Commercial Roofing – What Are My Options?

In many ways, commercial roofing is similar to residential roofing. You need quality materials, great workmanship, and industry knowledge to get the best results. However, in a lot of other ways, the process is entirely different. The work is on a much larger scale usually, plus there are plenty of additional considerations when building a roof for a commercial property.

There’s plenty to consider, such as the materials, ventilation, guttering, downpipes and overall rainwater management. Let’s take a look at what’s involved with commercial roofing, and what sort of options you have.

What is commercial roofing?

Commercial roofing has some added complexities that you won’t find when roofing or re-roofing a residential home. Typically, commercial roofing is a much larger-scale project due to the size of the roof and even the height of the roof. Many commercial and industrial buildings are a lot taller than your average home, meaning the roofing process is more difficult.

In addition, the style of roof is often quite different. Normal homes don’t vary too much in terms of the shape and structure of the roof, but commercial buildings are different. There are usually larger ventilation, heating and cooling systems to incorporate too, adding another layer of complexity.

As a building owner, you definitely need to hire a professional team of experts for most commercial roofing and repairs, whereas you may fix minor issues yourself at home.

Different types of commercial roofing materials

Commercial roofing materials need to be strong, long-lasting and durable under all weather conditions. While the same can be said for the roof of every house, the stakes can be somewhat higher for commercial properties. If you get your roofing wrong, the business inside can suffer huge losses through damaged stock and business downtime. So, it’s important to choose carefully when selecting products.

Here are some of the common roofing materials for commercial buildings.

Steel

Steel roofing is arguably the most popular type on the market today, and it comes in many different forms. You’ve probably heard of some sub-categories of steel roofing, such as Zincalume, Galvanized and Galvalume. All are unique in their own way, but their basis is steel.

The great thing about steel roofing is its strength and durability, plus it looks great. Typically, steel roofing is coated with a special finish before being sprayed with colour. That means its available in a wide range of colours so you can match the aesthetic of the rest of your building.

Zinc

Zinc is also a popular material used in the roofing game, and it’s also quite cost-effective. Metal fabricators love working with zinc because its easy to manipulate. It also has a very natural appearance, so it suits a lot of buildings throughout Australia.

When using zinc roofing, however, it’s important to be aware that it does have a slight chalking effect, and it may not be as durable as steel or aluminium.

Aluminium

Aluminium is another favourite among metal fabricators and roofing experts alike. It’s sometimes known as a cheaper roofing alternative; however, it is surprisingly durable and great to work with. It’s also lightweight and easy to install, making it popular among roofing contractors.

Aluminium also offers better corrosion resistance than steel and zinc, which makes it the perfect roofing material for damp climates. If your building gets a lot of rain, aluminium is a cost-effective yet durable choice.

Commercial roof ventilation

The ventilation for commercial roofing is extremely important for a number of reasons. Naturally, a commercial building is a considerable asset, so you want the roof protected from things like mould and moisture just as you would in a residential home. There’s also the comfort factor, because proper roof ventilation contributes to the control of temperature in the building. In a busy office or retail outlet, you don’t want to be cranking your air-conditioning full blast because your roof ventilation is insufficient.

Industrial buildings also have the capacity to generate more heat, especially from machinery, so it’s important that hot air has somewhere to go. Ventilation for commercial buildings is a bit more complex than the regular household whirlybirds, so it’s worth getting expert advice for this.

Rainwater management

Rainwater management is also important for commercial buildings, to protect the building’s structural integrity and the surrounding area. Unlike a residential home, you may not be too concerned about keeping the yard free of pooling water, but the area directly surrounding the building is usually crucial to your operations.

Without proper guttering and fascia, as well as correctly installed downpipes, water is going to run off your roof and likely form puddles all around the building. This means around doorways, loading bays, warehouse doors. It compromises the safety of your workers and visitors, so you need to pay special attention to ensure rainwater management is undertaken on your commercial building.

Without proper guttering, you also run the risk of soil erosion around your building. This allows water to seep into the foundations, and can severely compromise the structural integrity of your investment.

The building’s aesthetic

While providing a safe environment for workers, and having durable roofing that lasts are obviously the major concerns, that doesn’t mean your roof has to look bad. The aesthetic of your whole building can be changed by having a great roof, compared to a tired, old and worn-out roof.

Commercial properties need to look great in order to attract the best tenants, so having a roof that looks great can add to the whole appeal of the building. When you speak to your roofing contractors, as for their advice, because they’re experienced in designing great looking roofs. You’ll be able to choose colours and also different styles to best suit the general aesthetic of your building.

Consider future maintenance requirements

Finally, think about the ongoing maintenance requirements for your roof. Over time, every commercial roof should be inspected regularly and assesses for damage. It’s important for the safety of tenants and can also avoid far more costly repairs if things are left unchecked. To keep your maintenance costs as low as possible, seek advice from your roofing specialists. They’ll be able to advise the perfect materials and style to keep your roof in great condition for years to come.

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