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All About Commercial Roofing


min read

All About Commercial Roofing

RoofAll About Commercial Roofing

Are you thinking about installing a commercial roof, but just aren’t sure what type of roofing you’ll need? Are you looking to renovate a commercial rooftop and need some additional information to make the best possible choice? Well, you've come to the right place! Keep reading to learn all about the different materials, features, benefits, and prices for commercial roofs.

asphalt commercial roof_All About Commercial Roofing

Commercial Roofs: Types and Features

When one owns a commercial space, it’s important to periodically undertake roofing and/or other renovation work to avoid the building’s premature wear and to rightly promote the brand.

Choosing commercial roofing doesn’t come down to a random selection. It's important to choose a roofing material that can protect your building from the elements while still being adapted to the activity within. Take a look at the types of commercial roofs available and the advantages of each:

Asphalt and gravel roof

Asphalt and gravel roofs are widely used in Quebec due to their affordable price and long-lasting design. This type of roofing is suitable for flat or slightly sloped roofs. They’re generally composed of a multilayered membrane, which is essentially an asphalt-saturated felt underlayment. The added gravel prevents sunlight from damaging the asphalt.

Benefits of asphalt and gravel roofs:

  • Durability: This type of roofing has a 20 to 25-year lifespan when regularly maintained. 

  • Affordable price: Installing an asphalt and gravel roof is not as costly compared to other roofings made for flat or slightly sloped roofs, which are more expensive.

Elastomeric membrane roof

Over the last few years, elastomeric membranes have been rather popular in Quebec, especially for flat or slightly sloped building rooftops. This roofing technique requires two membranes: The first membrane is waterproof and overlaps the second membrane, which is coated with coloured granules on the surface to protect the bitumen from direct sunlight. Elastomeric membrane roofs can be installed in several ways: by self-adhesive, mechanically fastened, fused with hot asphalt, or thermo-welded with a propane torch. The membranes are sold in rolls, which makes this type of roofing ideal for hard-to-access roofs such as skyscrapers or urban rooftops.

Benefits of elastomeric membrane roofs:

  • Low-maintenance: Made for easy and simple maintenance.

  • Durability: With seasonal maintenance, elastomeric membranes last between 20 to 25 years.

metal commercial roof_All About Commercial Roofing

EPDM roofing

The EPDM membrane is a type of durable, rubber roofing membrane that is flexible and easy to maintain. Adapted for flat roofs, the EPDM roofing is highly weather and UV ray-resistant. Also, it’s super easy to install and eco-friendly since EPDM is a 100% recycled material. This type of membrane can be easily adapted to all roof shapes and used with other materials such as parapets and flashings.

Benefits of EPDM membranes:

  • Durability: This type of roofing lasts between 20 to 30 years.

  • Low-maintenance: Designed to reduce the amount of maintenance required.

TPO roofing

The TPO membrane is increasingly sought after for commercial roofing in Quebec. TPO membranes are 100% recyclable, white, and highly resistant material. The membrane reflects the sun's rays and doesn't retain heat, which prevents any equipment on the roof from overheating. Furthermore, TPO roofing significantly reduces heat islands and thus limits the building’s environmental impact.

Benefits of TPO roofing:

  • Good resistance: This type of roofing material is fire and extreme weather-resistant (high temperatures and strong winds).

  • Watertight: The TPO membrane’s joints are well-sealed, compared to most other materials.

Asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt shingle roofs have been used for over 100 years to protect homes and buildings. They're not designed for flat roofs, but rather suited for sloped roofs. Asphalt shingles are available in a variety of shapes and colours. Having them installed by a roofer allows water to run off the roof while giving the home a clean, beautiful look.

Benefits of asphalt single roofs:

  • Affordable price: Asphalt shingle roofs are rather cheap compared to other roofing materials

  • Durability: These last anywhere between 20 to 40 years.

Cold-applied roofing system

Cold-applied roofing systems are multi-layer systems designed with a few layers of modified elastomeric membranes that are topped with a layer of gravel. This type of roofing system doesn’t require a torch installation as is secured with liquid bitumen adhesive. It's perfect for skyscrapers and urban rooftops.

Benefits of a cold-applied roofing system:

  • Minimal odour: The cold-applied roofing system significantly reduces the smell of asphalt.

  • Good resistance: Easily withstands the elements.

metal commercial roof_All About Commercial Roofing

Factors that Influence the Price of Commercial Roof Renovations

Renovating a commercial roof isn't the same as renovating a residential one. Several factors can influence the cost of commercial roof repairs in Quebec:

  • Type of roofing material 

Naturally, more durable roof coatings tend to have a higher installation and repair cost compared to less durable roofing materials. Commercial roof renovation prices will differ depending on whether you’re using a PVC or elastomeric membrane.

  • Scope of work

The cost of commercial roof renovations largely depends on the scope of work needed. Is it minor repairs? Does your commercial roof need to be completely insulated?

  • Warranties

When installing or renovating a commercial roof, make sure that you choose a roofing company that offers sensible warranties. You can obtain a fair warranty on both labour and materials, but you’ll need to shop around for the best warranty.

commercial roofer_All About Commercial Roofing

How can you get a commercial roof at a lower cost?

To avoid an overly expensive commercial roof renovation, a regular inspection of said summit is a must, preferably one done by a team of professionals to ensure that no corner is left unturned. Once or twice a year, have a specialist inspect the rooftop, either during spring or late fall (or when the last leaves have fallen). That way, it’ll allow for a more accurate assessment of the damage and result in a faster repair.

The longer you put off repairing your roof, the worse the problem will get, and the higher the repair costs will be. As soon as you notice the slightest crack or knick in your roof, act on it. Fix it as soon as possible; your wallet will thank you.

flat commercial roof_All About Commercial Roofing

Cost of Replacing Different Types of Commercial Roofing

In Quebec, the cost of renovating a commercial roof varies on the type of material used, see below.

  • Asphalt and gravel roof: Between $9 - $11/square foot

  • EPDM membrane: Between $8 - $10/square foot

  • TPO membrane: Between $8 - $10/square foot

  • Asphalt shingle roof: Between $3.75 - $9/square foot

  • Cold-applied roofing system: Roughly $11/square foot

flat commercial roof_All About Commercial Roofing

Frequently Asked Questions: Commercial Roofs 

  • Can the work be done during the winter? 

Answer: Roofing work can be carried out during the winter. However, cold weather doesn't lend itself to certain products, which makes it near impossible to complete certain aspects of the work. Also, during the winter, repair work tends to be more expensive because the snow must be cleared beforehand.

  • When should I renovate my commercial roof?

Answer: Roof repair work occurs in case of any damage.

  • Why do I need to remove snow from my commercial rooftop?

Answer: Regular snow removal is important to prevent damage to your rooftop, such as a roof collapsing due to ice build-up from the roof ponds.

  • How can I protect my commercial roof?

Answer: Have your roof inspected periodically by certified roofers and repair it immediately at the first sign of trouble.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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