4 Key Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofing Solutions
Being the owner of a commercial property, it is imperative that you understand the budgeting requirements for the maintenance and repair of your property. Proper budgeting and prior planning helps you reap maximum returns on your investment. Roofing acts as primary defence for your commercial property, which entails being exposed to degradation by external agents. Property owners and managers must be aware of key aspects of commercial and residential roofs and differences between them, as such knowledge helps in ascertaining the skillset and experience of any roofing company you wish to hire. This blog post discusses four key differences between commercial and residential roofing solutions. Take a look.
Although few commercial buildings have pitched roofs similar to residential properties, most have flat roofs with a low slope. When compared to residential roofs, commercial roofs have a significantly larger square footage. They also have certain distinct design considerations such as built-in drainage systems and composite structural strength to support the additional weight from heating/cooling equipment and ventilation. It is necessary, therefore, to check with the roofing contractor whether they have the required expertise working with your specific design and type of roof. While established roofing service providers have specialised workforces for both commercial and residential roofs, new providers may only have expertise in one roof type.
2. Materials Used
Common residential roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles and metal panels, are also used to install sloped commercial roofs. A flat, low-slope commercial roof endures significant exposure to the elements and other external elements, making it more vulnerable to degradation. As a default design aspect, commercial roofs incorporate more durable materials, such as modified bitumen (APP/SBS) and single-ply built-up roofing membrane. They also have specific requirements when it comes to designing, installation, and life cycle, compared to residential roofs. It, therefore, follows that only commercial roofing contractors have the necessary skillsets and technical acumen to maximize structural integrity on large commercial roofs, as opposed to residential roofing contractors.
To construct a low-slope commercial roof, the roofing contractor needs to be familiar with the materials used and also possess the relevant skillset. Commercial flat roofs need to be watertight, with tightly welded seams, accurately installed flashing, and have adequate drainage to negate potential structural failure due to ponding. Commercial roofing contractors are aware of such issues, and therefore, incorporate adequate counter-mechanisms in the roof during installation, to ensure its structural integrity. Contractors experienced primarily in residential roofing installations focus on the aesthetic value of the roof and may overlook certain key points when hired to install or maintain a commercial roof.
4. Maintenance Requirements
Commercial low-slope and flat roofs often develop issues that are significantly different from residential roofs, such as ponding water, membrane punctures, clogged drains, seam separations, flashing deterioration around penetrations, shrinkage, and cracking. As a result, low-slope or flat commercial roofs require more frequent inspections and maintenance to avoid the occurrence of such issues, unlike residential roofing. Commercial roofing contractors are aware of the ins and outs of details such as external piping, air flow systems, and drainage of the commercial roof, and therefore, incorporate them into the budget for roof installation or maintenance. Contractors that only have experience with residential roofs may not possess such deep understanding of commercial roofing systems per se.
Having an understanding of the key differences between commercial and residential roofs is a very important step before setting out to employ a roofing contractor. If you need expert help in deciding on the material that is ideal for your property, get in touch with a trusted roofing services provider such as Longhorn. No matter your property: commercial or residential, our experts can take care of your roofing needs, from selecting the material , installing the new roof, to performing regular maintenance. If you have any questions on roofing or wish to schedule a consultation with one of our roofing experts, simply call 972.677.7421 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you.