ARE YOU NEGLECTING YOUR BUILDING’S FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: IT’S ROOFING SYSTEM?
In a survival situation, your first step is typically to find water, make fire, and then build shelter. While the order of these three may vary depending on the climate (in the arctic, for example, you need to build shelter first), the principle of the guideline remains intact no matter where you are: you need to protect yourself from the elements.
The same principle applies to your building. You may think that your bay doors are extremely important, and I’m sure you are right, but are they more important than your roof? You may think that your conveyor system is extremely important, and I’m sure you are right, but is it more important than your roof? These are not easy questions to answer. Determining the importance of your roof is a difficult task, but one principle rings true: you need to protect yourself, your building, your equipment, your material, your inventory, and your people from the elements. The first line of defense for your building is the roofing system, so why do so many business owners neglect their roofing system when it is so important to the operation of the company and of the building?
Why Don’t Business Owners Take Care of Their Roofing System?
This question is difficult to answer concisely, as there are a multitude of reasons why someone would neglect their roofing system. The simplest and most obvious answer is that the roof is taken for granted. It’s always there and it usually does its job. When a roof begins to leak, it is simply viewed as a one-time problem. Most people get on the roof, repair the one leak they know about and don’t inspect the rest of the roofing system. They simply expect that the rest of the roof will be in fine working condition because it always has been up until this leak.
What Problems can Neglect cause for your roof?
Neglecting your roof is the easiest choice in the short term – it doesn’t require any thinking or planning, it doesn’t require any money, and it doesn’t require any roof. However, in the long term, choosing to take care of your roofing system now will result in huge cost savings. Rather than patching or ignoring problems that lead to requiring an entirely new roofing system down the road, take care of your roof by performing the proper repairs when problems arise and preventative maintenance and you will help your roof to last significantly longer, saving you money.
Among the added cost incurred by neglecting your roofing system, there are many other problems that could easily be avoided by making the proper repairs and performing proper maintenance when required. Some of these costs are water damage caused to the inside of the building, a dangerous environment for all those inside the building, and decreased property value.
What Type of Roofing Solutions are out there?
If your roofing system has been neglected to the point that it needs to be replaced, or even if it wasn’t neglected and it has simply reached the end of its life, you need to do some research regarding which type of roofing system is best for your building. When examining roofing solutions, you first need to determine what type of roofing system you are looking at. There are many different options available to you whether you are looking at a commercial roofing system or a residential roofing system. Because we are commercial roofers, we will be focusing on commercial roofing systems. If you need answers for your residential roof, there are tons of resources available to you online.
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam
Sprayed Polyurethane foam is a roofing system that has been in mainstream use for about four decades. It is comprised of materials that are kept at precise temperatures in specialty hoses, and then sprayed through specialty guns that combine the perfect amount of materials together to create a reaction. Once the materials hit the roof surface, or whatever they are being sprayed to depending on the application, they expand rapidly, up to 30 times their original size.
Once expanded and cured, the foam forms a seamless monolithic membrane that is resistant to foot-traffic, harsh weather, wind uplift, and UV rays if coated properly. SPF roofing systems provide the high R-values available and save you money on your energy bill each month. Studies have concluded that SPF can pay for the cost of installation via energy savings in less than five years.
Single-Ply Roofing Systems
Single-Ply has been a roofing system in use for quite some time. Single-Ply is not its own type of roof; rather it is a category of roofing systems: TPO and PVC. The first single-ply roofing system we will look at is TPO. TPO roofing systems are rapidly gaining popularity for several reasons, but mainly because of their energy efficiency. They are resistant to UB rays, ozone and chemical exposure, which make them a strong choice for most commercial flat roofs.
PVC roofing systems are another single-ply flat roof option. PVC roofs are characterized by their high reflectivity and durability. These systems are easy to install and are impermeable to water unless there are problems with the seams.
Spray Applied Coatings
Spray applied coatings are available in many different variations; some of the more common coatings are made of silicone, acrylic, and aluminum. Spray applied coatings provide benefits through their ease of application, completely seamless roofing membrane, extremely reflective properties, and the easiest repairs in the roofing industry.
Spray applied coatings are not without their faults, though. Installation is a quick process but it is rather tedious, and spray applied coatings are notorious for gathering dirt and becoming an eyesore if your roof is visible.
This roofing system, also referred to as BUR, has been around for quite some time and is typically comprised of hot tar applied over several layers, often ending with gravel. This system has been in widespread use for many years, and often provides a very clean appearance when the gravel is maintained.
A key advantage of a BUR is that it is very inexpensive when compared to other roofs. Because it is such a simply roofing system, there isn’t much technical knowledge or expertise required in installation, which cuts down on the cost. Another great thing about these roofs is their insulating ability. They are comprised of many layers, and those layers make BUR’s great insulators.
These roofing systems are roll applied directly to the roofing surface, and many times require a blow torch to secure the materials to the roof. While new methods have been developed that have made the blow-torch obsolete during installation, many contractors still prefer the heated method. As you may have already guessed, using a blow torch on your roof is a fairly dangerous undertaking and has many times resulted in a building being damaged or burned down thanks to the torching method.
So you’re considering a new roof, and you may have just read this article and come up with more questions than answers. That’s ok; it’s a long process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Keep poking around and researching more on our site, check out other sites, and give us a call if you can’t find the answers to your questions. We’d love to have a chat with you.