You own a commercial building. And one thing you know for sure: if your roof leaks, you will hear it from your tenants. Installing a quality commercial roofing system and performing regular maintenance, is an important priority.
As early as the 1700s, builders were using tin on roofs. Though interest in metal roofing has fluctuated since then, in recent decades is come on stronger than ever. Metal roofs are a favorite covering for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings for many decades. Generally they are made of interlocking metal panels placed vertically over the roof surface. These metal roofs are (surprise, surprise) made out of metal. Metal roofs are made from a variety of metals and alloys. Some of the materials used include galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, terne (zinc-tin alloy), and stainless steel.
Built up roof membranes (BUR) have been in use on United States’ houses for over a century. These membranes are usually made of several layers alternating between bitumen and reinforcing fabrics (TPO and EPDM are single layers). This combination results in a finished membrane. The three types of bitumen material used most commonly in built up roofing systems are asphalt, coal tar, or cold-applied adhesive.
Although it seems strange due to its high popularity, Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) has been around less than 25 years. TPO is made of an ethylene/propylene rubber blend which enables the membrane to combine durability and flexibility. It is resistant to fire, ozone, and ultraviolet rays and the growth of mold and other destroyers. It is considered a “cool roof” because it resists heat from the sun.
Modified bitumen roofing was first developed in Europe in the 1960s and was introduced to the United States in 1972. The unique design focusing on incorporating polymer chemistry into the benefits of a modern built up roof. One of the more popular commercial roofing systems in North America, modified bitumen is designed for buildings with low-slope or essentially, flat roof structures.
The EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing system is a synthetic rubber based material used very successfully on large commercial buildings. While not a new invention, EPDM is still relatively new to the roofing industry, yet has become one of the top choices for low slope roofing over the last 40 or so years. It is made of rubber similar to that used as seals in cars (around doors or the trunk) or the seals around the doors of walk-in freezers or fridges.
There are times when a commercial roof will need to be recoated. While this may be a nuisance and an unwanted expense, in the long run it can save huge amounts of money. When a coating is applied properly, a coating tends to lower cooling costs, while extended the expected roof life. It should also reduce the amount of repairs needed. Your commercial roof is a huge investment, it makes sense to protect it.