A new roof on a commercial property is a substantial investment. With so many options available, how do property owners/managers know which roofing system is right for their property? Understanding the performance features and benefits of different roofing technologies are key to determining the best value for your investment.
Because asphaltic roofing systems offer such a diverse selection including membrane performance considerations, ease of installation and inexpensive budget options, they are the logical first choice when it comes to roofing selection.
Let’s review some of the basics involved in roof system selection that can make your decision easier:
Number 1: What are your investment objectives for the property?
· How long do you plan to own the property?
· What length of a warranty are you looking for?
· What is your budget?
· Is capital available?
If the plan is to own the property in the short term, a good decision may be to look at a re-cover system. Re-covering an aging roof will help assure the building is in good condition as part of the property sale. Cost effective options with APP (Atactic Polypropylene) cap sheets are an excellent choice in situations like these.
Number 2: How is the property used?
· What kind and type of roof traffic is expected? Will it have an outdoor deck or patio that is accessible to tenants or space that a service technician uses only for yearly maintenance inspections?
· Is the roof visible? If so, are aesthetics important?
· How is the building being used and what type of risk exists if a leak should occur? For instance, would a leak damage high value inventory?
· How will the project impact your employees or the residents of your building?
· Think about the short-term inconvenience, as well as their long-term comfort and peace of mind.
Besides protecting expensive property, if the roof requires heavy foot traffic due to tenant use or regular maintenance, it would be a wise choice to install an extremely durable built up roof with a gravel surface to withstand physical abuse. Limiting the propensity for damage with a sound roofing choice avoids the potential for problems caused by leaks.
Number 3: Where is the property located?
· Coastal properties may require systems with higher wind performance.
· Inner cities are often hotter than rural or suburban areas because of the “heat island effect.” Reflective options can help reduce heat buildup and save energy.
· Is the property located in an area that makes certain roof systems impractical?
The versatility of asphaltic systems offers the benefit of redundancy with choice in installation. Whether you select SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene) APP or a Built-Up roofing system, variety in installation is key to versatility. Heat-welded, self-adhered or cold-applied systems can offer multi-layer protection even if the building is 60 stories high in the middle of an urban area.
Number 4: Local building codes also play a critical role and may impact your system selection. Your roofing professional can assist you in determining the appropriate options for your area. With years of system performance testing and experienced installer networks available nationwide, asphaltic roofing options are available to meet a broad range of code conformance challenges.
Number 5: How is your building constructed?
· Do you know the details of your roof’s construction? Just as your building can be made of brick, glass or metal, you roof deck can be made of metal, concrete or other materials. Understanding the materials that make up your roof deck, as well as the rest of your roofing system, is an important part of your decision making.
· Will you be leaving the existing roof system in place or tearing it off?
· What are your insulation needs? For instance, increasing the R-value of the insulation in your roof may dramatically reduce your heating and cooling expenses.
Modified bitumen systems (both APP and SBS) are lightweight and durable. Whether choosing a re-cover application, new construction or complete tear off, asphaltic options are compatible with a wide variety of insulation and decking materials that can be installed with the most typical building constructions.
As detailed above, there are several decisions that impact the selection of your new roofing system. Regardless of the challenges you face in your construction project, asphaltic roofing systems offer a variety of options, all which are durable and versatile. They are not only designed to meet your needs but to protect your investment by providing years of reliable service.
For more information about asphalt roofing systems, please visit www.asphaltroofing.org.