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  • Types of Roofs

    Types of Roofs

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 Commercial Roofing

    Roofing systems today come in a variety of shapes and forms. Each roof system brings a unique set of benefits along with special requirements, so it is important to treat each building differently and look at the specific needs of the client in order to determine the best roofing option them.

    • Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)

      single-ply roofing is the fastest growing segment of the commercial roofing industry and provides exceptional resistance to ultraviolet radiation. TPO’s head welded seams are extremely efficient, resulting in the low occurrence of seam failures. TPO is relatively lightweight, however, it does not offer much strength in standing up to abuse. TPO has been tested as having excellent resistance to ozone, algae, and environmentally safe to install. TPO material can be fully adhered (or glued), mechanically fastened, or ballasted (membrane is loose laid and covered in rocks).

    • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

      synthetic rubber systems have been the industry leader for nearly half a century and it extremely resistant to weathering due to its ability to withstand low temperatures and the absorption of moisture. EPDM is durable and resistant to general wear and tear. The most popular EPDM membrane is black; however, it is also available in white. White EPDM offers more reflectance to UVA and infrared rays but does not provide the resistance to weathering as the black membrane does and it is more costly. The seams are either a liquid applied adhesive or a tape, which is dependent on the skills of the installer. EPDM material can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted.

    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

      Membrane roofing is one of the oldest in the industry. The membrane has a broad range or fire ratings and provides exceptional resistance to harsh chemicals and pollutants. PVC can be fully adhered (glued) or mechanically fastened; however, ballasted is not recommended due to the rocks and dust leaching plasticizers from the membrane. Due to the plasticizers, a separator sheet is needed between any asphalt, coal tar products, or polystyrene insulation. Also, PVC roofing is able to reflect approximately 90% of UV and other rays. This will lower the absorption of heat and, in turn, heavily reduce your cooling costs. The weathering package on the PVC membrane breaks down more quickly that other membranes causing a shorter life span for the roof and it also tends to shrink which eventually causes leaks.

    • Built-Up (BUR)

      Roof membrane is composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics. The bitumen typically used in BUR roof systems is asphalt, coal tar or cold-applied adhesive. The asphalt or coal tar is heated in a kettle and then applied by mop or mechanical spreader. Exposed asphalt is susceptible to weathering so a cap sheet or coating is applied. If coating is used, it must be reapplied over time. Many old buildings with low slope or flat roofs are topped with built-up roofing made from layers of asphalt-coated roofing felt. The top layer is usually covered with rock or gravel, which serves as a ballast to hold the roofing material down and protect it from UV damage.

    • Modified Bitumen

      Roofs are composed of multiple layers similar to BUR membranes. MB roof systems are usually installed as a two-ply system and fully adhered. MB roofs are durable and can handle abuse. There are three types of MB sheets, which include APP (resistant to high-temperature flow), SBS (withstands low temperatures), and SIS (rarely used self adhering sheets with low UV resistance). Modified bitumen displays the built in redundancy of asphalt built up, as well as the UV resistance and flexibility of a modified membrane. Modified Bitumen can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the color of its surface layer. On most occasions, the modified bitumen is capable of withstanding such heat, yet it is possible that this can severely reduce the performance air-conditioning equipment and other insulation additions.

    • Metal

      Roof panels are usually installed on steep sloped roofs that can shed water quickly due to its seams not being weather tight. There are two types of metal roofs; flat seam architectural panel (extremely labor intensive and expensive) and standing seam (raised joints above the water line that are either sealed mechanically, with sealant or tape). Metal roof coatings resist corrosion and provide a long-term solution that is relatively maintenance free. Metal roofs can more expensive than other roof systems, but can hold up better over time, depending greatly on the skill of the installer.

    Shingles are the most common and lease expensive option. They are installed on sloped roofs and are available in fiberglass (better fire resistance) or organic reinforcement. There are two design styles; three tab or architectural (dimensional/longer warranty duration).

    Medford Roofing has been providing Memphis and the surrounding areas with unmatched service and top-quality workmanship in the commercial industry. We have experience in installing every different type of roof system available today. Give us a call at 901-324-4577 to discuss the various types of commercial roofs available and how best to meet your the needs and preferences of your project.

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