Normally we do not think much about our buildings' roofs, but with all the snow that has recently fallen we are being reminded that all that fluffy snow acts like a big sponge in absorbing the falling sleet and rain that comes down. This adds weight and stress to overall structure, especially to commercial buildings with flat roofs. The snow needs to be removed to prevent roof leaks or worse yet collapses.
As we look forward to spring you might be planning the replacement of an outdated or worn out roofing system; there are plenty of types of commercial roofing. More often than not, and as noted above, you the roofs on top of business establishments are flat. If you are in the process of construction a new building, or planning the replacement of an outdated roof on an existing building, there are several types of commercial roofing systems to consider:
Thermoplastic Roofing: This is made from TerPolymer Olefins and it more commonly called TPO. This system is relatively new, introduced in the early 1990’s here in the US. But it is among the fastest growing commercial roofing systems. Made of an especially durable material with a low-temperature flexibility and a high-temperature tolerance, these roofs are exceptionally resistant to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. TPO roofs are expected to have a lifespan of 20+ years and also feature a high resistance to fire, punctures, chemicals and high winds. TPO membranes are considered to be a “cool” roofing technology, as a TPO roof is able to maintain a cooler thermal balance inside the space, reducing the need for additional air condition. Therefore it is possible to save money on cooling costs by reflecting solar heat!
EPDM Roofing: EPDM roof has a solid reputation for durability. Made of rubber compound, EPDM roofs have been on the market for decades-having properly tapered seems and detailed flashings an EPDM roof will last up to 25 years. EPDM commercial roofing systems are also typically easier to install, maintain and repair than most other types of commercial roofs. An EPDM membrane with its dark color absorption will also perform better than TPO in colder climates.
Photovoltaic Panels: As energy costs continue to rise and we continually look toward green and sustainable energy, many building owners are turning to solar energy roofing systems. PC Solar panels installed over a roof top or used with glass, membrane and roof-mounted tile absorb sunlight and convert it to energy that can be used to power a building.
Metal: Many types of metals have been used for commercial roofing over the years. Some of the more popular choices are steel, aluminum and copper. The main benefit of metal roofing is durability. If a metal roof is correctly installed it can be expected to last 30 to 50 years. The main drawback of a metal roof is maintenance; since they will fade, crack and peel they need to be painted or coated periodically. Metal roofs are often chosen for their green qualities, including a high-recycled material content and reflective coatings. This reflective finish helps to keep the interior of the building cool, cutting air conditioning costs. While metal roofs tend to be high in cost per square foot, their long lifespan makes them a cost-effective choice as a long term investment.
In choosing among the numerous types of commercial roofing systems it’s best to pick one that coincides with both your short-term and long-term needs, your budget, type of business establishment and the prevailing geographic conditions in your region.
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