At Texas Plains Roofing, we help you choose the right commercial roofing solution for your building and budget. We want you as a building owner to feel equipped in this decision, so we thought we would explore the six most common types of roofing options installed in the Texas Panhandle and give you an idea of relative advantages and disadvantages for each one.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is not the most common type of roofing material. It has been around since the early 1960s for industrial and commercial roof membranes. An SPF roofing system can be used in any climate. It is a durable and seamless system that is sprayed on as a liquid and expands into a foam. The foam creates a solid layer across an existing roof. When it is correctly installed and maintained, an SPF roof can last more than 50 years.
- Easy Installation. Application of the foam coating is quick and can be applied without interrupting your regular operations.
- Fits All Roof Shapes. SPF foam corresponds to a wide variety of roof shapes and types. It’s usually a good fit for irregularly shaped roofs. It can be applied over asphalt, shingles, concrete, metal, or wood and is fully adhering.
- Energy Efficient. SPF roofing products are energy efficient with the highest R-value per inch of any roof material. It is a great insulator for your building, lowering energy costs. The silicone top coating is UV resistant and reduces heat absorption.
- Easy Maintenance. An SPF roof requires minimal maintenance. It can last more than five decades. It should be inspected biannually and after a weather event. A silicone re-coating may be necessary. There is no tear-off of existing foam. The silicone may be applied on top of the current system.
- Seamless and Waterproof. SPF eliminates the vulnerability of seams and penetrations. It fills gaps, seams, and cracks. The foam expands and contracts with the building and does not easily crack or split.
- Renewable and Sustainable. Once you apply an SPF roof it eliminates the need for roof tear-offs and waste. The materials are environmentally friendly.
It requires a high degree of technical knowledge and expertise to properly install, maintain and repair an SPF roof system. The foam can only be sprayed on during optimal weather conditions. It cannot be applied when there is ice, frost, surface moisture, or visible condensation on the existing roof. High winds can carry overspray onto surrounding surfaces. Extra precautions must be taken in the Texas Panhandle to protect cars and property.
Single Ply Membrane Roofing
Single ply membrane roofing systems are sheets of rubber and other synthetics applied to the surface of a commercial roof. There are several types of single-ply membrane roofing. Some are more cost-effective solutions. Others are more suitable to irregularly shaped roofs. The types of single-ply roofing membrane are as follows:
- PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)
- EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
- TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)
- TPE (Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer)
- PIB (Polyiso Butylene)
- Proven Track Record. Single ply roofing systems have been in use for more than 60 years. It is a proven high-performing roofing option.
- Insulation Options. There are a lot of different insulation materials that can be used with single ply roofing, including Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), and Extruded Polystyrene (XPS).
- Choice of Heat Reflective or Retentive. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is what is used on White Roofs. It is highly reflective and comes also in tan, gray, green, blue, and red. It is heat reflective and durable. On the other end of the spectrum, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM Roofing) is naturally dark colored and is used on Black Roofs. It is durable and heat retentive.
- Easy Installation. Installation is relatively simple compared to Spray Polyurethane Foam. The existing roof is either cleaned or removed. Then the insulation layers are installed and protected by a cover board.
- Lightweight and Flexible. Compared to other commercial flat roof systems, single ply membrane is lightweight and relieves structural stress. It is also flexible and stays intact with the normal expansion and contraction of a building.
Single Ply Roofing is thin layer and easily punctured. Dropped tools, loose gravel or loose screws can push through the membrane, creating holes and potential leaks. Cutting out membrane around skylights, air and plumbing vents, is more tedious and time consuming. Seams are vulnerable to leaks especially those that are directly exposed to the sun’s UV rays.
Metal roofing, if properly installed and maintained, can last 40 years. It comes in a variety of materials and choices. Most metal roofing systems use corrugated galvanized steel. Some metal roofs are made out of aluminum or tin.
Metal roofing is lightweight and can be installed on top of an existing roof. Usually a coating is added for waterproofing, rust protection, and UV shielding. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, reducing cooling costs by 10 to 25 percent. They are stable in high winds and snow which makes it a suitable long term roofing system for the Texas Panhandle.Metal roofing is energy efficient and fire resistant. A metal roof is made of recycled content and usually can be recycled at the end of its roof cycle.
Metal roofs can be loud during rain or hail storms. They are susceptible to staining and can fade over time. Metal roofs are vulnerable to seam failures that can cause leaks. And they are more expensive than most other roofing options.
Built-up roofing systems have been used on commercial buildings for more than 100 years. They are commonly called “tar and gravel” roofs. They are installed by alternating layers of tar or asphalt with supporting fabrics. An individual layer is called a ply. The number of plies depends on the roofing application. The final layer of the built-up roofing system is made of stone or gravel.
These roofs can last 40 years. When properly installed, the surface does not require joints or seams. They are not vulnerable to leaks and require minimal upkeep after installation.
Installing a built-up roofing system is labor intensive. There is a safety concern because of the hazardous fumes and vapors when installing it. Built-up roofing is heavy and can add unwanted loads to the structure of a building. Without the gravel layer, the top layer membrane breaks down quickly under the UV rays of the sun.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
The modified bitumen roofing system offers great flexibility and impact resistance. It is a strong and compatible with many different roof designs. The SBS membranes that make up the base and cap sheets can be hot asphalt applied, worked in with a torch, or put on with a cold process.
This is a very durable roof that is weather resistant and easy to repair. Because the rolls are factory manufactured, they are easier to install and ensure quality control. Modified bitumen roofing expands and contracts with hot and cold weather. It is one of the longer lasting roofing options for flat roofs and can be applied in any season. Considered the most popular roofing system in the North American roofing industry. It is designed for flat or low slope roofs.
Modified bitumen roofing, especially the older styles, can be a potential fire hazard.
Texas Plains Roofing does commercial roofing right. If you need an inspection or a repair or want to get on a commercial roof maintenance program or need a new roof installed, just give us a call. Texas Plains Roofing where estimates are always free.