When it comes to commercial grade roofing, you have several options. The most common roof on large buildings is the flat roof. Technically, these are low sloped roofs with a very small grade. They have the advantage of allowing appliances such as the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system to be installed on top of the building. Unfortunately, low sloped roofs can develop leaks that aren’t always easy to find. This is partly due to the way many flat roofs are made. The typical flat roof is a combination of decking, roofing felt, pitch or tar and an aggregate such as gravel. If the aggregate gets disturbed it could damage the felt or pitch and allow water to enter the building.
There are modern alternatives to hot tar roofs such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber, TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). The major differences are the material type and shrinkage factors. EPDM has a shrinkage factor of about three percent which can make this product unsuitable for certain applications. TPO and PVC are polymer membranes with a shrinkage factor of less than one half of a percent. A commercial roof installer in Emporia, KS can determine which is best for your roof.
Other benefits to modern materials include longer roof life and improved energy efficiency. Polymers such as PVC and TPO are designed to reflect sunlight and heat which reduces the effect of solar rays. Plus, polymers can be bonded to insulating materials which increases the building’s energy efficiency. This is more common when applying these polymers using the fully adhered method.
The alternative to a fully adhered installation uses mechanical fasteners. This method of installation is similar to the installation of shingles because the membranes are overlapped starting from the edge. Both methods of installation use heat to seal the seams. Heat is applied using a robotic tool so seam construction is uniform. For areas such as vents or flashing, the heat is applied by hand or an adhesive is used to generate a proper seal. If your roof has failed and you need help, be sure to consult an expert like Alpha Roofing LLC.