Picking the right kind of commercial rooftop is an important decision that can help you save significant money in your investment. A smart choice starts with understanding your alternatives, so here are some of the common options for commercial roofs.
An important note: Commercial rooftops tend to be flat or "low slope," because they often look better on large business buildings and cost less at large sizes than sloped rooftops. The options for commercial roofing styles are based on flat roof materials and structures.
BUR (Built Up Roof) options
BUR or "tar and gravel" rooftops are very basic flat rooftops that use asphalt (not shingles, just asphalt) as a protective material. The asphalt is applied in several layers, together with layers of fiberglass felt for insulation. Because asphalt can grow very hot in the sun, a top coating, such is gravel, is usually applied after several asphalt layers have been installed.
BUR rooftops have several advantages. They are one of the cheapest options, and when installed correctly they can last for a long time. However, it takes a careful and experienced contractor to apply asphalt so that it does not develop cracks or warp with age.
A membrane is a plastic material that is installed in the roof to help protect it and control factors like moisture. Polymer materials are mixed with asphalt to form protective barriers. This is much like the traditional BUR roof, but it may cost more and offer better long-term protection. The roof may be surfaced with a variety of materials for both convenience and appearance, including gravel, glass-fiber, cap sheets, aluminum coatings, or elastomeric coatings. Membrane commercial roof styles are some of the most versatile available.
PVC and TPO
PVC and TPO are both types of plastic. Plastic roof styles skip the asphalt altogether and create purely plastic layers that are designed to avoid problems with brittle roofing materials over time. PVC is a bit more flexible than the thermoplastic TPO, but the two materials provide similar benefits. Damage due to UV exposure or fires is a concern with these rooftops, so they need extra protection.
EPDM is a synthetic rubber material that resists corrosion and is professionally attached to the roof framework with strong adhesives. They are particularly flexible, have high durability, and can be used with a number of commercial roofing styles. Installation is also relatively simple. However, they may not be as resistant to temperature or drastic climate changes as other options.
Businesses that want to go green should explore green rooftops. These carefully constructed roofs use waterproof coatings and are designed to be used, at least in part, as "gardens" or lawns that not only look unique but help keep the building cool.
When looking for commercial roofing styles, it is a good idea to consider adding solar panels to your roof. They can help save you money and may also impress potential customers who notice them.
There are many options, if you have questions about what is best for your business, Findlay roofing would love to help.