A good roof is crucial to the protection of your business’ infrastructural investments. A leaking or decaying roof can create an ingress for moisture and pests that can damage equipment and contaminate sterile areas while also reducing energy efficiency and increasing operational costs. Moreover, a roof in extreme disrepair can pose a real safety hazard to workers.
If it’s time to repair or replace your facility’s roofs but you don’t know where to begin, Preferred is here to help. Read on for helpful tips on planning your next industrial roofing project.
Depending on your location, timing is likely critical when planning your roofing project. While some roof types such at TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) can be installed during cold winter months, other roofing types such as asphalt or modified bitumen are temperature sensitive and must be installed during warmer seasons. It follows that projects should be budgeted and planned to occur during times of year that offer optimal weather and temperature ranges at your location.
In addition to accounting for seasonal weather patterns, prior to beginning an industrial roofing project, you will want to research the warranty of your existing roof. If your roof is under warranty, you will want to check with the manufacturer to determine how work must be completed in order to maintain the warranty. For instance, some manufacturers will require contractors to use specific fastening patterns while installing a roof. Similarly, you might want to check with your insurance company to make sure a roof is installed in a manner compliant with the requirements of your policy.
Preferred can install a number of different roofing types depending upon your operational needs. Common roofing materials include:
PVC roofing membranes are known for their high strength (350 pound per square foot minimum breaking strength) durability, and long service life. This roofing material is water tight, flame retardant, and chemical resistant, making it an especially good choice for restaurants and food manufacturing facilities that may expose their roofs to fats and oils that could potentially degrade other roofing materials.
Originally developed as a lower cost alternative I’ve to PVC roofing, TPO roofing membranes are said to combine the UV and heat resistance advantages EPDM roofing with the convenient hot air weldable properties of PVC. TPO is known to be strong, durable, and energy efficient, but as a relatively new technology to the market, it is not yet known if it shares the longevity of PVC roofing.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) rubber is one of the most established types of roofing material currently available for industrial applications. EPDM is an exceptionally shock absorbent material and as such is an ideal choice for buildings that might be subject to frequent hailstorms. It is also a good choice for roofs that see frequent foot and equipment traffic. Additionally, since EPDM typically does not reflect sunlight, it is recommended for roofs with affixed solar panels. As EPDM rubber is a petroleum product, it is susceptible to degradation from fats and oils. As such, it may not be the best choice for restaurants and food preparation facilities.
Modified bitumen is an asphalt based material that comes in sheets and is applied in layers to the roof of a building. This roofing type is highly melt and burn resistant making it a great choice for buildings in the vicinity of smokestacks and other potential ignition sources. Since the installation of modified bitumen rely on the use of adhesives, installation projects involving this material must be planned for warm weather.
As with all capital improvement projects, when planning a roof repair or replacement it is beneficial to work a budget around a project rather than work a project around a budget. We highly recommend project managers contact us for a free roof survey and estimate prior to even beginning your budgeting process. We can then help you determine priorities so that your project will fall within an acceptable budget.
It may also be useful to budget for possible declines in productivity due to down time in the event areas of your facility need to be closed during roof installation. Typically, down time will only occur if we need to repair the metal infrastructure of the roof. Additionally, while we always strive to mitigate such impacts, the operation of lifts and other equipment necessary to complete the job may disrupt landscaping. It might then become necessary to include landscape repair in your budget.
Roofing work is typically minimally disruptive to most businesses as it is usually only conducted on the exterior of buildings. That said, we will need set up staging areas at the sides of buildings to accommodate lifts, scaffolding, and dumpsters. Setting up such staging areas might have an effect on parking and may require pedestrian walking routes to be temporarily detoured. We recommend planning ahead to arrange auxiliary parking and alternative walking routes prior to the start of the project.
As noted above, most roofing projects will have a minimal impact on your day to day operations as we do not typically need to access any building interiors. The one exception to this rule occurs when the metal decking that comprises a roof’s infrastructure has begun to rot and needs to be repaired.
This type of repair will require us to remove old roof material and expose the building interior to the outdoors. Prior to conducting work, we will ensure all equipment inside the building are properly covered and protected against falling debris. As infrastructure repair will require area closures, we will conduct work during evenings and weekends in order to minimize disruptions to productivity.
When seeking a roofing contractor, research is of the utmost importance. Asking the right questions can make a big difference in the end result of your roofing project. To make sure you are hiring a competent and qualified company, we recommend you:
Industrial roofs will be under warranty by the manufacturer. As such, after completion of a job, an inspector will be sent by the manufacturer to ensure work has been done in accordance with their specifications. An approval by the manufacturer’s inspector acts as assurance that work is of the utmost quality.
To help ensure your newly installed roof will last as long as possible, we recommend an inspection and maintenance routine be conducted twice a year in fall and spring.