You must consider many factors when your roof needs to be replaced or when you are constructing a building that requires a new roof: Price. Quality of the product being installed. Prefabrication. Installation disruptions. Ease of maintenance. Performance. Environmental impact. Life-cycle costs, and so on. It is crucial to review all of these aspects in order to make the wisest roofing choice and get the best long-term value for your investment.
This is the second in a series of posts that will discuss the issues involved in purchasing a roofing system.
Quality of the product being installed
Obviously, every building owner wants high-quality materials used on his/her building. When choosing a roofing system, it is very important to research the resources that are used to manufacture the finished product.
Most roofing manufacturers include product information on their web sites, where you can research the materials used in the production of their roofing systems. This knowledge can affect other valuable decision-making options.
For example, the makeup of a thermoplastic single-ply roofing system helps to create its reflective qualities, which impact how much a building owner can save on energy costs. Remember: the higher the reflectivity and emissivity qualities of the roofing membrane, the more you will likely save on energy costs during the summer months.
Additionally, the composition of the roofing system will determine how durable it will be as well as its ability to resist fire, chemicals, punctures, high winds, and weather extremes.
Many of these properties will be important, depending on the geographical location of your building. For instance, buildings in some parts of the United States experience “thermal shock” due to wide temperature extremes. Some roofing systems are more flexible than others, and are capable of expanding and contracting with temperature changes without jeopardizing the performance of the roofing system.
Some single-ply roofing manufacturers promote the idea that when it comes to performance, “thicker” means “better.” However, roofing system performance is based on several factors, including product composition, reinforcement, and thickness. Evaluate these criteria before you select your new roofing system:
Film formulation determines the flexibility of the membrane and its ability to resist crazing and cracking over time and to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Membrane thickness provides protection from water, snow, and ice.
Reinforcement provided by the scrim layer is the source of the membrane’s strength. The scrim protects against natural elements such as wind and hail, and from human activities that can cause punctures and tears. Reinforcement also gives dimensional stability to the membrane and strength against building movement.
Beside the product itself, a high-quality roofing system application is dependent on the experience and skills of the crew installing it. You can have the best roofing system available, but if the crew is inexperienced, rushed, or not detail-oriented, that system could be installed incorrectly and potential problems could arise. Before making a new roofing system investment, thoroughly investigate the contractor and crew who will be installing it.
Lastly, the quality of the roofing product itself is important, but so is the support you receive from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers stand behind their systems with strong warranties that may, for example, include coverage against ponding water and consequential damages. Solid warranty protection is a must when purchasing a roofing system, and is an indication of the confidence the manufacturer has in the quality of its roofing product.
In our third installment of Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System, we will discuss the benefits of “prefabrication” in a roofing system.