Commercial roofs are commonly flat, and the materials used on the buildings are different than what you see on a home. The material a commercial roofer will use is often a rubberized membrane that is stretched onto the roof and sealed at the edges to provide a durable surface that will last a long time if it is properly maintained.
Removing the Old Roofing Material
Often, the old commercial roofing is cracking and will come off the roof in pieces. The commercial roofer may need to heat the material to get it all off the roof, and in some situations, the damage to the roofing material may have allowed water to get under it.
If there is damage under the roofing, the commercial roofers may need to replace the insulation and the wood supporting the roof before the new roof can be installed. Most commercial roofs have several layers of insulation, foam boards, and support material that are put in place before the membrane is put on.
It is essential that all of those materials can still perform their job, so if there is any doubt, it is better to replace them during the roof replacement than to have to come back in a year and pull the membrane off to make repairs under it.
Prepping the Roof
Once the old roofing has been stripped off the roof, the commercial roofers will install any additional foam board, insulation, or support to the roof, and if you are adding skylights to the roof, this is the time for the openings to be cut. It is also crucial for the commercial roofer to check all the supports that hold the HVAC units on the roof and to repair the material sealing those down.
Replacing the entire roof and then having a leak around one of those attachment points can damage the new roof, and if the water is getting into the building, the ceiling inside can be destroyed. Often, the sealer around the rings is adequate, but it does not hurt to reseal them while the roofers are working on the building.
Installing the Roof
Once all the prep is done, the commercial roofer and crew can start applying the membrane to the roof. The material must be stretched over the roof in sections and sealed as each section is put in place. Stretching the membrane too much can cause stress, and a premature leak or failure could result.
The roofers will often take some extra time to ensure that they do not put too much tension on the material and instead add a seam partway across the roof to join several membrane pieces. Once the seam is complete, it will be as durable as the rest of the roof.
Contact a company that offers commercial roofing services to learn more.