The flat roof on your commercial building protects the interior from damage due to wind, rain, snow, and other elements. Learning more about the layers of your flat roof can help you understand the importance of keeping it in good condition. It can also make it easier to determine if you might need to replace your roof.
1. Number of Layers in a Flat Roof
The layers of a flat roof typically include weatherproofing, reinforcement, and surfacing. Weatherproofing layers prevent moisture from seeping into your building. Flat roofs should have a minimum of one weatherproofing layer, although some might have more than one, such as a barrier to protect against ice and snow damage. Different weatherproofing materials are used for flat roofs, such as bituminous membranes and polyurethane liquid membranes.
A reinforcement layer makes flat roofs durable and provides structural stability. For example, flat roofs roofed with bitumen typically have felt layers for reinforcement. These layers reduce the risk of having holes or tears develop in your roof, which lowers the risk of leaks and other damage.
A surfacing layer helps prevent the layers below it from being damaged. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays and weather, for example, could damage these lower layers without adequate protection. Although the weatherproofing and reinforcement layers on a commercial flat roof are made to be durable, they benefit from having this added layer of protection. This surfacing layer also helps your commercial roof last longer.
2. Adding Layers to an Existing Roof
When one of your roof layers becomes worn, you might consider adding another layer over it rather than replacing it. Massachusetts and New Hampshire do not allow this under certain circumstances, such as when adding a layer would affect the roof’s structural integrity or when a layer has extensive water damage.
Having one or more layers added to your roof is an alternative to replacing your entire roof. In the short term, this might save you time and money. Adding layers usually costs less and requires less time to complete than a roof replacement, but it’s essential to consider the drawbacks.
- Too many layers can make your roof too heavy, which can put your interior at risk of damage due to collapse.
- Adding a layer could potentially cover up hidden damage instead of fixing it.
Different flat roofing materials will have different benefits and drawbacks. Talk to your roofer before deciding to add layers or replace the roof, whether in whole or in sections.
3. Recovering Roof vs. Tearing Off and Reinstalling Roof
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to recoat your roof or tear it off and reinstall it.
- What are the local building codes in your city or county? Your local building codes might have restrictions on adding layers to your roof.
- How many layers does your flat roof already have? This is a fundamental question to answer since too many layers can make your building unsafe.
- What condition is your current roof in? If your roof is not in good condition, such as having extensive wood rot or water damage, you should plan on having it replaced. Professional roofers can inspect your roof for you to determine its condition.
- What kind of flat roof system do you have? What kind of building are you in? The type of flat roof system you have and the type of commercial building you’re in can also affect whether you should add layers or have a total replacement done.
4. Rely on Experts for Advice on Your Flat Roof
If you’re not sure of the answers to questions about your flat roof, talk to local roofing professionals. Our experts at Adam Vaillancourt Roofing can provide you with the information you need and help you determine if it’s time for a flat roof replacement. We’ve been installing, repairing, and maintaining high-quality roofing for residential and commercial property owners and managers for several years.
Adam Vaillancourt Roofing is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating and the highest credentialed ranking from CertainTeed and Owens Corning. This partnership with well-respected roof manufacturers allows us to provide customers with the best warranties. Over the years, our company has built a strong reputation for providing excellent service. Whether you end up adding a layer to your commercial roof or scheduling a roof replacement, you can depend on receiving the highest quality service.
If you need flat roof installation or other roofing services for your commercial building, please contact Adam Vaillancourt Roofing today for more information about our services. We provide commercial roofing services for customers in the Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire areas.