Roofing Southwest Blog > The Roofing Conundrum

The Roofing Conundrum

July 30, 2018

For facilities managers of industrial or commercial properties, when a roof needs replaced, the possibilities are enough to boggle the mind — a real conundrum. For example, just a few of the decisions and choices include:

  • What are the future plans for the property?
  • What is the budget for roof replacement?
  • How was the original roof constructed?
  • What considerations should be taken to accommodate the local climate?
  • Are their building code jurisdictions that must be taken into account?

Decision #1: Complete teardown or Install Over Existing Roof

There are a lot of factors that go into this decision… moisture content, existing leaks or lack thereof, condition of the deck, where flashings are installed, to name just a few of the things to think about.

Decision #2: Property Plans and Budgeting

Future plans for the property may dictate whether complete teardown is called for or if you should install over the existing roof. If you plan to sell the property in the near future, roofing over the existing materials may make more sense, since it’s generally budget friendly and may yield more profit in a future sale. On the other hand, if you plan to hold onto the property for the foreseeable future, a complete teardown and re-roofing may be called for to optimize the budget for the future.

Decision #3: Material Choices

Do you stick with the same type of roof materials that have always been on the roof? Or are there new products on the market that would provide better protection and possibly reduce heating and cooling costs? Even if there are new products, can your roofing construction handle the new materials or would significant renovations be required? There is no “best solution.” All that really matters is that the roofing systems is appropriate for the building and that it is installed properly. This is where professional roofers can provide expert guidance to help a facility manager make good decisions. This is also where things like building codes and insurance requirements will also be factored into the mix.

Depending on the property, the choices generally fall into these categories:

  • Modified Bitumen Roofing
  • Built-Up Roofing
  • Single-Ply Roofing
  • Liquid Applied Membrane

However, don’t rule out green roofing options like rooftop gardens that will help mitigate the urban heat island, channel water, and maybe even grow crops.

Decision #4: Insulation

Along with the expertise of a professional roofer, you will also need to select insulation for the project. Select insulation that has good thermal properties (help shield from heat and cold) and is compatible with the roof membrane.

Decision #5: Coatings

There are all sorts of new coatings today that do some really nifty things. Light colored coatings bounce back UV rays and heat, rubberized coatings absorb impacts from flying debris with little damage to the material below, and other coatings help repel grease and chemicals or retard fires. All of these choices are really based on the products or services produced in the building — for example, restaurants produce lots of grease through the exhaust fans, while a chemical plant may have all kinds of chemical residues. Keep in mind, that the roofing materials may already have built-in coatings, but there are still choices to be made.

Call on the experts at Roofing Southwest to help you untangle the conundrum and wade through the choices.

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