Flat roofs come with specific must-dos for commercial roofing Denver CO building managers – here are some of the most important fall maintenance tasks:
- Roof inspection and cleaning – both processes are essential for keeping your flat roof in good condition. Make sure that the roofing surface is inspected inch by inch, by an expert checking for weakened areas, punctures, holes and cracks in the roof, signs of ponding water and alligatoring (a problem that affects roof surface, making it look like alligator skin);
- Repairs – the issues detected during the inspection need to be repaired, too. With regular, semi-annual inspections, the faults that you find are likely to be small, but roofing problems can aggravate quickly, so timely repairs are very important;
- Gutter maintenance – water drainage being of special importance in the case of flat roofs, the maintenance process needs to be extended to the gutters as well. Check the gutters and the downspouts for any faults, such as cracks, punctures, loosened hardware, rust, corrosion and also make sure that the gutter pipes are obstacle-free. Check the downspouts as well – the components responsible for directing rain and melted snow into the ground can be affected by the same issues as the gutters, inspections, cleaning and repairs being just as essential.
Commercial roofs need to endure lots of abuse from the elements, therefore they need to be constructed from the best, most resistant and most durable materials. Here are the best options:
- metal – the most popular commercial roofing material is appreciated for its longevity, its resistance to the elements and for its low maintenance needs. The material is also easy and quick to install by commercial roofing Denver CO pros;
- EPDM – mosts commonly referred to as rubber roofing, the material is inexpensive, lightweight, easy to install and highly resistant to the elements;
- TPO – another affordable roofing material, TPO is also durable, but slightly more sensitive to excessive moisture than the other choices, therefore it is more suitable for dry climate areas or for roofs that are fitted with a very efficient drainage system;
- SPF – also called spray foam roof, this type of roofing is made from a plastic material that is introduced into spray cans in liquid form and turns into foam when it gets exposed to air during the spraying process. The material needs to be coated regularly, but with proper maintenance it can last for over four decades. SPF roofs are watertight as well as airtight, therefore they also come with the benefit of contributing to preserving the energy balance inside the building.
Most commercial roofs are flat or they slope in a very low angle and this feature requires a special approach not only in terms of installation technology, but when it comes to the materials used as well.
Here are some of the most common materials used on flat commercial roofing:
- EPDM – the acronym is for ethylene propylene diene monomer denotes an inexpensive, easy to install and very durable rubber membrane. The material is also lightweight and it can be expected to live for at least 20 years;
- TPO – thermoplastic olefin is another durable material option used by commercial roof repair Fort Collins pros for commercial roofs, and preferred by the owners of commercial buildings for its affordability, its ability to reflect solar heat and its resistance to corrosion, algae infestations and pests;
- PVC – polyvinyl chloride roofs installed by commercial roofing Denver CO pros are usually comprised of two layers, the topmost layer being resistant to UV radiation, moisture penetration, high winds, fire, pests as well as to chemicals;
- Spray roofing – these roofs are made spraying polyurethane foam in multiple layers onto the roof decking and applying a topcoat for enhancing the material’s resistance to UV radiation and moisture. The material has superior thermal insulation qualities, therefore it is the preferred solution for roofs in climate zone that get wide temperature variations.
The replacement of the roof on your commercial facility is a major project and a major investment that requires careful research and planning – here is how you can reduce the related hassle and make sure that everything goes as planned:
- Know every detail – the deadline for the project and the costs are probably included in the cost estimate and in the contract you sign with your roofing contractor, but to be able to handle the project efficiently, you need to be familiar with every aspect of the roof replacement. Do some online research of your own to find out about the replacement process, about roofing materials and their pros and cons and don’t hesitate to ask your commercial roofing Denver CO contractor any questions you may have;
- Budgeting aspects – try to allocate a bit more to the project than the estimated costs – construction projects usually cost at least 15% more than the initial estimation;
- Arrangements to cope with the disruption – life goes on even while your roof is being replaced, so try to minimize the disruption by rescheduling the deadlines related to your core business activity and regroup your teams to make sure everyone can continue to work even if your offices or your work areas are affected by the roof replacement process.
A roof replacement is something that nobody really looks for considering that it is a complex and costly process. However, every roof has a life cycle and sooner or later its lifespan will end and you will have to do something about it.
A commercial roof is designed to last for about 25 years. Before becoming beyond repair, you will have to start planning the replacement process and make the necessary preparations. Start by hiring a local expert commercial roofing Denver CO contractor that will do a comprehensive survey and include important information about the history of the roof and its existing condition. Then the specialists will suggest you a replacement solution that takes into account your budget, business prioritiy concerns and other important factors.
When you set up your mind and sign the contract, the roofing team must get to work immediately. The replacement of a large scale commercial roof will take a few days. Flat commercial roof replacement options include EPDM, TPO, metal roofing, elastomeric coatings, modified bitumen, but also green roofs and solar energy solutions. The solution you choose will directly influence the costs, so educate yourself on these materials and find a contractor with experience in commercial roofing. Once the process of the roof replacement is over, make sure you also make a plan for regular maintenance and stick to it.
While it’s true that not all commercial roofing systems are easy to maintain, normally they’re much easier to take care of when compared to large and complex sloped roofing systems that have a lot more elements that you need to worry about. Aside from the exterior areas of the roof, such as your shingles or flashing, you also have to worry about unseen damage brought about by leaks and rot that could affect your decking.
All these issues will not be problem when dealing with an EPDM or metal panel commercial roof. These materials, along with most varieties of membrane roofing, are designed to be as low maintenance as possible, even if they’re not as reliable or durable as sloped roof materials such as slate or concrete.
Commercial roofing Denver CO low maintenance construction of a good quality flat roof can also be enhanced with the help of various coatings. New chemical and organic treatments are now available to “toughen up” your flat roof and make sure it’s impervious to rain damage and more resilient in the face of fire, hail and wind damage as well.
Buy and install one of the newest versions of the roof you own today, and you won’t have to worry much about maintenance in the near future. The investment will certainly be worthwhile, since it will save you a lot of money that you’d otherwise have to spend on extensive maintenance and repair jobs.