How and When to Replace a Commercial Roof

Commercial roofing and the replacement of commercial roofing is not something to be taken lightly.  Like all roofing, it’s a rather large expense, but unlike residential roofing, it does require more skill and many times more expensive materials.  Since commercial roofing must many times last longer, it takes more money and time as well as expertise to install.  Care must be taken when choosing a commercial roofer or commercial roofing company.  Not all roofers can successfully and quickly install commercial roofing.  Most commercial roofs are flat roofs, unlike residential roofing, which is for the most part, generally slanted.  A flat roof, until now, required a set approach, with a coal, tar, and bitumen mixture.  Now there are literally many more options, all of which can add to the lifespan of a good commercial roof.  These include:  Thermoplastic, EPDM, Solar, Green Roofing, and Built-Up Roofing which does entail layers of different materials.

Each type of roofing of course, costs a different amount, and the main reason for replacement is because of leakage in the roofing.  So commercial roofing is chosen by two methods really, cost and lifespan of the roofing.  The pricing can range from low-end, to mid-range, to higher end, with the costs of labor and materials, as well as location and size being the determining factor.  Also, when considering price, a roofing contractor may include the costs of any and all permits needed, which are many times a requirement for roofing in general, especially commercial roofing.  Costs are so variable that many meetings and many estimates with a commercial roofing contractor may be necessary before a business does decide which avenues to pursue.  The types of commercial roofing materials are seemingly endless and there are many decisions to be made especially in the type and style of roofing to be installed.

Underlayers and aesthetic can also play a part in the choice of materials.  Steep roofing, because it’s more labor intensive, will cost more generally, and any type of materials that are aesthetically more pleasing can bump up the price as well.  Underlayers are very important in the choice of roofing and should also be chosen very carefully.  If a certain aesthetic must be met, then a good roofer will work with a client on this, recommending the correct materials for the aesthetic, as well as the appropriate underlayer.  Under layers provide protections and are referred to as substrates.  Substrates are chosen according to price, weather, and overall protective advantage.

Add on enhancements and replacements such as gutters, drainpipes and chimneys also contribute to the overall costs of commercial roofing.  Gutters, downspouts, drainpipes and other add-ons must also be installed properly during installation or backup of water occurs, and causes damages to the new roof that are not immediately detected.

The main reasons that commercial roofs are replaced is damage and leakage.  A lot of individuals and companies wait until actual water damage is seen on the inside of a building before taking action and replacing the roof.  This is a more costly affair overall, as a leaking roof can collapse and cause mold and mildew problems within the interior of a structure.  If a roof collapses and water seeps into the interior structure water removal specialists must be called in. An assessment is first done, with a step by step process for water extraction, mould prevention and removal, stain removal and any electrical or other damages that may have occurred.  A collapsed commercial roof can be a real nightmare, forcing the shutdown of the business itself until the roof is replaced.  This is the worst scenario possible and takes much work and experts to remedy.  Insurance may not cover the costs of all major commercial roof replacements, depending on the policy that the business owner has in place.

Some signs that a roof needs replacing are:  shingles that are curling and buckling; age of a roof, pieces of shingle material in the gutters surrounding the commercial roofing, and a history of roof replacements in the general area, moss growth, and mould of course.  Excessive energy bills are also a warning of a faulty or damaged roof, since heat rises and escapes through the ceilings of a building.

A wise business owner will have on hand the names of several commercial roofing businesses that can be called in the event of an emergency.  Water moves swiftly through an old, damaged roof and time is always of the essence when a roof looks old, has all the signs of wear, or by some natural disaster is damaged.  There really is no time to waste to replace a commercial roof and a good commercial roofing company understands this and will respond to an owner as soon as possible when called for an estimate.

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