Things to consider when choosing your flat roof
Once you have decided that a flat roof is the way to go, there are still things to consider, such as the type of flat roof you want, materials and the roof coverings. So what are the essentials that you need to know? There are varying types of flat roof systems that are commonly used. So it would be a good idea to get a detailed understanding of these types of roofs, and which would be the best fit for your project
Single ply roofing membranes are increasingly popular in construction projects, both for new build and refurbishment. Single ply roofs are popular for projects where cost is a big factor, as they have a low capital cost and cost in use, are lightweight, flexible and swift to install. Single ply roof systems provide strength, flexibility, and long-lasting durability. Single ply roofs are also an ideal surface for PC systems and green roofs.
Hot melt roofing
Many prestigious buildings have used a hot melt system, utilising its numerous benefits which include excellent life expectancy, extreme high performance and competitive installed costs. On a hot melt roof the waterproof membrane is applied as a hot liquid directly to a prepared structural deck. This creates a completely seamless monolithic layer that is extremely difficult to damage and has a very long life expectancy. One important point to make about this system is that the installation involves potentially dangerous hot works, so health and safety issues need to be taken into account.
Occasionally, complex roof shapes require something a little different and paint-on solutions can be used effectively where other methods struggle. Cold liquids are especially popular on refurbishment or repair projects as the liquid can usually be applied directly to the existing roof makeup, making it very cost effective. Due to its flexibility, liquid roofs are being specified frequently on new build projects, with their ability to easily be installed in restricted spaces.
Asphalt can be laid on most rigid structures such as concrete, timber and metal and can be worked around all sorts of details like curves, upstands, slopes and roof lights. Asphalt is applied hot, usually in two coats onto a felt membrane which isolates it from the roof. It is finished with small white chips to reduce solar radiation which can soften the asphalt. Asphalt has been around for a fair old time but todays asphalt contains modern polymer formulations making it even better. Polymer-modified mastic asphalts, usually containing styrene butadiene styrene block copolymers, provide enhanced flexibility and a reduced susceptibility to the effects of temperature
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ROOFING MATERIALS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Commercial and industrial property owners and managers need to choose their roofing materials thoughtfully. Installation of a compatible roofing system will last for years and possibly save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars annually. Roofing materials can drastically reduce energy costs and once installed correctly, require very little maintenance. If you’re investing in a new commercial roof, do your due diligence to learn more about the products offered and how they might benefit your property.
WHY CHOOSE CERTAINTEED
By choosing CertainTeed, you’re investing in sustainability. They have many products that come with an Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations, or are LEED compliant. Roofing contractors who deliver superior craftsmanship and customer service achieve a ShingleMaster™ (SM) credential
One of the most versatile product offerings from JBK Roofing is the Duro-Last single-ply roofing system. The product can be applied to just about any industrial property with a flat or low-sloped roof. The white membrane is reflective driving down the energy costs and helping owners and building managers save money. The entire application is extremely durable, leak-proof, and resistant to high winds.
EPDM roofing characteristically has flexibility and adaptability to high and low temperatures. It can be implemented on low-slope commercial roofs. EPDM is constructed from a black rubber membrane that has a reputation for being one of the longest lasting in the industry. It’s made with an elastomeric compound roofing material manufactured from ingredients to withstand high levels of ozone.
WHY CHOOSE EPDM ROOFING
You have a few installation choices with EPDM: ballasted, fully adhered, or mechanically attached. Overall, EPDM displays excellent performance characteristics and has a long lifespan when you conduct routine maintenance inspections. Many typical repairs are pretty straightforward to perform, meaning the cost for upkeep won’t break the bank. EPDM also comes with warranties giving property owners that extra bit of security.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD FLAT ROOF?
Once associated with poor materials and shoddy workmanship, flat roofs are now back in vogue and are highly favoured amongst designers and architects. With extended life-spans, ease of maintenance, and proven resistance to the fluctuation of the British weather, together with high performance and cost effectiveness, a flat roof can offer a real alternative to a pitched roof. When installed and maintained correctly, a flat roof can have a long life expectancy. But what actually makes a good flat roof?
Membrane: A good membrane is key. Whilst their primary purpose is to waterproof the roof area, they typically allow water to run off from a slight inclination or camber into a gutter system. Choose from Reinforced Bituminous Membranes (RBM), Liquid Waterproofing and GRP Roofing Systems, EPDM or Single Ply and Paints and Solutions.
End use: This must always be taken into account as the weight of a mastic asphalte membrane or planters could cause deflection. It is also an important factor when considering installing solar panels.
