When you choose a commercial roof, do you need something with a short lifespan or something built to last several decades? What kind of weather does the roof need to withstand? How much can you afford to spend?
Sorting through the options for a commercial roof can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled a handy guide to the most common types of commercial roofs.
Read on to learn about the different types of commercial roofing systems.
Single-Ply Roofing Membranes
Single-ply roofing uses a membrane made of rubber, PVC, or other materials. A roofer applies this membrane to the roof, then uses chemical bonding to attach it, or fastens it mechanically. A single-ply roof lasts about 25-40 years.
Some types of membranes resist heat and extreme weather. White membranes reflect sunlight and help keep buildings cooler.
Built-up roofs contain layers of three different materials: fabric ply sheets, bitumen material (asphalt), and surfacing materials such as gravel.
The roofer first puts down a bitumen layer, then covers it with a ply sheet, made of fabric reinforced with fiberglass or other materials. This process is repeated to create the layers, after which the roofer covers the surface with gravel or larger stones to weigh the roof down and provide traction.
Built-up roofs last about 15-30 years, or longer under the right conditions. This type of roof resists fire damage but can be vulnerable to wind and rain.
Another type of asphalt roof, modified bitumen, has grown in popularity over the last few years. Modified bitumen consists of bitumen reinforced by plastic or rubber polymers, which is applied to the roof in layers. This can be used in both hot and cold climates.
Asphalt shingles contain asphalt mixed with ceramic granules for color and layered over fiberglass layers for strength. Since these shingles are easy to install, an asphalt shingle roof requires less labor and can lower installation costs.
These popular shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles. Since they reflect sunlight and UV, they lower the cost of cooling a building.
One of the oldest roofing systems on the market, metal roofs are made of corrugated aluminum, tin, copper, or stainless steel. Commercial metal roof systems protect buildings from water, wind, fire, and snow. They also reflect sunlight, which lowers heating costs. A metal roof can last 40-70 years.
Metal roofs can cost two or three times as much as other commercial roof types, but their level of durability and protection might make them the best investment. An industrial roofing company can help you decide whether an expensive metal roof suits your needs, or whether you want to use something less costly.
Learn More About Commercial Roofing Systems
Different commercial roofing systems provide options ranging in cost, appearance, and weather resistance. When you understand the different types of commercial roofing, you’ll be able to choose the right system for your needs.
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