Orlando Roofing Companies protect businesses and their contents from the elements. It’s one of the most important investments a business can make.
While all roofs serve the same purpose, there are many differences between residential and commercial roofing. The installation process and the materials used differ. The main difference is the slope of the roof and the material chosen.
When building owners and architects look for commercial roofing options, single-ply membranes have gained much popularity in recent years. They are ideal for flat or low-slope roofs and come in a wide range of styles, materials, and technology.
When a builder or owner opts for this type of roof, they can choose from three primary types of membranes: EPDM, PVC, and TPO. The difference between these membranes lies in their chemical composition, manufacturing process, and installation methods.
The membranes themselves can be either self-adhered or mechanically attached. Self-adhered is preferred by most installers because it enables the membrane to be installed quickly and with little mess or odor. It also offers the most durability of all installation methods because the adhesives bond securely to the surface of the roof deck. Mechanically-attached membranes, on the other hand, are fastened to the roof with lines of fasteners that are hidden within the seams where the sheets overlap. These fasteners are typically metal or plastic and are bonded to the membranes using hot air or solvents.
Regardless of the style, all single-ply membranes offer a variety of benefits that make them popular for commercial roofing projects. They are able to reflect and repel ultraviolet radiation that can otherwise damage the interior of a building, allowing you to maintain a cool roof that will save on energy costs. Single-ply membranes are also incredibly durable, standing up to even the harshest of weather conditions and environmental factors.
Another significant benefit is the ease with which they can be installed over existing roofs. Unlike built-up systems with multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcement felts, single-ply membranes can be rolled out and adhered to the existing surface, making them easy to install on a tight deadline.
In addition, many single-ply membranes can be installed over a broad spectrum of insulation materials. This is especially true for TPO and PVC, both of which can be applied over various forms of rigid or spray-applied insulation. This allows you to save on the cost of having to add a new insulation layer and also makes it easier to achieve your desired roof design, such as a green or energy-efficient roof.
All single-ply membranes, including PVC and TPO, are available in a wide variety of colors to match the aesthetic of any building. They are also lightweight, allowing them to be easily installed by professional contractors with minimal impact on the overall construction schedule.
All responsible membrane manufacturers provide installer training, ensuring that their products are installed properly and to industry standards. These companies often have field engineers who visit job sites during and after the membranes are installed to ensure that all work is done correctly. These specialists can also provide technical support for any installation issues that may arise during the project.
The two most popular single ply membranes are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Thermoplastic Olefin Membrane (TPO). Both offer the durability, energy efficiency, and other advantages that commercial buildings need. Both can be used as part of a roof restoration system or installed as an entirely new roofing system. Both can withstand the elements, chemicals, and other potential contaminants. They also provide an easy-to-maintain surface for the long term.
PVC and TPO are similar in their composition, but they have some distinct differences that should be considered when choosing the right roofing material for your building. Both are thermoplastics, which means they soften when heated and harden when cooled. This makes the seams in the roof membranes easily welded, creating a watertight, seamless top layer.
Both PVC and TPO are highly reflective of the sun’s rays, helping to keep your building cooler and potentially reducing your energy costs for air conditioning. They also offer a high level of UV resistance and have been tested to meet the standards set by Underwriters Laboratories and Factory Mutual.
TPO is a relatively new membrane that has gained in popularity over the past decade or so, thanks to its cost-effectiveness and performance. Its use has increased rapidly, with it now accounting for 40% of all new roof installations and 30% of reroofing projects. TPO is made from a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene plastics, as well as other ingredients like plasticizers, UV absorbers, color pigments, biocides, flame retardants, and more.
While TPO may be less expensive than PVC, its quality can vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some TPO membranes are susceptible to early deterioration and can experience weld problems, which can lead to premature failure. Others are prone to bubbling or rippling, and may have low breaking strength.
PVC, on the other hand, offers superior durability and longevity. Its initial cost is higher than TPO, but it has been a staple of the roofing industry for longer and has a proven track record of success. PVC is non-reactive to most chemicals and is able to withstand heat, oil, and exhaust from grease traps.
Ultimately, it is your roofing expert who can help you determine which type of single-ply membrane will best suit the needs of your commercial building. A professional will consider the building’s purpose and physical location, as well as your budget, before making a recommendation. Regardless of which material you choose, ensure your roofing contractor provides top-tier warranties to protect your investment and give you peace of mind. A qualified roofer will be backed by a reputable manufacturer and can help you understand the coverages of these warranties. This will help you avoid any issues that could arise during the course of your project. This will include both workmanship and material warranty periods.
Shingles aren’t for every commercial building, but when they are a good fit, they provide many advantages. They’re easy to install and repair, and they add a design element that makes a business more appealing. Plus, they can help dampen the noise from rain and hail. In addition, shingles are more resistant to certain elements like UV rays and fire.
The type of shingle you choose will depend on your budget and aesthetic preferences. Builder-grade asphalt shingles offer budget-friendly options starting at $3 per square foot. Higher-end architectural shingles that feature enhanced wind protection, algae resistance and a warranty may cost more, but they typically last longer.
A shingle roof needs regular maintenance and periodic inspections to ensure that all components are working as they should. However, the small shingle size means that this maintenance is more involved than with other types of roofing. The shingles must be kept free of debris and debris accumulation, such as leaves and twigs, and also checked for water leaks, damage to the underlayment, and moss growth.
The small granules that make up a shingle’s surface are also an excellent deterrent to hail, sand and other forms of debris that can cause roof damage. Additionally, a shingle’s texture helps camouflage dirt and grime, making cleaning up much easier than it is on smooth metal or membrane roofs.
In general, a shingle roof requires less maintenance than other types of commercial roofing, but it is important to make sure that it’s done by a professional. A professional will check the roof for damage, leaks, and moss and lichen buildup. The roofing expert will also make sure the proper underlayment and ice and water shield are in place.
If you’re considering a new shingle roof for your commercial property, be sure to ask about the variety of colors and textures available. You can choose from a wide range of architectural styles and even have your roof designed to mimic the look of a natural slate tile roof.
There are a variety of other roofing materials out there, including rubber, PVC, and TPO. These are all durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions, but they may not be the right choice for your business. Talk to a commercial roofing contractor in to learn more about your roofing options and what the best fit is for your property. With the right installation and routine maintenance, your shingle roof will continue to protect your business for years to come.