Roofing Southwest Blog > Roofing for Restaurants

Roofing for Restaurants

April 29, 2018

Restaurants and businesses in the food preparation industry can be hard on roofing material. Over 80% of food industry facilities have roof deterioration due to exhaust fans discharging on the roof. Food preparation facilities, whether through the use of stoves or ovens, barbecues or grills, also release grease and oils through the exhaust system. The toxic materials from those vents have a deleterious effect on most roofing materials. For example:

  • BUR – built up roofing systems turn soft and spongy following long exposure to grease
  • EPDM – some roof membranes as well as the seam adhesives and tapes will deteriorate and lose their bond
  • Thermoplastic – will blister when exposed to grease and oil

In addition, vented grease can cause a variety of safety hazards, including fire and fall hazards, animal and insect infestations, and last but not least, EPA and code violations as water runoff carries the contaminated materials into the ground or sewer system.

There are ways to prevent the safety hazards and prolong the life of your roof.  Catch pans and grease filtration units installed on the exhaust fans can prevent the bulk of grease and oils from reaching the roofing material. In addition, many manufacturers today have specific products designed to withstands oils and grease cause by restaurant vents. In fact, grease contamination can void your roof’s manufacturer warranty if you aren’t careful. We recommend checking with a professional and experienced roofing company to help you decide on what type of products would work best for your operation.

The most important thing is to have roof inspections on a regular basis. Catching problems early and repairing damage can prevent fires, code violations, roof deterioration and more.

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