Commercial roofing today is no longer a plain, flat structure that serves only a functional role. Modern commercial roofs can be low-sloping and pitched as well and the range of the materials used for building those roofs is also varied. Here are some of the most common roof design options and the most appreciated roofing materials
Types of Commercial Roofing Systems
The most common roof type used on commercial buildings is the flat roof. The solution is the most cost-effective one – the roof being almost completely horizontal, it requires less material and is much easier to build than pitched roofs. Flat structures come with many benefits other than easy and economical installation – flat roofs are easier to maintain and repair and they have a superior ability to withstand high winds as well. Like any roofing type, flat roofs also have cons, one of the most commonly cited ones being poor drainage – water tends to pool on surfaces that are almost flat, but the problem can be easily solved with the help of the right drainage system.
Low-sloping and pitched roofs are also often used on commercial buildings. They come with very distinct pros and cons, too: on the con side, these roofs drain more efficiently than flat structures, but they are somewhat more difficult to install and to repair.
The Most Common Roofing Materials Used on Commercial Facilities
Here are some of the most common materials used for building commercial roofs:
- Metal – the large sheets or shingles are made from very durable metal alloys that can withstand almost any weather and offer long-lasting performance. The installation of the material is quick and easy and so is maintenance, but the material is sensitive to ponding water, therefore increased attention must be paid to ensure proper drainage at all time. Metal is suitable for flat and pitched structures as well;
- TPO membranes – thermoplastic polyolefin is a cost-efficient, resistant and durable, single-ply membrane, mostly used on flat roofs. The material is very flexible, resistant to punctures and other forms of impact, resistant to fungus and it also has superior reflective properties, being a great fit for buildings located in hot climate areas that need increased energy-efficiency;
- Built-up roofs – suitable for flat roofing, the solution uses alternate layers of asphalt-coated or bitumen-coated sheets and gravel or some other type of aggregate to create roofs that are low-cost and can withstand any ordeal. The roof system is preferred for its low costs and low maintenance needs.
The products used on commercial roofs include not only the roofing material itself, but various coating products as well. According to a commercial roofer Connecticut pro, most materials used for building commercial roofs can be coated for enhancing one or several of the material’s performance in certain fields. Some coating products, for example, act as waterproofing sealants that prevent the direct contact between the roofing surface and rain or snow, while others are applied to enhance the roof’s energy efficiency by preventing the absorption of solar heat, thus ensuring that the roof does not transfer excessive heat toward the building interior. These coats need to be reapplied every couple of years.