The only people that pay attention to warehouses are the ones that own them. The roofing is often forgotten too. Warehouse roofing is essential to the overall quality and longevity of the warehouse. Warehouse roofing should be a top priority to building owners. Most people don’t ever need to think about them in their lifetime, yet they rely on them to store some of their most important goods. This means that warehouses need to have solid roofs, allowing you to store your goods for years at a time and not worry about any spoilage. A bad warehouse roof could cost you damaged goods, and thousands of dollars of lost capital. There are several types of warehouse roofing for you to consider to ensure this does not happen.
Are There Different Types of Warehouse Roofing?
Built-up roofing is the most common and most affordable type of roofing. The main benefit of a built-up roof is its insulating property as a result of the layers of sealants and membranes. Another benefit of this roof type is its aesthetic finish because the top layer of gravel is much more pleasing to the eye than the black rubbers and plastics of other roofs. The gravel is also better for withstanding foot traffic. The main problem is that these layers all add weight so you will need to have additional support in place.
Modified Bitumen Systems
For these roofs, the bitumen is mixed with a rubber membrane which makes it malleable enough to be formed into sheets. These sheets are glued onto the roof using a blowtorch. The roof is normally two plies thick, but it is nowhere near as heavy as a built-up roof, which makes it easier to install. It is also cheaper than many other membrane roofs. Modified bitumen roofing is great at reflecting light, so you can enjoy a lower energy bill. It does not take lightly to foot traffic and is better for roofs that won’t need access other than maintenance.
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is almost the exact opposite of built-up roofing. It is rolled on as a single sheet so is much lighter than built-up roofing and it can also be applied while the building is occupied. The sheets often come in white making them highly reflective. The sheets are also durable, which is good for warehouses that use the roof often. Since TPO comes in sheets, it needs to be bonded to itself, creating seams. These seams are stronger than the actual sheeting but you should plan to have to repair them after a decade or two. Failed seams could lead to leaks and water damage but with proper maintenance you can prevent this from becoming a problem.
Liquid applied roofing is a popular solution because they can be painted on or around nearly any existing roofing structure or fixture. Liquid materials are also seamless and one big solid layer. Liquid materials also fill in cracks, seams or other gaps in the roof, which improves the roof’s water resistance. These systems will not need to be reinforced with fabrics and will be applied directly to an existing roof structure. Liquid applied roofing uses sensitive materials so installation is expensive. The types of roofing material that fit in this category include:
- Acrylic coatings are chemically distinct from paints but can be applied in the same ways such as using brushes, rollers, and sprayers. Acrylic coatings are good for low-slope roofs that have some positive flow with minor pooling. They also offer superior resistance to foot traffic, impacts, and dust erosion.
- Silicone coatings are similar to acrylic coating systems but offer better water resistance to roofs that tend to have more pooling. They are much less likely to fail under standing water but are less durable than acrylic under physical stress.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing system in the U.S as a result of being very flexible and affordable. Many roofers have experience installing this system and it is the most widely available material. It’s also the most easily customized and easily stratified in quality. There are three main types of shingles used; dimensional shingles, strip shingles, and premium shingles. The one downside to shingle roofing is the shorter lifespan of about 20 years and they are not very durable under stress such as bad weather.
Metal roofing is the most expensive option for commercial buildings and you need to have some kind of slope to get the longest possible lifespan of metal. A metal roof will outlive almost everything else in the building as some properly installed metal roofing can last 100 years or more. Choose from three basic forms: sheets, tiles, and look-alikes. The look-a-like option just means the metal is designed to look like something else such as a cedar shake. Common metal roofing options include:
- Steel roofing materials are the most common and most mid-grade price option. It is often coated or mixed with another material to increase some kind of resistance factor for specific uses. Galvanized steel has a zinc coating to increase corrosion resistance.
- Aluminum roofing is a pricier option but more durable. Its price often restricts its use to smaller buildings It is a lighter metal for lower-durability roofs and offers easier installation. It is also easier to work with.
- Zinc roofing is the best option for high-stress environments, especially those with high chemical or saline water exposure such as cities, industrial areas or coastal areas. Zinc is also easy to fit but is also expensive so is often used along with other metals.
We understand that you have a choice when it comes to warehouse roofing and we are here to help. Reach out to us for all your warehouse roofing needs and we will make sure you get a roof to fit your budget, your building, and your goals.