The Most Common Types Of Commercial Roofing

It can be extremely difficult to navigate the plethora of re-roofing options, especially when you are not an expert! You’ll need to know things like how to hire scaffolding or how to identify asbestos when installing a roof, which can be a big, and frankly dangerous learning curve. The good news is, in these situations there’s always an expert that you can call. Besides not knowing your options, knowing things like height safety systems is also something that a roofing expert will be able to assist with and keep your worksite running smoothly and safely. 

But how do you know if you’re getting the right person for the job, let alone how on earth do you decide which roofing option to go with? To help you out, we’ll go through some of the most common types of commercial roofing out there so that you can make a better and more informed decision when you’re speaking with roofing specialists. 

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Spray Polyurethane Foam, or SPF roofing, is one of the most versatile commercial roofing options out there. It’s fairly well known because it can be used in all types of climates, meaning that many areas of the world can use it. The history of the SPF roofing comes from around the 1960’s, however many credit Otto Bayer with the invention of polyurethane which began the craze of SPF roofing. 

SPF is installed just as it sounds, by spraying onto the roof. First thing’s first, though, the roofing specialist will need to prepare the roof by cleaning it and removing any trace of dust and other substances. Roofing specialists also need to be trained in how to identify asbestos, so there isn’t an issue with coming in contact with the substance

As SPF is sprayed onto an area of the roof, it expands, filling in and adhering to the roof. Because of its ability to expand and contract as a foam, SPF makes an excellent option for those in variable climates. It also expands into cracks and odd spaces, meaning it’s a great way to leak-proof an area. This video is a great example of installation of SPF, and will help you picture what to expect. 

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing is an extremely popular option for commercial businesses all over the world. Part of the popularity comes from its excellent weight and load bearing capabilities, but it’s also wonderful for all weather types, and even places with pesky seagulls and other birds that love to peck at roofs. If your business is looking at adding a green or living roof, this option is great for you as it can withstand the weight and damp of a green roof. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is often referred to as everlasting, as its durability and strength outlast most of the other types of roofing. It’s also fire resistant, which is not the case for most roofs. If you have pest problems or moss issues, a metal roof will be resistant to both. It’s also often made from metal that is recyclable, meaning that you can have a fairly sustainable roof. 

With all these positives, you might be wondering why you don’t see metal roofs all over the world. This is largely due to the cost of a metal roof. It is typically much more expensive to purchase and install than traditional roofs, so many companies and private home owners are reluctant to invest that much money at once, despite its relatively low maintenance and durability. Here are some additional pros and cons to consider. 

Shingle Roofing

The glorious shingle has been an incredibly popular and old standby for many homes and businesses for years. Often referred to as the best “bang for your buck”, shingles are low cost, low installation fees than other roofing types, and often last for up to 30 years. The cost often makes this the most popular option, but shingles have other benefits as well. They are often low maintenance, and even if a storm comes through and damages parts of the roof, shingles are easy to replace and fairly cheap to do. 

Ironically, storm damage is actually a con for this type of roofing as well. While a metal roof or single-ply membrane roofing will stand strong through most storms and high winds, shingled roofs often need at least a few shingles replaced, as they come off easily or are damaged quickly. Shingles are also not a great option for flat roof buildings, which many commercial buildings will be. 

Built-Up Roofing

BUR, or built-up roofing, is just as it sounds. Alternating layers and fabrics are built up to make a roof that is often great for flat roofs because it is sealed, versus shingles which are simply laid down. Many times the roof is finished with a gravel or slag substance at the top. Waterproofing is BUR’s biggest asset, so this roofing works really well for wet and warmer climates. Because it is built with layered materials, it can take a bit of time to install, which can be frustrating for commercial buildings on a time crunch. Here is some more great information about BUR to help you make a decision.

As you can see, there are plenty of commercial roofing options out there that can suit your needs. Now that you are more comfortable and informed on what’s available, it’s important that you fully assess your needs, budget and other things like climate and weather patterns to ensure that you choose the right roof. It’s important that you work with a commercial roofing specialist who understands your needs, and is well informed on the above types of roofing and can help you make the best decision. 

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