When shopping around for a new or replacement roof for your building, you have a few different options for your particular needs. Some things you will want to take into consideration are cost, energy efficiency, and durability. Depending on the slope or pitch of the roof, there are 5 basic roofing systems worth reviewing.
Single-Ply Membrane Roofing
If your building has a low-slope or flat roof, a single-ply membrane is one of the most popular choices and a system that many roofing contractors are skilled at installing. This particular roof, also referred to as EPDM, is made up of rubber or synthetic rolls or sheets that are either chemically adhered or mechanically fastened to a layer of rigid insulation placed over the roof deck surface. The roof can be either black to absorb heat or white to reflect heat from the sun. When properly installed by a company like Allcon Roofing, a membrane roof system can provide protection for up to 30 years.
Another good option for a low-slope roof is a built-up roofing system (BUR). This is basically layers of asphalt, bitumen, or tar that is topped with gravel to create a continuous seamless surface. A built-up roof offers great protection from UV rays and water infiltration. If properly maintained, a BUR system is likely to have a life span of 40 years.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a liquid application that is sprayed across the surface of either a new roof deck or over an existing membrane roof. As the foam dries, it begins to expand until it forms a continuous solid layer of protection. One of the advantages of SPF is that this system is appropriate for most climates. It can also be repaired or recoated. Spray foam offers an energy-efficient and durable roof with a life span of up to 50 years.
Probably the most common roof material for sloped surfaces is composition or asphalt shingles. This type of system is ideal for steeply pitched surfaces. Shingle roofs are also available in materials such as terra-cotta, plastic, slate tiles, and wood shakes. Asphalt shingles are the most cost-effective option. Shingle roofs are quite durable and they can often be repaired. An architectural-grade asphalt shingle roof generally comes with a 25-year warranty.
For pitched and high-slope roofs, metal roofing is very popular right now. This material can be aluminum, copper, or steel. Most modern metal roofs are comprised often panels with interlocking standing seams. The panels are available in a variety of colors. A metal roof system is lightweight and relatively easy to install by a skilled crew. An advantage to metal roofs is that the material can be recycled, making this a sustainable product. A good metal roof can last 50 years or longer.
Whether you are covering an existing roof, replacing a roof, or installing a new roof on your building, There are a variety of options to choose from, as outlined here. Flat or low-slope surfaces can accept EPDM membranes, built-up systems, or spray foam. Steep-slope roof surfaces are perfect for shingle or metal roof systems. Ideally, you want to choose the most durable solution that fits within your budget. And, you want to be sure to have the roof installed by a licensed and insured roofing contractor.