The roof on a home and the roof on an office building serve the same basic function, which is to keep what belongs outside from reaching the interior. Rain, hail, sleet, birds, squirrels, falling leaves, dust and wind are just some of the things that you would probably prefer not to find inside your home, store, warehouse or office. However, despite the rudimentary similarities between commercial and residential roofs, there are several differences that you need to consider when selecting roof contractors.
Commercial & Residential Roofing: The Differences
Many options are available to homeowners, but asphalt shingles are the most common type of residential roofing material in America. Workers can become quite adept at installing asphalt shingles in a relatively short time, and shingles do not require an extensive array of tools for a quality installation. However, most commercial roofs are flat or low-slope roofs. They typically have a modified bitumen or other type of built-up roof. The roofing material requires care to avoid damaging it during installation, special tools are needed and crews need to be trained to apply the specific membrane chosen for the job.
Commercial buildings usually contain a great deal more space than a house. Depending on the weather and the time of year, the average home could be roofed by two or three workers in as little as one day. A commercial roof is going to require more workers, and it may take several days to complete the job.
Most single-family homes do not have a lot of roof penetrations or details. There may be a skylight or two, a chimney and several vents, but these penetrations are fairly standard and easily managed. A commercial roof may have access doors, smokestacks, HVAC equipment, water tanks and a variety of other penetrations and fixtures. Working around these obstacles can prove difficult, but making sure that leaks cannot occur around them is at least as critical as preventing leaks around residential roof penetrations.
Differences in Goals
When a homeowner chooses a roof, he or she may consider appearance to be of critical importance. The color of the roof, the subtle shadows provided by certain materials and the roof’s suitability for the home’s architecture may be foremost in his or her thoughts. However, with a commercial building, the emphasis is placed on functionality. How well the roof will resist the elements, the loads that will be placed upon it and the foot traffic it will need to support will be more important than the roof’s color or pattern.
Selecting a Contractor
Considering the differences between the two types of roofing projects, the choice of a contractor becomes of critical importance. The fact that a roofer has successfully applied asphalt shingles to 60 houses is no guarantee that he can install a modified bitumen system to a warehouse containing 100,000 square feet of space. Conversely, a roofer who has only installed low-slope roofs on commercial buildings may not have the skills to install a standing-seam metal roof on a single-family dwelling. Therefore, when selecting a contractor, it is always wise to choose someone who has extensive experience installing the specific type of roof that you need.
Why Alpha Is the Right Choice
Alpha Roofing is an Austin commercial roofing and residential roofing contractor. We have years of experience installing and repairing residential and commercial roofs in Austin. From asphalt shingles to modified bitumen systems, we have the specialized training and equipment to deliver work that is of exceptional quality at competitive prices. Whether you need a metal roof for your home or a durable, well-drained roofing system for your commercial building, we have professional, highly experienced installers on our staff to ensure that the job is done correctly. Our services include installing asphalt shingles, commercial roofs, metal roofs, skylights, flashing, siding and repairing roofs and chimneys; metal fabrication; maintenance programs; inspections for storm damage; debris and moss removal; and emergency roof repairs. If you have more questions about Commercial & Residential Roofing: The Differences or would like a free estimate, submit the quote request form online or call (512) 777-1086.