A roof is one of those things people tend to look over until they have an issue with it. So why should you have a basic understanding of roof types? Besides the fact that a roof will keep your building from experiencing structural damage, a roof can also be a benefit to the environment (you’ll see what we mean)!
Focusing on commercial building roofs, it is important to know the big differences between a commercial roof and a residential roof. While commercial construction roofs are typically low sloped, or entirely flat, residential construction roofs feature higher, more pronounced inclines. This difference stems from the actual size difference between a commercial building and a residential home. Compared to a residential roof, a commercial building’s roof design has a few important factors to consider, including the large area that needs to be covered and the weight of the equipment and potential climate load that the roof must accommodate.
So what kinds of roofs are out there? Here are some of the most popular and newest types:
Thermoplastic roofing (TPO) systems are currently among the fastest growing commercial roofing systems out there. TPO’s are made of an especially durable polymer/filler blend that features a low-temperature flexibility and a high-temperature tolerance. These roofs are exceptionally resistant to ultraviolet, ozone, chemical exposure, fires, punctures, chemicals and high winds. TPO roofs can last for as long as 35 years.
Ethylene, propylene, diene and terpolymer (EPDM) roofing is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing. These roofs are widely used and offer superior durability and versatility, making it one of the longest lasting types of commercial roofs available. They can last up to 50 years.
EPDM commercial roofing systems are also typically easier to install, maintain and repair than most other types of commercial construction roofs.
Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels
As energy costs continue to rise and America looks towards green and sustainable energy, many building owners are turning to solar energy roofing systems. PV solar panels installed over a rooftop are used with glass, membrane and roof-mounted tile. These panels can also absorb sunlight and convert it into energy that can be used to power a building. Although not in wide use, PV panel roofs offer energy conservation and the opportunity to control skyrocketing costs.
Perhaps of all the types of commercial roofs available today, green roofing systems have experienced the greatest rise in popularity in the last few years. Sedum green roofs are typically flat roofs that are partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil then planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofing systems reduce the urban heat island effect by soaking up the heat and dramatically improving the roof’s insulation value – lengthening the lifespan of the roof by as much as two to three times longer while saving on heating and cooling costs.
Now that you know a little bit more about roofs, it’s time to build! Coastal Structures specializes in commercial construction. Give us a call at (843) 546-4491 or visit our website to find out how we can help your growing business.