Commercial Roofers Los Angeles
Educating our customers on the various different roofing options available to them is very important to us. The more our customers know about roofing materials, the better they can tell us what they need. Generally, roof systems are separated into two different categories, Low Slope and Steep Slope. Low Slope systems are exactly what they sound like- systems installed on a roof with a low slope (a low slope being 2/12 or less). These are often called flat roofs colloquially, although few of them are truly flat. The flat roofs of commercial structures are drastically different from the steep slope roofs common nonresidential buildings. Because of these differences, low slope roof installation requires special attention to detail when selecting the roof system material and a highly trained team that specializes in low sloped roofs to complete the installation.
The following roofing materials are all suitable for low sloped roofing systems, though not every material is necessarily suited for every project. Our team of experts will be able to determine which materials will work best for you.
EPDM, which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is a synthetic rubber material that comes in a single ply membrane. It has been commercially available and used in commercial roofing installations for over forty years now. Benefits of EPDM include low installed weight (good for going over top of an existing roofing system if necessary), durability, longevity, ease of repairs and versatility which allows it to be installed on a wide variety of structures.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin, or TPO, is another flexible single ply membrane. It is different from EPDM because it is typically white in color and its seams are “heat welded” together, ensuring a strong seal. TPO roofing is relatively new to the marketplace, but seems to already be gaining in popularity. Benefits of TPO roofing include low installed weight, lower installation costs and added heat reflectivity which keeps the building’s cooling costs low during the warmer months.
Single ply PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) membrane is very similar in appearance to TPO, however the principle difference between the two materials is PVC’s chemical formulation and its longer presence in the marketplace. PVC requires a slightly larger investment than TPO, but matches all the other benefits. The main reason to choose PVC over TPO would be familiarity- it has been in the market longer and has been tried and tested by countless consumers by now.
Ketone Ethylene Ester, abbreviated KEE single ply membranes are made up of a drastically different chemical composition than both TPO and PVC. KEE does have a similar appearance to both of those materials, though. Benefits of choosing KEE roofing include high chemical resistance, low installed weight, durability and long lifespan.
Built-Up Roofing and Modified Bitumen
Built-Up Roofing is generally characterized by its successive installation of thin, separate layers of roofing material. BUR Systems can and have been installed with either coal tar pitch or hot asphalt. This may be a good option for historical buildings. While coal tar pitch roofs were very commonly installed on houses and other buildings right up until the early part of this decade, they were found to be a known carcinogen and thus use of this method has now all but ceased. The more modern, healthy alternative to this installation method, which produces a similar finished product, is hot asphalt. While BUR roofs are generally more expensive to install, they have a long lifespan and are very durable.
Modified Bitumen roof systems are similar to BUR’s due to their similar layered applications. The difference is the plies of modified bitumen are generally fewer and thicker. Modified Bitumen Roofs may be installed in a Cold Process Adhesive, Torched Down or secured with Hot Asphalt. The top ply sheet may be left smooth or you may opt to have a granular weathering surface. Less expensive than BUR Roofs, Modified Bitumen Roofs maintain the same durability and similar longevity.