professionalism. You are not obligated to sign a contract with the roofing company that offers you a free inspection, but you have the chance to discuss this possibility.
Flat roofs are strong, sturdy structures that provide many benefits over traditional, sloping roofs, but just like pitched roofs, flat structures also need to be regularly cleaned to maintain their strength and durability. Here is some tips from flat commercial roofing Denver CO pros:
- Get the right protective equipment – personal safety is essential for any work performed at height, so whenever you climb up to your flat roof to clean it, make sure to wear non-slip work boots, work gloves, clothes that are comfortable, but not too loose and also use properly anchored harnesses to prevent any fall;
- Be sure that the roof is safe to step on;
- Use the right cleaning technique – the cleaning method should be chosen based on the condition of the roof and the material that it is made from. If you are unsure how to do it, ask for the advice of a roofing contractor, but most flat roofs can be cleaned with a broom or with a pressure washer;
- Pay attention to the gutters as well – the cleanliness of the pipes that ensure that your flat roof is not affected by water ponding is also very important. Pay special attention to the gutter pipes and the downspouts that direct the water away from the roof – you can easily clean them using a scraping tool and a brush.
Inspecting the roof once you buy a building is of utmost importance, because you must make sure that the building is protected and the roof has no hidden problems or vulnerabilities that may impact your comfort and peace of mind.
So, you must start by finding a reliable Denver contractor and schedule an in-depth inspection.
The commercial roofing Denver CO inspection specialist will do the following operations:
- Closely examining records and talking to other building’s occupants, in order to find information on leaks or other problems they can remember about, which will help them to assess the condition of the roof, as accurately as possible.
- Carefully inspecting the roof’s interior system.
- Inspecting the building envelope.
- Inspecting the rooftop (based on the information from the original plans and specifications), which will include a general look-over, followed by marking the identified damage.
- Inspecting the roof perimeter and the roof field (most leaks occur on the roof perimeter -base and counter flashings, gutters, roof penetrations etc.)
- Identifying signs of poor roof design, construction or installation
- Filling a report, detailing the problems that have been found. The report will also include options for fixing the problems.
If you are in the process of getting a new commercial roof in Denver, you probably have lots of questions. The best source of information is the roofer who will install your new roof for you – here are some of the topics that you should ask your roof specialist about:
- Building permits – most roofing projects require building permits. Find out about the documents that your commercial roof needs, about the related costs and procedures;
- Materials – there are many different materials available for commercial roofs, the best choice depending on the climate, the type of your commercial activity, your budget and the expected longevity. Ask your commercial roofing Denver CO pro to tell you about the pros and cons of each solution;
- The installation procedure – each material used for commercial roofing is installed using different tools, accessories and fastening methods. Ask your roofer to tell you about the procedure used for the material that will be used to build your roof as well as about the time needed for completing the process;
- Care and maintenance – some materials only need to be inspected and cleaned regularly, while others need to be protected with special coatings. Talk to your roofer about these procedures as well.