Up on the Rooftop
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Up on the Rooftop

The next time you walk outside, take a moment to gaze up at your roof. What do you see? Do you see even shingles that are all laying flat? Or do you see shingles that are starting to curl and that are covered in moss? You can tell a lot about the condition of your roof just by looking at it. If you are at all concerned about the state of your roof, then your first call should be to a roofing contractor. They can evaluate the situation and recommend repairs or replacement as needed. Learn more about roofing and roofing contractors here on this website.


Up on the Rooftop

5 Factors That Determine The Success Of A Commercial Metal Roof Installation Project

Lori Silva

Metal roofing systems are a popular choice for commercial and industrial structures. Metal roofs are sturdy, with a lifespan of over five decades. They are fire-resistant, which is a bonus for commercial structures. However, their longevity and performance heavily depend on the installation process. 

Before embarking on commercial roofing works, it's important to evaluate the factors that determine the project's success — success being a durable, functional, and visually appealing roof. Below are five factors to consider that influence the outcome of the project. 

1. Roof Design

Poor design is one of the leading causes of roof failure. Traditional roofs have a high pitch that allows easy water-shedding through the gutters. On the other hand, modern designs feature flat or slightly-pitched roofs, which can present various challenges. When incorrectly designed, flat roofs promote ponding and ice buildup. These problems accelerate metal roof deterioration and failure.

When designing a roof, pay attention to the problems that may arise from your design. If you're installing a flat roof, address water infiltration, ponding, and ice buildup at the design stage. Also, think about whether you wish to install equipment such as skylights, vents, and HVAC on the roof. The chosen design should accommodate these features without undermining the structural integrity and roof performance.

2. Preparation Procedures

Proper preparation is crucial to a commercial roofing project. Here, preparation refers to: 

  • Measuring the roof slope and length correctly
  • Cutting panels to the precise sizes
  • Properly-sizing flashing and other fittings
  • Accounting for penetrations, curbs, and HVAC equipment

Proper planning ensures warranty compliance and reduces mistakes during the installation process. Sizing the panels and fittings properly prevents on-site modifications, as these can lead to imprecise cuts and sped-up rust. Roofing preparation requires smooth communication between you, the designer, and the contractor. Any breakdown in communication at this stage can lead to costly mistakes.

3. Contractor Experience and Expertise

How experienced is your roofing contractor? Lack of experience and expertise in handling commercial roofing installations can lead to roof failure. Thus, before hiring a roofing contractor, ask the following questions:

  • Has the roofer handled projects similar to yours in the past?
  • Does the roofing crew possess proper training?
  • Is the contractor licensed and insured?
  • What steps will the roofer take to mitigate project risks?

Addressing these issues will help reduce workmanship errors and mistakes, speed up the project, and reduce labor costs. If errors occur, your contractor's insurance coverage will pay for the damages incurred. 

4. Roof Waterproofing

Water pooling and infiltration are among the leading causes of metal roof failure. The risk of ponding and infiltration is increased if you choose a flat roof or low-slope system. One way of mitigating these risks is by waterproofing your commercial roof. Waterproofing refers to the process of adding a protective membrane to the metal roof. This membrane acts as a protective layer that prevents infiltration and protects the surface from water damage.

Waterproofing is necessary for both flat and low-sloped roofs. However, it is also essential for steep-sloped commercial roofs as it protects the metal from degradation. Energy Star-certified waterproofing products reduce energy costs by up to 15%, and they may even qualify for government rebates.

5. Post-Installation Inspection

Post-installation inspection is an essential procedure that unearths workmanship errors and mistakes. Some mistakes made at this stage can even void your roofing warranty. Thus, before concluding the project, look out for these issues:

  • Use of incorrect underlayment
  • Inadequate roof ventilation
  • Use of the wrong sealants
  • Unsealed edges

The roofing crew may also leave unsealed scratches after walking over the metal surface. Inspect and fix these issues to prevent future failure and validate your warranty.

Before installing a commercial metal roof, discuss the above issues with your commercial/industrial roofing contractor to guarantee project success.