When considering the type of commercial retail roofing to use, there are advantages and disadvantages to both that you’ll need to consider:
Sloped Roofing Systems
If your retail building has a sloped roof, it will use gravity to shed water from it. There are several different types and materials for sloped roofs that you will need to compare before making your choice.
Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Shingle roofs have individual shingles that use either organic or fiberglass materials in their construction. Organic asphalt shingles have been around much longer, but the most popular type now is the fiberglass reinforced variety, due to a much wider variety of colors and styles, along with a warranty that is usually longer.
Fiberglass Shingle Roofs
Opposed to asphalt shingles, these are made with a fiberglass mat, with top-and-bottom layers of asphalt and mineral granules. Fiberglass shingles are more fire resistant, with a Class A rating than organic shingles, which carry a Class C rating. This could result in better rates from your property insurance policy.
Both organic and fiberglass shingles come in a wide variety of styles and colors, some of them even textured, to make your building aesthetically pleasing. You do want to make sure, however, that whichever shingle you choose, complies with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
Here in the Southwest, with our Spanish styled preferences, a lot of commercial buildings opt for tile roof systems. Usually made from clay or concrete, with a mission style or Spanish rounded style, they’re a good choice from both an aesthetic standpoint and for longevity. You can also apply a more French or English look by choosing a flat-styled tile for your roof. They come in a large variety of colors and styles, allowing a building’s owner to get just the look they want. One thing that’s important to note, however, especially if you are replacing a shingle roof with a tile one, is the difference in weight of the two systems. You may have to reinforce the support of your building to be able to handle the additional weight of the tiles on your roof.
Flat Roof Systems
While sloped roofs use gravity to shed water, flat roof systems use drains and waterproofing materials to keep your building dry. They have some unique requirements and characteristics and aren’t really “flat”. They have to have a slight slope (1/4 inch per foot) and angle to move any pooling water toward the drains that are built into the system. Here are the main types of flat roof systems you can choose from:
Polyurethane Foam Flat Roofs
Polyurethane foam is extremely flexible in its applications, so it works especially well for roofs that have unusual architectural angles and configurations. It’s applied directly to the surface of the roof where it foams up and solidifies and then a protective coating is added on top. It does a great job of insulating your roof against heat and the elements, which can significantly lower your energy bills.
Single Ply Flat Roofs
This type is applied in a single layer, just as the name implies. The membrane is made up of rubber or plastic, or a combination of both. The material is rolled out with the seams welded together by heat, glue or chemicals and then attached to the roof with some sort of fastener or adhesive.
Built Up Flat Roofs
This is an old, time-tested flat roofing system made up of three or four overlapping layers of asphalt felts, using hot asphalt to make them come together as one. Its sometimes called hot tar roofing. When its finished and cooled, a layer of material – either a cap sheet, gravel, more hot asphalt or a reflective coating is applied to protect it from the weather and harsh sunlight.
Similar to built-up roofs, modified bitumen use asphalt felts, but, have an added rubber or polymer in them to improve the flexibility and durability of the finished product. The single layer of felts is glued to the roof with an adhesive or hot asphalt with propane torches, which melts the asphalt underlayment to the roof. A protective surface material is usually applied to the finished product to coat against extreme weather and moisture.
No matter which type of roof you choose or have already installed on your retail building, make sure you have a professional, licensed and insured roofing company like Mikku and Sons Roofing handle all of your commercial retail roofing needs.
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