When it comes to deciding what type of roofing system you should have or replace your current roof with on commercial roofs, there are many options to choose from and can be mind boggling when trying to decide. So how do you decide and what should you consider in making your decision? Each type of flat roofing system has its own advantages and disadvantages, the key is to consider what your roofs needs are. Where your located, the use of the roof, climate and roof maintenance. Here are some factors that you should consider when purchasing a new flat roof system or replacing one.
1. Price. This is the biggest factor many consider in purchasing a roofing system. What is the bottom line dollar? Sometimes this can be okay to make your decision on, but sometimes your roof may need something else or you need something else when it comes to price. Here is another way to consider price into your decision. For example, maintenance and repairs. Some roof systems require more maintenance than others do. You want to consider how much you will pay for a maintenance program to keep the roof running in good shape. For instance a modified bitumen roof requires more frequent maintenance than PVC or TPO membranes. Another part of this is the price for repairs. Is that roof system easily repaired and how quickly would it need repaired? This would be based on your roof use, roof material and probably weather conditions in your area. If the system is not one to have a long lifespan then you will probably have to repair it within ten years or so, especially if it requires frequent maintenance to ensure it is still in good shape. Obviously roofing maintenance is a big key in your roof lasting its lifespan or longer. So lets just say one roof system might need repairs more often, sometimes it can end up being every year something needs done and another system has less maintenance and requires less repairs. Which one is going to cost you more annually? The one that does not seem to have a very long lifespan and requires more maintenance. Every roof system needs to be maintained but the amount of time and cost to be maintained can vary quite a bit between roof systems. So besides the bottom line dollar you want to consider what that roof system may cost you on an annual basis. A professional roofing contractor that is well experienced in commercial roofing can help you with this analysis. Sometimes the cheaper roofing material can also be the more costly one when it comes to repairs and maintenance.
2. Quality. This is the second biggest factor to consider. What quality is each roofing material? As discussed, some last longer than others there are reason for this including maintenance, lifespan of that material, the roof itself and how it is used, and location of your roof. Is the material reinforced, flexible, is the material a well known brand, it is durable for my roofs needs? There are so many factors in the quality that is important for you to consider in the material. You want the quality to be high and see that it stands to its word on performance. Qualities you would want to look for is durability, length of lifespan, sustainability, reputation, the characteristics of the material like being flexible, prefabricated, uv protection and so on. What puts that roofing material above others?
3. Prefabrication. This is something many commercial contractors look at and roof owners should too. Prefabrication means that the material is fabricated at the manufacturers so when on the job site it consists more of installing the system than having to measure, cut and weld. The product comes pre fitted for your roof which can take away from the labor costs to install and the roof can be installed in less duration. This also helps to one of our next factors of the installation process and disruptions.
4. Installation process and disruptions. Some materials need more time, space and heavy equipment to install the material. Other materials like the TPO and PVC require less installation time, little equipment to install the product and are not noisy to install so there is not interruption to your business activities during the installation process. Some job sites can also be very messy and if you do not require a tear off with certain roofing systems, then debris will not be in the way of your business operations and the public.
5. Ease of maintenance. As discussed above there are some roofing systems that require little to no maintenance or easy maintenance for your roof. Because the roof is above us we tend to forget about it and neglect to maintain it. With a roofing system that is almost maintenance free it can put your mind at ease.
6. Performance. We all hear that this product is better than that and learn about all the flaws of the other product. Sometimes this can be true and other times its just a marketing strategy. The one thing that can help you learn about the performance of a product is to research the product and check out its reputation. This can help you in deciding if this product is performing the way they say it will perform and if it will perform well for your roofs needs. Most all commercial products have warranties that range from 10-25 years and some of the warranties will pay for repairs, or pay a new roof including materials and labor. Check reviews to see how people that have installed that system like it and how it performs for them and you can also ask a professional commercial contractor on the history of roofing materials. IF a product has a bad track record for performance then that probably would not be the best for your roof, even if it was cheaper.
Over all there are many factors and even more detail when it comes to price, installation, durability, energy, warranties, the list goes on of factors you want to think about and take into consideration for each roofing system you are looking to purchase. Compare them in more detail than just price then talk to a roofing contractor about them and about your roofs needs to find the best product for you. Getting the facts before you purchase can save you costs in the long run.