Differences Between Residential and Commercial Roofing
There are many differences between residential and commercial roofing. The roofs on a home are usually steeply sloped, while commercial roofs are low to flat or have a very slight incline.
Commercial roofs must be designed for functionality, so aesthetics are often not a priority. They need to be able to support heavy equipment and weather conditions like rain, snow, winds, and hail.
When people think of roofs, they often picture peaked roofing. However, flat roofs are also a popular choice for commercial buildings and offer many benefits. Compared to sloped roofs, flat roofs are cost-effective, easier to install and repair, and provide a uniform look for the building. They also tend to last longer than sloping roofs, depending on the type of materials used.
There are many types of flat roofing materials, including rubber rolled roofing, EPDM, PVC, TPO and bitumen. The material choice depends on the structure of the building, climate conditions, and the owner’s budget. Some of the advantages of a flat roof include lower energy costs and maintenance expenses, increased usable space, and easy installation of equipment like air conditioners and solar panels.
One disadvantage of a flat roof is the potential for puddling in heavy rain or snow. This can lead to damage to the membrane and deterioration of the insulation. To avoid this, it’s important to inspect and maintain a flat roof regularly.
Leaks are another issue to be aware of. When a flat roof leaks, it can affect the interior of a building and create a health hazard. It’s crucial to have a professional roofer perform regular maintenance and inspections.
A well-maintained commercial flat roof can last up to 25 years, depending on the material used. This lifespan is comparable to that of sloping roofs, but it requires proper maintenance and inspections.
Some people use their flat roofs as outdoor lounges or recreational areas. They can also be used to plant gardens or store HVAC units. Flat roofs are also a good place for solar panels, as they are less visible from the street or curb.
A popular option for a flat roof is a built up roofing system (BUR) that uses alternating layers of bitumen and fabrics called “roofing felts.” These layers are bonded together to form a durable roofing membrane. BUR systems are characterized by their high durability, resistance to thermal shock, and excellent puncture and tear strength. They can be installed over existing structures and are available in a variety of colors.
A low-slope roof, also referred to as a flat roof, is found on commercial buildings and warehouses. While these roofs are nearly flat, they do have a slight slope that allows water to flow toward a drain. This minimizes “ponding” that can damage the roofing materials and cause ice buildup that can cause leaks.
While low-slope roofs are more affordable than pitched roofing systems, they do require regular maintenance and inspections to maintain their longevity. Because these roofs are nearly flat, it is much easier to access the entire surface of a low-slope roof. This makes it easy to check for any small issues that can turn into major problems, such as the onset of leaks.
When it comes to choosing a roofing material for a low-slope roof, the most common choice is a membrane roof system. These roofs consist of sheets, often 5 foot, 10 foot or 20 foot wide, of a rolled synthetic, waterproof membrane. Common membrane roof systems include EPDM, PVC and TPO. These are popular choices for commercial roofing because they are inexpensive and durable, and they come in a variety of colors to match the look of the building.
Another option for a low-slope roof is a standing seam metal roof. These roofs are often preferred for commercial structures because they can withstand a large amount of weight, and they offer long-lasting protection. In addition to protecting the roof, a standing seam metal roof can add energy efficiency, as it reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it.
If a low-slope roof is installed in an area that receives high levels of rain or snow, it is important to have proper drainage and a strong, reliable roofing system. These types of roofs are more prone to leaks than a roof with a higher slope, because water and snow sit on the surface for a longer period of time.
Because of this, it is recommended that a self-adhering high-temperature/ice and water shield synthetic underlayment be used on any low-slope roof. This will ensure that the roof panels, which are usually made of asphalt shingles, don’t get damaged by moisture or ice.
Metal roofs are a top choice for commercial property owners who are looking to reduce their energy costs. They have long lifespans and can withstand strong winds. They also protect against heavy rain and hailstones. They are often insulated to prevent heat from escaping. Additionally, they are highly durable and easy to maintain.
Steel is one of the most popular materials for metal roofs because it is affordable and has impressive strength, even in stormy weather. It also provides superior resistance against fire, termites, and water. However, it doesn’t offer as much resistance against corrosion as some other metal options, such as copper and zinc.
When properly maintained, a metal roof can last up to 70 years. This is significantly longer than other roofing systems, such as asphalt shingles, which typically have a service life of 20 years. Additionally, unlike asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs don’t require frequent replacements or repairs.
A metal roof can be insulated to reduce heating and cooling expenses. It can be insulated either at installation or afterward. The insulation is inserted between the base layer and the metal exterior. This can be done using a variety of techniques and types of insulation.
One of the advantages of a metal roof is that it can be made to reflect sunlight, which helps lower energy costs. The color of a metal roof is also important, as darker colors reflect more sunlight while lighter colors absorb more. This can help reduce a business’s electricity bills by as much as 30 percent.
Another benefit of a metal roof is that it can withstand severe weather events such as hailstorms and high winds. This can make it a good choice for businesses in hurricane-prone areas. Additionally, metal roofs are less likely to leak than other roofing materials. In addition, they are recyclable, reducing the amount of waste that is dumped into landfills every year.
A metal roof can be installed in a variety of styles and colors to complement a building’s aesthetic. It is also highly versatile and can be formed into different shapes, designs, and sizes. The panels are also thinner than shingles, which makes them more durable and resistant to damage from high wind and heavy rain.
Often, shingle roofs are used when business owners seek to reproduce the homey, welcoming feel of a Dutch Colonial, Tudor, or Victorian house on their commercial property. This is because shingles give the building character, and they are available in many colors to suit any design aesthetic.
Shingles are made of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and covered with mineral granules. They are lightweight, affordable, and durable, with a lifespan that can exceed 25 years in some cases. This makes them an attractive option for commercial properties with a budget to accommodate the cost of shingle replacement and repairs over time.
However, if your building needs to handle high volumes of traffic, heavy foot traffic, or extreme weather conditions, a shingle roof isn’t the best option for you. In these situations, it’s worth considering alternatives like PVC roofing, which is more durable than shingles and can withstand heavy traffic.
If you choose to go with a shingle roof, it’s important that you get professional installation so that the roof is in top condition. It’s also important to have a regular maintenance program that includes inspections and maintenance work to prevent leaks and premature failure.
In addition, if your shingle roof starts to show signs of age or wear, you should have the shingles replaced right away. Curling shingles, clogged gutters, and obstructed drains are all problems that can cause water damage to your building, so it’s critical to address them before they worsen.
A well-maintained shingle roof can last up to 30 years, but this lifespan depends on several factors. The type of shingle, roof slope, ventilation, and proper installation all affect how long your shingles will last. Also, keeping your roof free of debris and staying within the shingle manufacturer’s weight limits will increase the lifespan of your shingles.