Today, property owners have a variety of types of commercial roofing systems to choose from. However, each type has its advantages depending on site access, structural load, finished appearance, warranty and performance criteria.
Commercial buildings such as warehouses, factories and apartment buildings feature low slope roofing. Also known as flat roofing, this style refers to the very slight incline of the roof (less than 3 inches per foot for purposes of water drainage). When it comes to low-slope commercial roofing systems, there are three main components:
- Firstly, a weatherproofing component keeps water from entering a roof assembly.
- Secondly, a reinforcement component to a roof membrane enhances strength, puncture resistance and dimensional stability.
- Finally, a surfacing component protects the weatherproofing and reinforcement components from sunlight and weather.
Above all, most commercial roofing features bitumen (asphalt) material. Overall, these types of commercial roofing systems fall into three basic categories: Built-Up Roofing (BUR), Modified Bitumen and Hybrid Systems.
BUR (Built-Up Roofing)
Roofers in North America have been using the traditional BUR system for over 100 years. This type of commercial roofing is composed of layers of asphalt and fabrics known as roofing felts that form a durable roofing membrane. We reinforce the felts by combining bitumen and fiberglass mats or organic mats. These systems can include several “plies” or roofing membrane layers. If one breaks down, the others still provide protection.
Modified Bitumen (Mod Bit)
Mod Bit systems feature additives that enhance traditional asphalt performance in this type of commercial roofing. These additives often include rubber (SBS) or plastic (APP) ingredients for increased flexibility. We reinforce these systems for added strength and stability. In short, the advantage of Mod Bit systems is they are easy to install, typically hot-mopped like traditional BUR or heat welded. They are also easy to maintain and cost-efficient.
Hybrid Commercial Roofing
Of course, in some cases, a commercial roof can feature a combination of the two systems. Traditional BUR base sheets and interplay sheets provide waterproofing. We bond those layers with an SBS or APP cap sheet for fire and UV radiation protection. Overall, hybrid commercial roofing systems offer the best of Mod Bit and BUR systems—multiple plies with superior performance.
When working with a commercial roofing professional that is licensed in New Jersey and has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau, they can help you understand the different benefits of commercial roofing types available. At Powell’s roofing, For more information about types of commercial roofing systems in New Jersey, contact us at Powell’s Roofing & Siding today.