Commercial roofing projects are obviously larger in scale and scope than your typical residential roof installation or replacement job. That said, working on a commercial roof often involves more of everything – planning, thoroughness, materials, cost, practical considerations, etc. There are also stricter codes or regulations that commercial buildings need to adhere to, so it is crucial for a commercial roof replacement to be done correctly and successfully.
Whether you are the building owner or manager, there are ways you can equip yourself to better manage your roofing project, ensure its success and ultimately avoid wasting your resources. One is keeping yourself well-informed about the process as well as the various decisions that you have to make before the project begins and even up until the post-installation phase.
Today, we discuss the various factors that could affect the success of your commercial roof replacement project. We also share tips on post-installation roof maintenance so that you can ensure your commercial roofing is in great shape.
Factors to Consider for a Successful Commercial Roof Replacement
Several factors can affect the quality and performance of your new commercial roofing. And, in some cases, these can even have an impact on the longevity or durability of the roof system. That is why it is important to note the following considerations while you are still planning for your commercial roof replacement project.
Overlay vs. Tear-Off
When replacing a roof, you have an option to install a new roof on top of the old one (called an “overlay”) or to remove the old roofing before installing the new one (a “tear-off”). Because less work is involved in an overlay, this method is typically less expensive than a complete tear-off. However, it can also be unsafe, and the new roof may not last long if the base is an old, worn-out and unstable roof.
That said, if you want to be 100% sure about the quality of your new roofing, you might want to invest in a tear-off. If you are concerned about the additional time it would take for the roofing contractor to finish the job, don’t worry because many roofers specialize in this specific type of roof replacement and can remove and dispose of large roofs in a single day.
Weather is often one of the most challenging problems during roof installation since it can be unpredictable sometimes. Nevertheless, you can still determine the most practical time for a roof replacement based on the general weather patterns during a particular season. For instance, if an existing roof is already in a poor state, elements like rain, snow and sleet may worsen the circumstances. That said, you have to watch out for these elements as they may have already been soaking the insulation and penetrating into your building.
When the process for roof replacement starts, your contractor should take precautions and observe safety measures to protect assets directly below the roof. For example, a 20 by 25 foot blue polyethylene tear-resistant tarp can be used to cover exposed areas and protect these from weather damage while the installation is ongoing. Moreover, ensure that there are enough tarps to cover all the exposed areas.
Make sure there is enough time for planning, specification, evaluation and decision-making. It’s not uncommon for managers to underestimate the amount of time needed for these things, often resulting in a delayed start of the project in the fall or early winter. Of course, if you have been planning for a roof replacement in the spring or summer, you have to modify and consider a few new things if the job will actually start later than that. Remember that weather events usually vary per season so you have to take these things into account.
Each type of roof penetration could potentially present a unique installation problem. For example, rooftop HVAC equipment, plumbing exhausts and elevator shaft vents must be sealed properly to avoid risks of damage or potential issues. Parapet caps should also be sloped onto the roof where proper drainage exists. This would prevent water from running off the parapet and draining down the side of the building – which can cause discoloration, mold growth, algae and water intrusion through the walls.
Vent stacks should be inspected carefully, too. By the time that your roof is going to be replaced, many of the vent stacks have probably been in place for around 15 years or longer. So, before you install new flashing around them, make sure that the stacks have been inspected for signs of rust.
The new roof surface should have careful sloping in order to ensure proper drainage. Otherwise, pooling water can become a recurring problem. It may occur in low spots, where the roof surface dips and the water drains to downspouts. Of course, when water sits in these pools for more than a few days, this can cause water, dirt, dust and other debris to build up in the area – potentially shortening the lifespan of the roof. In addition to these factors, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can also speed up the deterioration of the roofing.
Post-Installation Maintenance Tips
The work doesn’t end at merely installing the new roof. It is also important to carry out an inspection and ensure that industry standards and local codes have been followed. That said, an inspection should be done right after the completion of the installation in order to discover and correct any defects that have occurred during the process.
Some of the things that the inspector should check are the roof penetrations, downspouts and roof equipment. The interior of the building should also be inspected for any damage. It is important to note that roofing warranty does not cover interior damage. That is why building owners would have to shoulder the expenses of the repairs necessitated by leaks or other roofing issues that prompted the roof replacement.
Furthermore, setting up a roof maintenance program is also an essential aspect of the post-installation phase as this would help you keep the roof in good condition for many years to come. It would protect your investment and ensure value for your money. It is usually recommended to hire a contractor for commercial roof maintenance since they can help you with reminders, implementation, inspections, repairs and other necessary tasks.
You can ask your roof replacement contractors if they also offer roof maintenance services. If not, you can turn to other companies that specialize specifically in maintaining commercial roofs. Don’t forget to check their reputation and qualifications for your peace of mind. This way, you can ensure that your roof maintenance program will be effective and carried out professionally. It may seem like an additional expense for building owners, but roof maintenance can prevent a number of problems in the long term and help save you money by avoiding major repairs.
AQ Roofing LLC has expertise in residential and commercial roofing services. We only use high-quality materials for every project we handle, and we make sure to follow best practices and industry standards. Apart from roof replacement, we also carry out other jobs like soffits replacement, gutter installation, siding replacement and more. Call us at (501) 951-1683, or fill out our contact form to request an estimate.