Peter W Smith Construction Services: Commercial Roofing
Commercial roofing and residential roofing are very different, making it important to work with a contractor, such as Peter W Smith Construction, who understands and has experience with commercial roofing jobs. Being aware of these differences is important for owners of commercial roofs as well, as it allows them to make a more educated decision when it's time to choose a roofer.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is size. Commercial spaces are typically much larger than homes, so commercial roofing materials must be strong enough to span a large surface area. If the roof is not properly designed and installed, it could potentially collapse under its own weight.
The weight of the items placed on the roof is also cause for concern. HVAC equipment, ventilation fans, rooftop doors and other heavy pieces of equipment are often located on top of commercial roofs. The roof must be strong enough to support the weight of these structures, even when they are subjected to jostling from high winds. Commercial roofs typically have a low slope between 2 and 12 inches as well, which means snow isn't going to slide off the roof. The roof must be strong enough to support both the weight of the snow and any equipment that may be used to clear it.
The roofing materials themselves are also different. Both commercial and residential roofs sometimes utilize asphalt shingles. Commercial roofs, however, are frequently comprised of built up roofing (BUR) or rubber made of an ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). BUR and EPDM aren't used in residential roofing, so a contractor who specializes in home roofing isn't likely to be familiar with these materials or their proper installation. Tiles are also used on commercial roofs and present the same issue, as they are not used for residential applications and are extremely heavy, making it important for the installer to understand the structural integrity of the roofing structure beneath them.
Many times, the materials used on flat roofs are difficult or impossible to repair, and large sections must instead be replaced when there is a problem. This requires an experienced contractor who can seamlessly join the old roof with the new to prevent leaks and other issues where the two surfaces meet.
The more a consumer knows about roofing materials and what they must endure, the better equipped he or she is to determine the qualifications of the contractors bidding on the job. Always choose a company with extensive commercial roofing experience and shay away from overly confident residential roofers who assume a commercial roof is much the same as the one on a house.