The roof on your commercial building protects the structural components, the equipment housed in the building, and your furnishings, floor coverings, and inventory. Your roof also protects the health and safety of your tenants, customers, and employees. The cost of replacing a commercial roof can be substantial, so whether you need a total replacement or want to extend the life of your existing roof, there are several factors that you should consider.
How Long Should the Roof on a Commercial Building Last?
The life of your roof will primarily depend on three factors: the type of material, the quality of the maintenance that the roof receives, and the incidental damage it suffers.
• Material: There are many options available for flat roofs, and they all have different life expectancies. For example, a modified bitumen roof could require replacement in as little as 12 years, but it could also last as long as 25 years. A built-up roof system usually lasts between 15 and 25 years. An ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing membrane, commonly known as an EPDM membrane, has a life of 25 to 35 years.
• Maintenance: Annual roof inspections can catch and address small problems so that they do not become major issues. Commercial roofing contractors typically check for clogged gutters or drains, evidence of ponding, loose seams, punctured membranes and evidence of interior leaks. All of these problems can usually be remedied economically, but if they are allowed to persist, they can lead to the failure of the entire roof, structural damage, the growth of mold in the interior spaces, major interior leaks and damage to the insulation.
• Damage: Whether it is protecting a home or a commercial building, Texas roofing takes a beating from nature. Sunlight, hail, high winds, hot summers, humidity and thunderstorms all have the potential to damage your roof. Also, air conditioning systems and other pieces of heavy equipment are often mounted on commercial roofs, and when the equipment needs servicing, technicians can inadvertently inflict damage to your roof.
Is the Cheapest Roofing Material the Best Option?
The best way to decide on how much you want to spend on a new roof is to determine its lifetime costs. Add up the installation costs, the estimated repair costs and the routine maintenance costs, then divide that number by the number of years that the roofing material is expected to last. In many cases, the cheapest material can prove more expensive in the long run. For example, suppose you can choose between a material with an expected life of 15 years and one with an expected life of 30 years. After you consider the costs for removing the old roof, disposing of the material and installing the new roof, the cheaper material would need to be significantly less than half the price of the more expensive material.
On the other hand, perhaps you expect to move from the building in 10 years or so. You might be planning to sell it, or the building might be so old and have so many structural issues that you plan to demolish it after construction is completed on a new building. In that case, it might make more sense to choose the cheaper material.
Why Is the Choice of a Roofing Contractor Critical?
Commercial roofing contractors vary in terms of their experience, staffing, and credibility. An improperly installed roof can render the manufacturer’s warranty invalid, and you do not want to end up paying for the contractor’s mistake. When choosing a contractor, conduct the basic research you would perform for any vendor to determine the contractor’s reputation, but dig a little deeper.
• Will the work be performed by employees of the company, or will the contractor use temporary workers? Look for a roofing contractor who only uses company employees. Every task needs to be appropriately performed on a commercial roofing project. Employees tend to have more training and experience than casual laborers.
• Will any portion of the work be subcontracted? Subcontractors add a layer of complexity that you should try to avoid.
• Does the contractor hold any certifications from the company manufacturing the material? These certifications prove that the contractor has received specialized training and determined his competence.
If you need to repair, maintain or replace the roof on your commercial building, you can trust Alpha Roofing to deliver exceptional results. We are known for the quality of our work and our integrity. We offer both commercial and residential roofing services, including repairs, installations, and inspections. For a free quote, complete the online form or call 512-777-1086.