Types of Warehouse Roofing

Warehouse Roofing Types

Checking the age of your building and comparing that to the currently leading roofing method to determine whether you require an upgrade is something worth doing. But, when it comes time to repair, replace, or update the roof of your warehouse or other commercial structure, which option is the best?

While each roof is different, there’s a handful of types that work in the vast majority of situations. Let’s now focus on the commonest warehouse roofing types and roofing materials that are currently available.

Liquid-Applied Roofing

Here are some basic universal truths when it comes to many roofs that start out as a liquid:

– Since they can be painted on or around just about any existing roofing fixture or structure, they are de facto custom-fitted roofing solutions.

– Liquid materials are monolithic and seamless, which means that it is one massive solid layer of material.

– Fabric reinforcement is almost always never required.

– You have to apply this type of roofing to an existing roof structure.

– Liquid materials fill in seams, cracks, or other gaps in the roof thus instantly enhancing the roof’s water resistance.

The types of roofing materials that fall under this category include:

Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic coatings are similar to paints because they can be delivered to the surface in similar ways i.e., using sprayers, rollers, and brushes, but are chemically distinct. Acrylic coatings are ideal for low-slope roofs with some positive flow and minor pooling. They also provider superior resistance to impacts, foot traffic, and dust erosion.

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coatings are similar to acrylic coatings, but provide superior water resistance to roofs that usually have more pooling. They are far less likely to fail to understand water but tend to be more durable than acrylic coatings under physical stress.

Both acrylic and silicone coatings are problematic when it comes to labor and installation. They are highly sensitive materials before maturity and roofers typically charge premiums for their expertise. Weather conditions can also prohibit installation.

Warehouse Roofing Membranes

Single-ply membranes are essentially self-explanatory. A rubber-like material is rolled out over a low-slope room and held on the roof via fasteners, chemical adhesion, ballasts, or with a combination of all three.

3 basic types of single-ply roofing membranes comprise what you’ll most likely come across and all have complicated names and an easier acronym:

Polyvinyl Chloride = PVC
Thermoplastic polyolefin = TPO
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer = EPDM

Each of the three membranes above has unique characteristics. One is better at one thing compared to another. For instance, PVC membranes have better resistance to chemical exposure in industrial or polluted urban areas while TPO membranes offer superior erosion and puncture resistance.

Multi-Layer Membranes

Rolled bitumen is another more common, more affordable option. It isn’t inaccurate to think of those as rolls of material that resemble shingles. It also uses the same fastening techniques as single-ply membranes. The major difference is that multiple overlapping layers are usually required.

Built-up roof systems vary significantly. As the name suggests, however, several substances and layers factor in. The more common materials include tar or other liquid polymers, bitumen or other aggregates, fabric or fiberglass sheets, as well as reflective top layers.

Multi-layer membranes are typically more affordable than other systems, but they often take a bit longer to install and have more points of failure through multiple seams and layers. Heat, usually through blow torches or heated rubber-like materials during installation carry an inherent fire risk.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing system in the United States and for good reason. It is a flexible system in many different ways.

It is usually more affordable. Most roofers have some experience installing this system. It is the most available material. It is also the most easily customizable and easily stratified when it comes to quality.

The three types of shingles considered here are strip shingles, dimensional shingles, and premium shingles.

Asphalt shingles have two major downsides as a roofing system: durability under stress and length of life. The vast majority of asphalt shingle roofs have lifetimes of below 20 years. Shingles also have the negative habit of blowing off or being compromised otherwise in bad weather.

Metal Roofing

The most expensive option for commercial buildings is metal roofing and a slope of some kind is needed to get the most out of metal’s possible lifespan.

The upside of this type of roofing is that it will likely outlive everything else in the building. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that some metal roofs are capable of lasting 100+ years.

Metal roofing comes in 3 basic forms: tiles, sheets, and look-alikes. The look-alike option simply means that the metal is designed to look like something different such as cedar shake.

If you find that the metal roofing installer is a bit distressed, you shouldn’t be surprised. The prices for metals used in roofing are on the rise ever since the trade war between the United States and China started.

Steel roofing is the most common and most mid-grade price option. It is usually mixed or coated with another material to increase the resistance factor of some kind for certain specific uses. Galvanized steel has a zinc coating for better corrosion resistance while galvalume steel is coated with aluminum for better corrosion resistance and increased reflectivity.

Aluminum roofing costs more but is more durable. Its price usually restricts its use to either smaller buildings or sections of commercial buildings. It is a lighter metal for easier installation or lower-durability roofs. Working with it is also easier and is more easily fitted to roof interruptions.

Zinc roofing is ideal for high-stress environments, particularly those with high exposure to chemicals or saline water such as coastal areas, industrial areas, or cities. Zinc is also easy to fit roofing specifics. Unfortunately, it is also quite expensive and that’s why it is typically used with other metals.

Now You Know, It Is Time to Go

Yesterday was the perfect time to fix that problematic roof. Every minute you spend not updating, fixing, or installing a roof is time spent without enjoying the full benefit of a building.


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