Answering Your Questions About Commercial Roofing

If you own a business or manage a commercial property in Tucson or Phoenix, you may have questions about how to ensure that your roof enjoys its full lifespan. Not only are premature roof replacements expensive, but keeping your property's roofing in good condition also helps protect your equipment and products, employees, and customers. Finally, a well-maintained roof can increase the value of your commercial property and improve its overall curb appeal.

Below we address some of the most commonly asked questions about commercial roofing, including how you can get the most out of your roofing.

What is the Most Common Type of Commercial Roof in Arizona?

A very common type of commercial roof is a built-up roof (BUR). A BUR consists of layered asphalt and ply sheets. These layers are then covered with a layer of gravel or mineral granules to protect them from UV rays, wind, and rain. This type of roof is cost-effective and durable, making it ideal for commercial buildings in Arizona.

EPDM rubber roofing is also a popular choice for commercial buildings because of its durability, low-maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency. It consists of a single-ply membrane made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber that is manufactured in large sheets and applied directly to the roof deck.

Other types of commercial roofing:

  • Polyurethane spray foam
  • Elastomeric, aluminum, and glass emulsion
  • Modified bitumen

Many commercial roofs can be coated to protect them from the elements and extend their life expectancy. Coatings, such as acrylic, polyurethane, silicone, and rubberized asphalt, are highly resilient and provide excellent protection against water damage and UV radiation.

How Long Do Commercial Roofs Last, and What Impacts Their Longevity?

A well-maintained commercial roof should last anywhere from 15 to 50 years. The lifespan will depend on factors like the materials used, climate, quality of installation, maintenance routine, and how much foot traffic the roof gets. For example, if your building has frequent foot traffic due to needing to access various rooftop systems, that could shorten its lifespan. Other factors like storms and hail can also damage a commercial roof prematurely.

If you know that you will require frequent roof access, such as to service HVAC and electrical systems, or you have other concerns regarding rooftop foot traffic, consult with our roofers before installation to ensure you select the type of roofing material that will hold up to your needs.

How Do You Protect a Flat Commercial Roof?

The majority of commercial roofs are flat. While flat roofs have many benefits, they also face unique challenges. For example, water drainage, in particular, is an issue. Without proper drainage, water can pool on a flat roof, making it more prone to leaks and structural damage. Additionally, flat roofs are more susceptible to UV damage which can degrade materials, causing cracks and other issues.

The best way to protect a flat commercial roof is by investing in high-quality materials that are designed for flat roofs (like EPDM rubber). Also, consider installing protective pads or mats over any areas where people will be walking on it regularly—this will help prevent damage from wear and tear over time.

How Are Commercial Roofs Maintained?

Regular inspections and maintenance are key for extending the life of your commercial roof. Inspections should be conducted at least once a year. That said, if your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan or you are experiencing chronic issues, you may wish to have it inspected twice a year. During inspections, our commercial roofing specialists will look for signs like cracked sealant around flashing or gaps between panels, which could indicate water infiltration issues that need to be fixed immediately.

What is the Process for Replacing a Commercial Roof?

Depending on the type of material used and the size or shape of your building, it can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks to replace an entire commercial roof system. The process includes everything from removing old shingles/tiles/panels down to installing new insulation/underlayment/vapor barrier, etc., before laying down the new roof, applying specialty coatings, and sealing everything with flashing around the edges.

The time a commercial reroofing project takes all depends on the size of the building, the condition of the old roof, whether any major repair work needs to happen, and the new roof being installed. The weather may also contribute, especially if you are replacing your new roof during the rainy season or when it is excessively hot outside.

To find out more about the process for replacing or repairing your commercial roof, reach out to Lyons Roofing online. Our team is standing by to answer your questions today.