What makes commercial roofing different from home roofing?
Commercial roofing applies to premises such as hospitals, schools, shops, warehouses, business premises, airports, convention centres and the like. The corrugated metal sheet is the most preferred roofing material for commercial applications across Australia. In recent times, Colorbond has established itself as a reliable brand for both domestic as well as commercial roofing needs. Light weight, versatility and great resilience are among the primary attributes that have helped Colorbond gain acceptance from users across Australia.
Unlike homes, most commercial properties have larger spans which mean that many traditional roofing products used in homes are not viable. Wind conditions, proximity to sea or large water bodies are also among considerations that will influence the selection of roofing material for commercial applications. Rubber roofing has gained significant traction in recent times for commercial roofing, though this can be considered for home roofing too. In some cases, rubber roofing what Euro Solar offers could be an ideal solution to obtain green certification.
Other major factors influencing commercial roofing projects include time as well as budget. Most commercial roofing also chooses metal roofing because of its light weight, ease of installation and a full range of professional solutions.
Colorbond and Zincalume are among the popular options for commercial metal roofing. Both these products have excellent durability. However, with Colorbond you also can choose from a wide range of colours. Zincalume is offered only in one standard colour and is relatively more economical compared to Colorbond.
Apart from material selection, some of the important considerations that go into commercial roofing include:
Though some commercial buildings will have pitched roofs similar to homes, the thumb rule is a flat roof with the low incline. The square footage of most commercial roofs is also significantly more compared to residential roofs and therefore has specific design considerations. Extra strength for supporting the weight of cooling/warming equipment and ventilation, as well as an implicit drainage system, are among these considerations.
Certain types of materials used in residential roofs also find application in commercial roofs. Black-top shingles and metal boards are prominent among these, particularly on slanted roofs in commercial buildings. While the ‘low incline’ commercial roofs hold out well against the vagaries of climate, when it comes to leaks, it is generally without defence. Therefore, the material chosen should be significantly hardened to suit the larger areas. This is also one reason why modified bitumen, built-up roofing and single-ply membranes are used to secure little incline commercial roofs.
Installing commercial roofs calls for professional expertise since the roofer must have the ability to work with the roofing material he is handling and addressing particular challenges in rendering flat roofs water tight through the effective introduction of flashing, proper sealing of welding creases and working around parapets and blocks to guarantee satisfactory drainage. He will also be expected to address issues related to ‘ponding’ and possible structural failure. To achieve all these, commercial roofers also need specialised equipment and adequately trained workforce.
Maintenance requirements are also distinct for commercial roofs. Membrane punctures, crease partitions, pounding, splitting and shrinkage are among the typical issues in a commercial roof. Regular checks and appropriate maintenance are therefore necessary to retain the integrity of the roof and manage potential issues quickly. Remember also that roofs of all description are exposed to forces of nature 24x7x365. Oscillating between extreme temperatures, the wind, ice and snow your roof is expected to protect your building and the people inside unfailingly. This is one more reason why regular maintenance is necessary for your roof.
Additionally, an annual maintenance program will extend the life cycle of your roofing system and allow you to undertake comprehensive repairs to prevent potential hardships.
Weather direction, climatic trends, and building codes are also among primary considerations while choosing commercial roofing products and roofers. Geography can play a significant role regarding snow load, wind velocity, and annual rainfall. These factors can also potentially vary from one year to the other. The orientation of the roof as well as trees in the neighbourhood shading the roof will also have an impact.
Use of the building
Roofing choice for a warehouse and a hospital are different. While a leak proof roof is needed in both the instances, the roof of a hospital should provide the comfortable environment for the patients as well as the staff. Therefore, the best fit for a warehouse cannot be copied to a school or a shopping centre.