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What is Commercial Roofing? Roofing 101

Commercial roofing is a branch of building construction that deals with designing, installing, and maintaining roofs for commercial buildings. The most common materials of commercial roofs are metal and built-up roofs. These are most often found in industrial or large warehouse buildings.

Commercial roofing can be divided into three main categories: flat roofs, low-sloped roofs, and steep-sloped roofs. A flat roof is one where the slope is less than 3 inches per foot. They are typically used for parking lots and garages. Low-sloped rooftops are those that have a pitch between 3 to 6 inches per foot. This type of roof is generally used in warehouses and industrial buildings. Steeply sloped roofs have a slope between 7 to 12 inches per foot and are usually found in churches and schools.

What You Need To Know About Commercial Roofing Systems

 As one of the most experienced roofing contractors in the state of PA with years of experience in the commercial roofing industry, we have installed and repaired all types of commercial roofing systems. If you are new to roofing or need a quick overview of the various types of commercial and industrial roofing systems and principal components, we’ve got you covered!

In terms of roofing components, systems for commercial roofing in Rhode Island, have three principal components:

Roof deck: The roof deck is the primary structural component of a building’s roof system. It supports the weight of the building’s structure and any additional loads imposed on it by snow or ice accumulation.

Roof membrane: The primary function of a membrane system is to protect against moisture intrusion into the building structure by providing a waterproof barrier between the interior space and its exterior environment. Membranes are typically installed over plywood or OSB sheathing boards on most commercial roofs.

Waterproofing layer: When two dissimilar materials meet at an interface, such as metal flashing applied over wood sheathing boards, some type of sealant material must be used to prevent moisture from entering into this joint through capillary action or other means. Waterproofing tape or sheet is installed over this joint and then covered with a layer of bituminous felt. The purpose of the waterproofing layer is to prevent water from entering the building structure through joints in the exterior wall cladding system.

Four Classifications of Commerical Roofs

  1. Spray polyurethane foam-based roof systems
  2. Single-ply membrane
  3. Modified bitumen with single-ply membrane
  4. Metal panel roofs for low slope buildings

Spray Polyurethane Foam-Based Commercial Roof Systems

With a wide range of applications, these systems are ideal for a variety of commercial and industrial buildings such as warehouses, loading docks, car parks, and manufacturing facilities.

Spray polyurethane foam-based commercial roof systems provide a high level of thermal insulation that can help reduce energy costs and improve durability simultaneously. They are also waterproof and have excellent acoustic properties, making them an effective choice for commercial applications where noise reduction is essential.

Single-ply Membrane Commercial Roof System

The single-ply membrane commercial roof system is a wide range of roofing systems that are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Single-ply membranes are designed to be installed over steel or wood decking and provide protection against water, wind, and fire.

Single-ply membranes can be waterproofed with either hot asphalt or a cold application process. Hot asphalt is an asphalt-based material applied at a temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold application processes use polymer-modified bitumen which is heated to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Modified Bitumen With Single-Ply Membrane

Modified bitumen with a single-ply membrane is one of the most common types of waterproofing membranes. The modified bitumen is a flexible, thermoplastic material that is applied to the roof or wall and acts as the waterproofing layer that protects the substrate from moisture. A single-ply membrane is simply a layer of material laid down over the top of this, which serves as an additional waterproofing layer. This type of membrane is ideally suited for industrial and commercial applications but can also be used in residential areas.

Metal Panel Roofs For Low Slope Buildings

 Metal panel roofs are an excellent choice for low-slope buildings, such as warehouses and garages. The panels are strong, lightweight, and made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. They’re easy to install on a roof that has been properly prepared with a durable surface, such as EPDM rubber or TPO rubber roofing membrane. Metal panel roofs can be painted or coated with a protective finish that will help protect them from the elements.

The metal panel roofing system consists of four components: the panels themselves; a substrate that provides structural support; fasteners that hold the panels in place; and sealants to prevent water from penetrating between the panels and substrate.

Call A Professional Commercial Roofer

It is always a good choice to seek out commercial roofing services. While you may wish to save money by hiring a residential roofer, most often, a commercial roofing specialist will be better suited to handle any more complicated issues that may arise on your building’s roof. By employing the services of a local professional, you can ensure that all of the necessary repairs are done and that the building is safe from water damage.

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