New Flat Commercial Roofing Systems

What Every Property Manager and Commercial Building Owner Needs to Know When Purchasing a New Flat Roofing System.

Title 24 Roof by Sully-Jones Escondido, CA

Polara Roof at the Civic Center Plaza, Escondido, CA

Are you considering a new roof for your commercial building? How much do you know about flat roofing systems? Read further to make sure that you are armed with the information you need to ask the right questions and insure that you are getting the right system for your commercial roof.

Because commercial flat roofs do not fully slope rainwater away, the way that a pitched roof would, it is critical that the flat roofing system installed be watertight in order to prevent damage to the roof, the building and it’s contents. There are different types of flat roofing systems, each with specific benefits:

TPO, Thermo Plastic Olefin is a vinyl based, single ply roofing membrane in the moderate cost range and are pretty much a maintenance free roofing system.

BUR – Built Up Roof Membrane roofs are built with three or more plies of reinforcing membrane alternated with hot tar then covered with a layer of gravel, granule surfacing or a smooth coating.

KEE – Ketone Ethylene Ester incorporates a unique plasticizer that keeps the material indefinitely flexible.

PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride is vinyl based single ply roofing membrane that can be fully adhered or mechanically attached.

Polara® – Polyester Reinforced Built-up Roofing System is similar to the asphalt fiberglass roofing system but polyester is much stronger than fiberglass so fewer layers are needed. The result is less weight on the structure and increased overall strength in the roofing system. This system can be installed over high-stress roof structures that cause normal roofing systems to split and tear.

If you are replacing a flat roof, have a roof inspection and identify which type of roof is currently installed. If you are planning a new build, consult with a professional roofing company to identify the right roofing system for the building’s design, intended use, environment and budget.

TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN GETTING BIDS ON A FLAT ROOF

  1. Ask for the Manufacturers Warranty. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous contractors bidding on projects regularly include a 15-year warranty in their contract but deliver a 10 or 12-year material. Ask that the contractor supply you with the warranty documentation supplied by the manufacturer of the materials you have in your contract then check to make sure that the brand name is matched to the material quoted on the contract.
  2. Ask the contractor if they are “Manufacturer’s Certified Installers” of the materials they are specifying. You would be stunned to find out how few of the roofing contractors bidding on the job are certified to install the specified materials. If the roofing contractor warranties their workmanship, ask them to provide it in writing and include wording that the roofing system and all flashings are installed to the manufacturers specifications.  Manufacturers want to know that their materials are installed correctly so they offer certification programs. Certification means that the contractor meets the standards set by the manufacturer, has had his work inspected regularly and that the manufacturer of the materials validates that this contractor knows how to perform all of the detail work as specified by the manufacturer. If the materials are not installed per the manufacturer’s specifications, the warranty will likely be void. By hiring a professional roofing company that is certified by the major roofing materials manufacturers, you can be assured that your roof is installed correctly and is protected by the manufacturers warranty.
  3. Ask the roofing contractor if they provide a warranty on their workmanship. Some, but definitely not all, offer warranties on workmanship. You want to hire a roofing company that stands behind their work. Some roofing contractors, like Sully-Jones Roofing, will even offer an extended warranty when you sign up for a regular roof maintenance program. We highly recommend that you have a roof maintenance program in place for your new roof. Studies have shown that roof life is substantially extended when properly maintained.
  4. Ask what the roofing contractor’s policies are if a leak or defect is found. If you find problems in workmanship or experience leaking, the roofing contractor should respond within 24 hours. You may want to add verbiage that specifies that if you do not get a response within 24 hours that you can contact another contractor to make the repairs to correct deficiencies in workmanship or to stop leaking, reimbursable by the installing company.
  5. Ask about Title 24 requirements. Many, but not all, commercial roofs must meet Title 24 Cool Roof requirements.

Today, TPO is one of the most popular roofing systems for reducing energy costs, especially in warm climates. White or light colored thermoplastic roof membranes offers superior solar reflectivity and provides exceptional tensile strength with a high level of puncture resistance. Since it offers both energy efficiency and low maintenance benefits, white TPO is one of the most durable and cost-effective solutions for both new commercial roofs and commercial re-roofing projects.

BUR roofs can be coated with a reflective coating to block the sun’s UV rays. This is an asphalt base coating that has a light pigment in it to block the sun’s UV rays from wearing out the material. This coating should be applied at a rate of 75 s/f per gallon. Ask the contractor at what rate he will apply the coating. Check to see that the contractor has delivered enough coating to apply to the system properly. If it is not applied at the specified thickness, the coating will not last for the life of the roof.

Sully-Jones Roofing is known as San Diego’s Flat Roof Expert. We are proud of our reputation for honesty, integrity and service. Clients include Southern California’s leading commercial, HOA and portent property owners and managers. See a list of our happy clients.

 Contact Us for a FREE Inspection and Estimate.

Comments

  1. Tip number two is an excellent thing to point out. When discussing details with a potential contractor, it is important to spell everything out in writing and have them sign it. This can save potential problems in the future.

  2. You have some great tips here for getting a flat roof. I especially like the five questions you have listed here, those are great. Asking for the manufacturers warranty can definitely save you a lot of trouble in the future.

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