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Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

The roof is a crowning element of every building. It‘s important not only in terms of construction, but it also has a huge impact on the aesthetics of the entire structure. In contrast to residential construction, an industrial building‘s most important feature is functionality. Roofs that cover large warehouses or other commercial facilities have to be practical and cost-effective. Here’s an overview of the most popular commercial roofing systems in America.

The BUR system

The Built Up Roofing system, or BUR for short, has been popular for more than 100 years. These roof systems may be also called „tar and gravel” roofs. BUR systems got their name from their multiple layer „build up”. They generally consist of layers of bitumen (saturated asphalt, coal tar or cold-applied adhesive) and reinforcing felts composed of glass-fiber or organic mats. When joined with the bitumen layer, they form a durable roofing membrane. This type of roofing system can last many years – if one layer breaks down, the lower remaining layers stay intact and provide protection.

Single-Ply Membranes: TPO, PVC and EPDM systems

TPO, PVC and EPDM are single-ply synthetic membranes. These membranes have been used for roofs for a long time. Initially, the membranes were used only on flat roofs, currently, thanks to innovative installation systems; it is also possible to use them on roofs with higher slopes. Membranes, unlike other materials, have one basic advantage, namely they are resistant to very high and very low temperatures. Therefore they’re resistant to shrinking and stretching, which also reduces the permeability of the membrane. This type of material is widely used for commercial roofing, because it assures adequate draining from rain and snow. Thermoplastic membranes contain a reinforcing layer that provides greater strength and stability. The most popular thermoplastic membranes are EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin).

Metal Panel Roof System

Metal roofing systems are largely impact resistant and can withstand high winds. Metal roof panels are easy to process and can be installed using different methods, which is why they are commonly used in commercial construction. Metal constructions are durable, long-lasting, and relatively light in relation to their bearing capacity. They‘re easy to transport and assembly. They are recyclable as well and therefore – environmentally friendly. A metal roofing system can last for 40 to 50 years, when properly maintained. However, the investment for a metal roofing solution will more likely be much higher than other roofing solutions.

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