4 Commercial Roofing Terms To Know
If you own a commercial building, it's time to check your roof. Like residential roofs, commercial roofs are necessary to protect your investment form the elements. However, commercial roofs are often made from different materials. If you would like to learn more, check out these four commercial roofing terms you should know.
There are two popular types of commercial roofing materials that are considered single-ply membranes: TPO and EPDM. Regardless of the type, however, roofing membranes usually contain various forms of plastic and rubber.
TPO roofs are growing faster in popularity than EPDM, but EPDM has been used since the 1960s, making it a trustworthy option. Plus, EPDM roofs come in various thicknesses. Regardless of which membrane you choose, however, your roof will last a long time. In some cases, the roof can last over 50 years. They are also durable and have a fire rating of Class A.
The membrane can be punctured, and over time, TPO roofs may get brittle, which can increase the risk of cracks. EPDM roofs may shrink, which can promote leaks around the edge of the roof. However, regular maintenance can help prevent major problems and allow you to spot minor problems early. In addition, expansion joints can be used to prevent the amount of damage from shrinking.
Vents allow the exchange of air without drastically reducing the energy efficiency. However, they can pose a problem for the roof. These vents need to pass through the roofing membrane, which creates a weak spot. In fact, any object that passes through the roof can create a vulnerable spot.
For this reason, anytime there is a vent or anything passing through the roof, flashing should also be installed. Flashing works like a bandage to better protect those vulnerable areas. You'll want flashing for pipes, drains, skylights, etc. You'll want to keep the flashing well maintained and replace it if it gets dented or rusted.
R-value is a measurement used to determine a material's ability to withstand the transfer of heat. Every building material has some level of R-value. Some materials naturally have higher R-values, but others are created specifically to have a high R-value, such as fiberglass insulation.
Given the nature of a roof, you want your roof to have a great R-value. A high R-value means there is less heat loss and gain. This is especially useful in the summer. Heat rises, so if your building is nice and toasty but the outside is cold, the heat can easily rise up and out of a poorly insulated roof. This forces you to use more energy to heat the building.
Membrane commercial roofs typically have a decent R-value. Plus, you can choose dark colors or light colors. Darker colors are great for colder climates and light-colored roofs are best for warmer climates.
Drainage is important for any roof, but commercial roofs are often flat. This makes it even more important to ensure there is a proper drainage system. Otherwise, water can remain on the roof. This standing water has plenty of time to break down the roof, leading to leaks.
As a result, commercial roofs often have multiple drainage systems. They may have a drain directly on the roof that can eliminate pooling water, but many commercial buildings also have scuppers. These pass through walls to allow water to escape.
Understanding your commercial roof is the first step in keeping it well maintained. With good care, a membrane commercial roof can last many years. If you would like to know more, or if you want a quote on a new commercial roof, contact a roofing company like Tectum Roofing in your area today.