commercial building roof tops

Commercial roofing is a big job. In Calgary, we all know how fast the weather can change from sunshine to hail. So it’s important to understand what you are getting into when researching a commercial roofing job. Whether it’s an install, a replacement or repair you need to do to your building.

What Is Commercial Roofing?

Commercial roofing uses materials that will seal roofs on commercial structures. Commercial roofs are usually are flat roof systems that tend to use materials that are energy conserving. These include pre-finished steel because they reduce consumption. People use reduced consumption materials because the material can lower temperatures inside your building. It helps decrease the load of cooling on the HVAC system, saving  you energy and money.

Most commercial roofing has a life span of about 30 years or more if properly installed and adequately maintained.

Commercial VS. Residential Roofing

residential roof

Many people assume commercial roofing and residential roofing are the same things, just on a larger scope. However, they are a completely different industry. They follow the same quality control and building principles, but the application process varies greatly.

The main difference between commercial roofing and residential roofing is the materials used.

Typically, residential homes use asphalt shingles on their roofs. If asphalt isn’t used, it is tile or wooden shakes that still fit on the roof in a similar fashion. Since most residential homes have sloped roofs,  you overlap the shingles or tiles in such a way that water, snow, etc. runs off the roof quickly without pooling.

Flat Roofing Options

The flat roofing or low slope options most commercial roofs include these six options; TPO, PVC, EPDM, modified bitumen, concrete, and built-up systems (tar and gravel). These options are economical to install, which is a favourable option considering most commercial roofing jobs have a lot of area to cover.

1. TPO

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, which is a type of single-ply roofing membrane. It is very durable with the main attribute being able to resist damage from UV and chemical exposure. TPO also has heat reflective properties, which is energy efficient. TPO can help you reduce costs and help the environment.

2. PVC

PVC roofing stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is a single-ply roofing solution most popularly used on commercial roofs, more specifically on industrial roofs. PVC is lightweight, high flame resistant and environmentally friendly. Since it is heat resistant to UV, it will keep your business cool, which reduces energy costs.

3. EPDM

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer. This flat roofing material is a rubber similar to that of pond lining. It is installed by anchoring fasteners that are then ballasted with stone or glued into place.
EPDM is an extremely durable material. It can resist weathering from UV rays caused by the sun meaning fewer repairs will need to be made to this specific product. However, the seams between sheets are problematic for leaking.

4. Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen (MBR) or mod bit for short is a type of rolled roofing that is infused with a mineral based wear. Traditionally this is installed by applying heat while rolling it out, called the torch-down approach. However, there are more self-adhesive options available, known as the peel-and-stick system. Modified bitumen is easy to use and reflects heat to help with environmental impacts and energy bill costs.

5. Concrete

A concrete roof caps the top of your building with one solid slab of concrete. It is incredibly strong and can withstand weathering, especially wind. You install a concrete roof by creating a framework first to pour the concrete into. The frames can be fixed or removable, but they act as a support to ensure the concrete is perfectly poured and level.

6. Built-up Systems, AKA Tar & Gravel

A built-up roof (BUR) is a very traditional flat roofing system option. Roofers build it up by layering hot tar and gravel with a waterproof material interspersed between the layers. Though this roofing is the cheapest option, it is the hardest to install.

Multiple roofs

Since there are more commercial roofing options out there than residential, commercial building owners need to do more research on what options they have for installs and repair decisions that they need to make.

Commercial Roofing Installations

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Though many homes in Calgary now have flat or low slope roofing systems, there are still many differences when it comes to working n a commercial job. Due to the mass area they have to cover, it can take over a month to complete commercial roof installation or repair while a residential home can be done in merely a day or two.

Another factor that will increase the time it takes to install a commercial roof is due to the materials that are being used. Most of the products require a few days to settle, cure, be glued, or dry completely for the roof to be properly functional and ensure its durability and longevity won’t falter.

Commercial Roofing Repairs

roofer roofing flat roof

When getting a commercial roof repaired, it’s hard to tell without a proper inspection whether the roof needs to be patched in a certain spot or the whole thing needs a full coat re-applied to the entire roof. Have a professional team like Tony’s Roof Repair come and assess your situation. We ensure you’re getting the highest quality and the best price.

Many companies don’t know how to patch up or repair a commercial roof properly, especially when it comes to a built-up, tar and gravel roofing repairs. They will end up wanting to replace your entire roof, costing you a fortune. Often, the roof only needs to be repaired in a specific spot. Which, is something we are more than capable of handling. With our professionally trained and qualified team, you will only receive elite standards and customer satisfaction.