Commercial roofs can last for decades, but when it comes time to replace them, businesses must correctly prioritize the criteria for selecting a new roof. Although cost should be the primary selection factor, it is important to remember that an inexpensive installation that does not perform well can end up costing more over time than the most expensive installation costs initially. If you are in the process of selecting a new roof for your business, be sure to consider the selection criteria below in addition to price:
The construction of a roof determines the weight of the material it can support. If you are replacing your building’s current version with an exact replica, the weight of the new installation should not be a problem. If you implement a new type, be sure the contractor performs a thorough inspection of the weight-bearing capacity of the understructure. If the understructure is pitched, the inspection may involve observing it from the attic space.
The primary concern with durability is whether a roof can withstand the factors of its climate zone, such as wind, temperature, and humidity. Another concern is whether it can support the traffic it will receive (e.g. maintenance personnel and equipment for maintaining condenser units). Because a roof is the portion of a building that is the most exposed to the elements, and because most commercial roofs receive some level of traffic, be sure to ask a roofing contractor about the ideal durability for the roof of your building.
Underlayment helps protect decking from moisture damage. In most roofing systems, moisture damage results from the following-water leakage paths, moisture diffusion through the building materials, and the movement of air through exterior holes. Leaks and air movement through exterior holes can be resolved through maintenance, but choosing an underlayment that meets the demands of your building’s climate zone will prevent moisture diffusion.
The color of a building’s roof impacts more than aesthetics, it also affects climate control. If your building is located in a warm climate, implementing a dark-colored outer layer that draws in heat might end up increasing your annual energy bill. If your building is located in a cool climate, the same can be said of implementing a light-colored outer layer.
The longer a roof lasts, the more it justifies the initial cost. When it is time to consider how much you should spend on the installation, consider whether implementing a longer-lasting one would be worth the extra investment, especially if you plan on owning your building for years to come, or selling it for a competitive price.
When they match the needs of the building and the local climate, commercial roofing systems can last for decades. If your building needs a new roof, be sure to consider the factors above before you select one. If you need help assessing what types of roofing systems and materials would work best for your building, contact a roofing contractor for more information.