What is the Best Commercial Roofing Material?
There are different materials available for your commercial roof, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The type of roofing chosen for your commercial property will have a significant impact on your building’s overall aesthetics, health, and durability. The elements, animals, dirt, and debris will all contribute to the wear and tear your roof is exposed to, the type of material your roof is comprised of will determine how that wear and tear affects the effectiveness of your roof.
Commercial roofs are typically flat or very low-sloped and this design does dictate the type roofing materials used. Below is an introduction to the most common types of commercial roofing materials:
1. TPO Membrane Materials
Known as TPO for short, Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a fairly new commercial roofing membrane style material. It is one of the most popular materials chosen for commercial roofs as it has a cheaper upfront cost and is very durable while remaining flexible. This allows it to be customized to suit a roof’s design and needs very easily. TPO material is available in various colours including blue, red, green, gray, white, and tan, so finding the perfect colour to match your building will not be an issue.
2. EPDM Membrane Material
EPDM is short for Ethylene Propylene Diene Methylene, it is a dark, durable synthetic rubber. The material commonly used for low-sloped and flat commercial roofing. EPDM rubber roofs are usually found in black, however, there is white coating available that will not only change the look but help reflect some of the sun’s rays and has a cooling effect. EPDM materials can stretch easily to fit any roof, however, extreme heat can cause the material to shrink and potentially tear. This can allow for water to get under the membrane through the tear. EPDM roofing material will require regular maintenance and repairs to ensure that it lasts the test of time.
3. Torch Down Roofing
This type of commercial roofing is made from sheets of modified bitumen. The sheets are rolled out on the roof’s surface, and hand-held propane torches are used to heat the sheets causing them to adhere to the roof. This process makes torch down roofs highly waterproof.
Torch down commercial roofing can be completed using two or three layers of sheets. There are different types of materials utilized in completing a torch down roofing systems, such as a base sheet, vapor barrier, asphalt or adhesive, overlay board, insulation, base flashing, and cap flashing. When it comes to energy efficiency, durability, and fire resistance, torch down roofing systems is considered one of the best.
4. Roofing Tar
Tar roofing is a popular option for flat roofs due to its resistance to the sun’s UV rays, it offers great protection for the roof itself. It also offers high protection from snow, wind, and water. The main downside to tar comes during the installation process as it produces fumes that can be potentially dangerous during installation.
5. Metal Roofing
Popular metal commercial roofing materials include aluminum, corrugated galvanized steel, tile sheets, zinc, copper, and coated or stainless steel. A metal roof tends a more reliable and durable roofing material for commercial properties. In recent years, metal roofing retrofits have grown in popularity, as it is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than a standard metal roof replacement. By placing a new metal roof on top of the existing roof, there is no cost to remove the old roof, and no fees to dispose of the old material.
Choosing the best commercial roofing material for your building will depend on several factors including your local area’s climate, style of roof (low-sloped, flat), durability expectations, and budget. Don’t forget, no matter what option you choose, it is best to carry out regular maintenance and repairs to make any chosen materials last longer.