Suitable deck: The roof deck is the foundation or base upon which the entire flat roof is dependent. It must be designed to provide sufficient support for all loads to which it will be exposed, and the method of attachment to it must be appropriate.
Adequate falls: A flat roof needs to be able to clear surface water as rapidly as possible. The required falls may be formed by the slope of the joists. If not, then cut to falls insulation may be needed. Falls in the structure can be achieved by adjusting the height of the supporting beams or purlins, by using tapered supports, or by the addition of firring pieces before the deck is laid.
CHOOSING A FLAT ROOF
Although simple and utilitarian, the main goal of a roof system is to maintain the watertight integrity of a building and keep its contents dry. Today’s variety of flat or low slope commercial roofing options (roof pitches ranging from ¼:12 to 3:12) is no longer simple and has grown considerably in the last 50 years.
The goal of this article is to help building owners, architects and contractors decide which commercial roofing options are right for each unique project. You may ask, “Why have a flat roof on a building?” That’s a great question! Flat roofs are nothing new, nor are some of the proven materials that cover these often-expansive roofs such as those found on factories, warehouses, big and small box stores, apartment buildings, large public structures and schools/universities. A flat roof’s design is both efficient and economical.
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) offers a robust website and resources geared for contractors about everything roof related. Their easy-to-navigate site provides a comprehensive overview of materials, applications, courses and other resources for contractors and building professionals. On the NRCA micro-site Everybody Needs a Roof, building owners and professionals can learn more about the importance of proper roofing materials and applications, find contractors and even ask experts questions about all components of roofing
Liquid Applied and Spray Foam Roofing Systems
As outlined in the Manual, liquid applied membrane roofing includes hot and cold polymer-modified asphalt, single-component asphalt or coal tar-extended urethane and two-component urethane elastomer. Liquid applied membrane systems require rigorous preparation of the substrate, which must be dry and dust-free with patched cracks.
Metal Roofing Systems
As one of the world’s oldest roofing systems, metal roofing began with materials like the bronze tiles on Rome’s ancient Pantheon. Lead roofing later joined bronze as a popular choice for cathedrals and castles throughout Europe during medieval times. Many of today’s low slope metal roofs are made from corrugated galvanized steel – a steel sheet coated with zinc. Copper, aluminum, stainless steel and tin also are used in commercial metal roofing applications. Benefits to metal roofing including longevity, durability and heat resistance. Additionally, metal roofs can withstand high winds and are largely impact resistant. However, the investment for a metal roofing solution likely will be much higher upfront than other flat roofing solutions.
How to Choose the Right Commercial Roofing System
There are many options when selecting the right roofing system for your commercial facility. Commercial roofing became a specialized trade in the mid-19th century. As a result, many roofing systems have come and gone over the years. However, only two variants hold up the longest and provide the best value.
The first thing you want to consider is the type of facility you own. Is it a major manufacturing facility with many rooftop exhaust fans and units that require constant foot traffic to maintain them? Is it a warehouse used for storing products, equipment or materials? Is it an office space where the comfort of individuals is a priority? Next, factor in your ownership intentions—do you plan to keep the facility indefinitely, or do you plan on selling in the near to immediate future? Finally, define your budgetary parameters. From there, you can evaluate roofing system types for potential inclusion in your overall project framework.
Single-ply Roofing Systems
Single-ply roofing systems are the current preference in the roofing world. They are affordably priced, durable and can be warranted in excess of 30 years. They are comprised of products like TPO, PVC and EPDM. These products are much cleaner to apply than raw asphalt-based products and in the case of TPO, are rated to hold up to the accumulation of standing water. While TPO and PVC are primarily available in white to reflect sunlight and keep your roof cool, other assorted colors are available to suit your facility. These products are best suited for offices and warehouses where roof traffic is limited, but they also are compatible with essentially any commercial structure.
Asphalt-based Roofing Systems
Asphalt-based roofing systems have been around for over a century, and were previously the industrial roofing standard. They are thick, messy (a good thing, since that means multiple layers of heated or cold-based asphalt) and, most important, resilient. When properly maintained, it’s not uncommon for a built-up asphalt roof to last over 50 years.
Asphalt-based roofs are composed of layers of modified or fiberglass rolls, which are set and covered in hot or cold asphalt and then capped with gravel or an additional asphalt-based granulated cap sheet. They are commonly found on educational institutions and manufacturing facilities. The pricing for asphalt-based roofing systems can be volatile at times because they are linked to the current world values of petroleum—the primary ingredient in their required materials. That being said, they are sometimes slightly more expensive than their single-ply counterparts, but not by much, depending on the exact specification applied