Things to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Roof

Choosing a commercial roof is a process that includes evaluating, comparing and identifying the most important features to ensure your roof will be the best fit for the building. The key is to plan ahead and take your time.

Most commercial roofs are flat, but you must keep in mind that what works well for one building may not be a good choice for another.

First, you must choose a roof that fits your commercial building and your business needs. A building where chemicals are produced will need a different roof than a building designed for offices. The building`s location also matters. Take into account the shade provided by trees or taller buildings, variations in rainfall or wind velocity, what direction it faces etc.

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Considering that we are talking about a commercial roof, you may also want to take into account future expansion, as your business may grow and your needs will change in this case.

Finally yet importantly, you must also identify a licensed local commercial roofer here that can offer you recommendations for choosing the best design, materials as well as an adequate maintenance plan. If you take into account the professional advice you get, you have better chances to choose the best commercial roof for your business.

What Shingles are Used to Create an Impact Resistant Roof

An impact resistant roof is built with Class 4 shingles, which is the highest rating when it comes to shingle ability to resist hail damage.  These shingles have been tested to meet specific standards. They are made with fiberglass mat, which makes them more sustainable and effective than ever.

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When you start looking for this type of shingles, you will soon find out that there are actually many Class 4 impact resistant shingles on the market, so identifying the best option is overwhelming and somehow confusing. After all, how can you be sure that any product rated Class 4 impact resistance really deserves your money? Considering that these shingles are quite expensive compared to regular shingles, it is natural to wonder if such an investment is a good idea. Fortunately, there is an indicator of quality: shingles listed UL 2218 Class 4 are those that have gone through tests, so you can be sure that the classification is valid. Talking to an experienced Class 4 shingle commercial roofing Denver CO contractor is the best way to find out more about Class 4 roofing shingle options and pricing.

These shingles are based on a styrene-butadiene-styrene modified asphalt formula (rubberized asphalt), which is obtained by mixing a normal shingle with the SBS and obtain a rubbery and more flexible product, which does not crack.  Most manufacturers design these shingles in different styles, to match various buildings and customer`s preferences.

Commercial Roof Installation Costs

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A new roof installation is a big investment, regardless the type of the roof. However, commercial roofs are typically less expensive than residential roof, because their shape is simple and the materials typically consist in different membranes that are cheaper than tiles or shingles.

However, the cost remains one of the biggest concerns for residential building owners.

There are a few factors that influence commercial roofing Denver CO installation costs:

  • The size of the commercial roof (the cost effectiveness starts to show if the roof is larger than20,000 sq feet )
  • The transportation of the materials (this operation takes up to 3% of the project costs)

The condition of the existing roof (there are costs for cleaning and preparing the existing roof, as well as to stripping and removing it).

  • Distances and height of the roof

These factors influence the access on the roof, so they also affect the price.

  • The type of materials you opt for

There are a few common types of flat roof materials: Thermoplastic polyolefin membranes, EPDM rubber membranes, PVC membranes and metal retrofit roofing.

Typical cost for single-ply flat roof installation ranges from $3 to $5/ sq. foot, while typical cost for built-up bituminous roof installation ranges from $3.50 to $6.50 / sq.foot.

How to Decide When It’s Time for a Flat Roof Replacement

Properly maintaining and repairing a roof is much better than waiting for it to deteriorate and having it replaced altogether. Damage to a flat roof can come from many sources and, if not prevented, may lead to having an entire roof replaced. The presence of ponds and water on the roof after rainfall is a serious cause for concern and should be the first and easiest detail to notice.

A poor drainage system or the roof itself not being properly installed can cause the rainwater to remain on the roof which over time can greatly reduce its longevity. The presence of plant life on the roof is another cause for concern. The remaining water can create the right environment for mold, fungi and even grass to grow.

This may cause the roofing material underneath to deteriorate even more leading to leaks and more serious structural damage. The presence of water on the roof, 24 to 48 hours after rainfall, is a major sign that the flat roof is improperly installed.

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Checking for any small cracks and tears in the roofing material is a next step that will help you decide whether or not the roof needs replacement. If the damage is small and secluded to a small area, a proper repair should do the trick. If it spans across the entire surface, then a commercial roofing Denver CO roof replacement would probably be in order.

Surfaces that present no visible damage should also be checked. For example, if steeping on an area gives a squishy and soft feeling, it could be an indication that moisture is present underneath the material. These are some essential details and signs to look for during the next roofing inspection that could help determine if it needs replacing.

Fall Maintenance for Your Commercial Roof

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;commercial roofing Denver CO flat roof maintenance
  • 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.

High Quality Commercial Roofing Products

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;

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  • 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.

A Short Guide to the Most Common Commercial Roof Materials

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.

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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.

Preparing for A Commercial or Flat Roof Replacement

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;

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  • 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.

The Process of a Large-Scale Commercial Roof Replacement

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.

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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.

Should You Be Worried That Your Commercial Roof Is Too Difficult to Maintain?

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.Denver roofing companies leaky roof repair

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.