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Old 05-24-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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roofing material suggestions - flat commercial roof

I need to replace a roof (complete tear-down) on a 40,000 square foot commercial building on Long Island in New York State. The building is one story high (about 20 feet from ground to roof) and has a large number of mechanical units and roof penetrations which will require flashing. There is no parapet but there are 6 inch roof curbs around part of the building perimeter.

I am the owner/operator of this building so I'm looking to replace this roof with a material that will stand up to abuse and will not need excessive maintenance; however, having said that I'd obviously like the roof replacement to be as cost-effective as possible. Can anyone help with a suggestion for the best possible roofing material/system within these parameters? I appreciate any help!


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Old 05-24-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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Everyone has their own prefrences and you'll hear guys saying why one is better than the other. On my website I wrote a page about various options I think it'll explain alot... Flat Roofing Options

My personal prefrence is single ply membrane. There are several kinds of membrane, TPO, PVC and EPDM. You'll find alot of the PVC guys slamming TPO. You'll have to do your own research on that, I personally like the material. Although I also like PVC. What I like about TPO and PVC is the fact that the seams and penetrations are heat welded. I much prefer that to the adhesive seams on EPDM.

Single ply membrane can be installed in a number of ways; mechanically attached/fastened, fully adhered or ballasted. Ballasted EPDM is the cheapest roof, but your structure must be built to support it. On a roof of your size you won't notice any signifigant price benefit IMO. Youa lso have to remember that there are different mill thicnkesses of single ply, anywhere from 45 up to 90 and various different mills inbetween. Finally the roofing system is more than just the roofing memmbrane. There is insulation and flashing details as well that must also be considered.

You must consider all of these factors when selecting a low slope membrane and a method of installation. When I am meeting with customers I often ask their warranty requirements. Low slope roofing is rated anywhere from 10-30 years depending on system and installation method. Obviously a 30 year roof will cost more upfront but will last much longer so you must look at the entire life cycle of the roof. I personally never recommend anything less than 15 years and try to steer my customer towards the 20 year roof.

I don't know what the deck type is nor the insulation requirements, so I really can't make a suggestion... overall if the roof were mine I'd probably be looking at a fully adhered 60 mil PVC. I'd put on as much insulation as I could afford as it'll come back to me in energy savings over time.


The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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Grumpy gave you some great information, but I would like to add, that utilizing the value and previous expweriences of a local roofing contractor from your area would be priceless.

I don't know if this contractor is nearby, but John of Advanced Roofing is a highly skilled and knowledeable roofing contractor you could discuss your options with.

Please feel free to ask any more specific questions if you like on this forum.

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Old 05-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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Single plys are great. If you have alot of foot trafic I would suggest and its generally required, is walk way mats. For a more durable roof look at a BUR, or built up ashpalt roof, (hot). The embeded gravel will help against foot trafic and these types of roofs with stand alot of trafic. THey are not cheep how ever, but then again anything on this size of roof wont be "cheap" Make sure you find a good contractor as this job is no small job.
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