Frequently Asked Commercial Roofing Questions

April 02, 2014

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What do I need to know about selecting a professional roofing contractor?
A roof system is only as good as the roofing contractor who installs it. The roof system is assembled on your building by a roofing contractor, thus the quality of the system is very dependent on a knowledgeable installer. This is why it is always important to choose a roofing contractor with a dedication to quality and a proven record. It is also important to choose a contractor with experience in multiple roofing systems so that the proper system is specified for your building. Furthermore, in the state of Florida, a legitimate roofing contractor will have proof of a state of Florida roofing license as well as workman’s compensation and general liability insurances.

What is the best flat roofing system available?
There is no one single roofing system available. If there were a “best” system… only that system would be installed. This is a mistake some roofers may make. However a roofing system should be chosen based on the architecture and use of the building. There are various categories of roofing systems, and each system and category has its own use. These categories include: steep slope (shingles, cedar, tiles) , built up (pitch, asphalt), modified bitumen (cold process, heat applied), single ply (EPDM-rubber, TPO or PVC -plastic) and liquid elastomeric(Urethane, Acrylic, SEBS). The key to a long lasting roof starts with the proper roof system for your building. A roofing contractor familiar with multiple types of roofing systems can assist you by specifying the proper system.

What about interior protection and dust?
If your roof is being torn off, dust on the interior can be a major concern, especially for a commercial property. Dust and small debris will make it's way into the area around pipes, curbs and other penetrations in the roof. if the roof substrate is wood, debris will also make it's way between the gaps around every board. If the roof substrate is gypsum it can be very dusty to repair. Normally interior protection is the responsibility of the building owner. However if interior dust protection is of a concern to you, make sure to discuss it with your roofing contractor, because there are options for interior dust protection.

What type of warranty should I look for and how do warranties vary?

There are multiple types of warranties for roofing systems. Workmanship, material, pro-rated, and limited are some types of warranties. Each warranty covers, or excludes, specific points of the roofing system. A workmanship warranty typically will cover defects caused by workmanship. Workmanship warranties are usually offered by the roofing contractor and sometimes also the material manufacturer. A material warranty typically will cover defects in the roofing material and is usually offered by the manufacturer. A pro-rated warranty is one that may last a certain term, but the dollar limit will decrease as time goes on. The opposite is true for a Non pro-rated warranty which is good for the full purchase price and does not depreciate in value as the roof ages.

The terms and conditions of all warranties will be spelled out in the warranty documents and a qualified roofing contractor will be able to provide samples of these documents. Choosing a warranty that is right for you can be done by knowing your options, and knowing what your goals are for the warranty.

What types of roofing insulation is available?

Roofing insulation is an important component of the roofing system. Roofing insulation is not always used, for all roofing systems. This is why it is important to work with a roofing contractor who is familiar with multiple roofing systems. Foremost the roof insulation provides insulating properties. Insulating properties are measured in R-value, which is the ability of the insulation to resist heat transfer. Roof insulation also provides an acceptable surface for installing some roofing systems. Some Roof insulation provides protection against foot traffic while others will improve drainage.

What type of maintenance is required on my new roof?

Just like the right roofing system varies from one building to another so does the required maintenance. Often times not much more than keeping the drains and gutters free from debris is all that is required. However it is recommended that comprehensive roof maintenance programs be set in place; this is especially true on detailed roofs, special-use buildings and buildings with older roofing systems.