The roof of a commercial building is more than just a protective cover. Selecting the right type of roof can significantly impact the building's functionality, energy efficiency, and maintenance needs. This article delves into the diverse world of commercial roofing, offering insights into various types that are commonly employed.
Built-up roofing (BUR), also known as tar and gravel roofing, is one of the oldest and most trusted types of commercial roofing. Composed of alternating layers of bitumen (either asphalt, coal tar, or cold-applied adhesive) and reinforcing fabrics, BUR provides a finished membrane that is robust and durable. The top surface is typically covered with gravel or crushed stone, offering excellent UV protection and fire resistance.
Single-Ply Membrane Roofing
Single-ply membrane roofing systems, which include TPO, PVC, and EPDM roofs, are increasingly popular due to their flexibility and energy efficiency. The membrane—made of rubber, plastic, or a combination—is laid out in a single layer over the roof's surface. These roofs can be attached in various ways, including mechanical fastening, adhering, or ballasting. Their reflective surfaces contribute to energy savings by reducing the building's cooling costs.
Known for its durability and longevity, metal roofing is a time-tested option for commercial buildings. Metal roofs are typically made from steel, aluminum, or copper and are available in a range of colors and styles. They offer excellent resistance to extreme weather and are fire-resistant. Metal roofing systems can be installed as large panels or smaller shingles, and some systems are designed to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials.
Green roofing systems have gained prominence in recent years due to their environmental benefits. A green roof involves the installation of a waterproof membrane, over which a growing medium and vegetation are placed. These roofs can help reduce the urban heat island effect, manage stormwater runoff, and improve a building's insulation. They also provide aesthetic and psychological benefits by creating a green space in urban environments.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
Modified bitumen roofing is similar to built-up roofing but uses reinforced roof fabrics that feature a polymer-modified bitumen compound. This type of roof is known for its improved elasticity and flexibility at low temperatures, making it suitable for buildings in colder climates. Modified bitumen roofs can be installed using several methods, including torch-applied, self-adhesive, and "cold process" techniques.
Solar roofing systems are becoming a game-changer in the commercial roofing arena due to their ability to generate clean, renewable energy. They consist of solar panels, often photovoltaic (PV), installed on a building's roof to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
Contact a local commercial roofing service to learn more.