Commercial Roofing System Pros And Cons
Commercial Roofing System Contractors
Homeowners and commercial property owners have numerous viable options, thanks to advances in commercial re-roofing systems. There is a lot of data allowing them to make smart and calculated decisions. Choose the right roofing system based on your budget and your commercial or residential building needs. Of course, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each roofing system to find the best one.
Here, you need to consider the following factors.
- Foot traffic
- Projected length of ownership
- Upkeep and ease of maintenance
- Installation costs
Your priorities should be able to determine which of these factors should be weighed heavily against the rest. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of metal, built-up and single-ply systems using these factors.
Built-up roofs have been around for the last 100 years. It’s a durable roofing system that involves layers of asphalt, tar and other support materials used as the base. The top layer of a built-up-roof consists of stone and gravel.
The advantages of a built-up roof include the following:
• Installation Costs – They are easy to install and the materials are affordable compared to other roofing systems.
• Ease Of Maintenance – Built-up roofing systems require minimal attention and servicing after installation, besides routine inspections and maintenance. Any repairs to the top layer of the roof can be handled effortlessly. However, identifying leaks below the top layer can be quite cumbersome.
• Multiple Layers – They come with multiple layers. First, there is a top layer without any seams or joints thereby strengthening the waterproofing features of the roofing system. With multiple layers, the built-up roofing system is conducive to a lot of traffic compared to other types of roofs. The layers also provide exceptional UV protection which extends the useful life of the membrane, prevent extreme fluctuations in temperature in the building. and reduce roof temperature.
• Durable – When installed properly with proper maintenance, the built-up roofs in your residential or commercial property can last as long as 30 years.
The disadvantages of the built-up roofing systems include the following:
• Poor Cold Weather Performance – BURs are very inflexible. They are best suited for warm or mild climates compared to extremely cold climates.
• Odors – During the installation process, toxic odors will be released from the heated asphalt and tar.
• Reinforced Roof Joists – Since the roof comes with multiple layers of asphalt, tar and gravel/stone, there will be additional weight to the entire structure. As such, you need reinforced roof joists to support the heavy roof accordingly.
• Poor Aesthetic Value – Built-up roofs are mostly installed for functionality and not for aesthetic value. Therefore, they are not a great choice for commercial properties that focus on aesthetics.
Out of the 3 primary types of roofs, metal roofs are the most durable choice. They can last as long as 50 years if installed and maintained properly. However, metal roofs are different in many ways. They come in varying shapes, length, material, gauges of panels, fastening systems and many more factors. Eventually, all these factors play a huge role in the overall functionality of the roof.
Some of the primary advantages of metal roofs include the following:
• Durable – Yes, metal roofs require proper care and maintenance to last a long time. Therefore, you can expect a long lasting investment in a metal roof as long as you take good care of it.
• Ease Of Maintenance – Compared to the exposed fastener system, standing seam metal roofs are more expensive. However, they are easier to maintain than their counterparts. Exposed fasteners degrade faster and come loose with the contraction or expansion of the building. Eventually, your roof will start leaking if you don’t inspect it regularly and handle the necessary repairs.
• Aesthetic Value – Metal roofs have a high-end and sleek appearance. You can apply custom colors, coatings or paint offerings to match a company’s colors.
• Weather Resistant – Metal roofs are highly resistant to snow, UV rays, rain, mildew and mold. They are also resistant to fire and noncombustible.
The primary disadvantages of metal roofs include the following:
• Expensive Installation Cost – The best metal roofing systems require a costly investment during installation. That’s because the materials are costly and the installation process is labor-intensive. With time, there is a huge return on investment if the roofs are installed properly and well-maintained.
• High Risk Of Leaks – Buildings that have many penetrations have a huge risk of leaks. If more holes are required to punch into a metal roof such as vents, pipes or skylights, there is a huge risk of leaks.
• Less Foot Traffic -With time, metal roofs will start getting dents from foot traffic especially with technicians getting on the roof to fix HVAC units and much more.
• Noisy – Hail and rain often cause excessive noise when pounding on metal roofs, especially if they are not sufficiently insulated.
Single-ply roofs are the most common roofing options for both residential and commercial properties. They come in various sizes, options and prices. The best single-ply roofs are made out of rubber (EPDM) or plastic (PVC, TPO) compounds.
Advantages of single-ply roofs include the following:
• Low Installation Costs – Most people love single-ply roofs because they are cheap to install. However, there are long-term ramifications of the low cost of installation that shouldn’t be ignored.
• Lightweight And Flexible – They don’t assert a lot of stress on the building structure compared to other roofing options. They are flexible enough to stretch and adapt to the natural movement of the building accordingly.
• Reduce Costs – Single-ply roofs come in gray, white or black options. Depending on the climate, you can install the best color to maximize heat-retaining or reflective features. Eventually, you can reduce the costs of utilities in the residential or commercial building.
The disadvantages of single-ply roofs include the following:
• Not Durable – The seams on single-ply roofs are prone to leaks and you should expect wear and tear within 5 to 7 years.
• Also, they can’t handle foot traffic or debris resulting in punctures and damage.
• If there are numerous penetrations on the building, the cost of installation increases accordingly.
Single-ply roofs with cross-linked polymers often address the disadvantages mentioned above. They are stronger, thicker, longer-lasting and puncture resistant compared to the normal single-ply roofs. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons to find the best roofing system for your residential or commercial building.
Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, provides commercial roof repair, commercial roof installation and commercial roof replacement services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities and has been providing commercial roofing services to the area for over 17 years. No matter what type of commercial roofing system your building has, we are your answer for all your commercial roof repair and commercial roof replacement needs.