Your complete guide to commercial roofing in the Kansas City area.
Get familiar with commercial roofing systems, the types of commercial roofing materials available, the cost of commercial roofing services in Kansas City.
As a property owner or manager, you know how crucial it is to keep your commercial building’s exterior looking its best. A shabby building can repel customers and even cause lasting damage to the structure. One of the most important aspects is the roof.
A reliable roofing system won’t just make your property look more appealing. It will protect your investment, ensure your building isn’t vulnerable to water damage, and help you reduce the amount of time and money you’ll have to spend on maintenance.
Although there are some similarities, commercial roofs are quite different from residential roofs, particularly in materials and slope.
Does Your Commercial Roof Need to be Replaced?
So what are some signs of roof damage that might signal you need a replacement?
- Puddles of water – Pools of water on your roof are sure signs that the water drainage system has failed.
- Damaged flashing – Flashing is meant to cover roof seams, so if it’s loose and you don’t catch the problem in time, water can seep through the seams necessitating a replacement.
- Cracks and tears – These typically occur after about 15 years of use.
- Roof leaks – When leaks aren’t prepared promptly, you could end up with serious issues such as mold or mildew.
- Water spots – Ceiling water spots often indicate roof leaks.
- Rips in your roof membrane – PDM rubber roofs, the most common type for commercial buildings, have protective rubber membranes. If they are ripped, the watertight seal is broken and moisture can infiltrate the structure.
- Loose or unattached EPDM membrane – If your membrane is waving in the wind, your roof is not protecting your building.
- Loose fasteners – Bumps on roof membranes usually mean loose fasteners.
- Mold – If you see or smell mold inside your building, water might be leaking through the roof, posing a serious health hazard for occupants.
What are some of the main benefits of replacing your commercial roof?
- Update the appearance of your business or church
- A substantial return on investment
- Increased curb appeal
- Protection from severe weather
- An outstanding warranty
- Decreased utility bills
Once you’ve decided it’s time to replace your commercial property’s roof, the most foolproof way to ensure it is installed correctly is to partner with a knowledgeable roofing contractor who is informed about techniques and materials, skilled at installation, and offers a maintenance program.
Commercial Roofing Systems: Flat Roofs, Low Slope, and Pitched Roofs
Most commercial properties have what is known as low-slope or flat roofing systems. There is no completely flat roof, so the terms are used synonymously. A low-slope or flat roof does not have shingles and has a pitch below 18 degrees. Flat or low-sloped roofs are popular for commercial facilities that usually have much more square footage than residential homes.
The best materials for flat or low-slope roofs include:
- Factory certified TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)
- EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
- Modified bitumen roofing systems
Learn more about roofing materials in the next chapter
A low-slope roof may leak as a result of:
- Improper installation
- Inadequate drainage
- Unauthorized people on your roof
Pitched (or steep-sloped roofs) have a pitch of 18 degrees or more and are more common among residential homes. They are also viable for smaller commercial businesses or religious congregations. The A-frame design provides storage through an attic space. The types of materials that work best for pitched roofs include:
- Asphalt shingles
- Clay tile
- Wood shake
- Synthetic or composite tile
Common Commercial Roofing Materials
Choosing the right roofing material is critical and ultimately comes down to your building’s use and your preference as well as budget. Each material has specific pros and cons. A knowledgeable commercial roofing contractor can help you choose, but ultimately, it’s up to you!
Here’s what you need to know about the different types of commercial roofing systems:
Factory-certified TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)
Benefits of a TPO roofing include:
- Last up to 20 to 25 years
- Available in a variety of colors
- A simple installation process
- Durable and cost-effective
- Dirt, mold, mildew, and moisture resistant
- Reflects sunlight to reduce stress on commercial air conditioning units
- Three times more puncture resistant than EPDM
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
EPDM is a single-ply, rubber membrane composed of natural gas and oil that is also commonly used for flat roofing systems.
Benefits of an EPDM roofing system:
- Resistant to UV damage
- Relatively inexpensive
- Highly resilient
- 100% recyclable
- Fire resistant
- Lasts 20 years plus
- Hail, wind, and rain resistant
- Available in black or white
Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems
A modified bitumen roofing system, commonly used for flat roofing systems, combines asphalt and a chemical polymer and can be applied with self-adhesive sheets, hot-mopped asphalt, torch-applied, or cold-applied adhesives.
Benefits of a modified bitumen commercial roof:
- Exceptionally resistant to cold, heat, and storms
- Low maintenance
Asphalt is made of a base mat, a waterproof asphalt layer, and a top layer of ceramic granules.
Benefits of an asphalt commercial roof:
- Lasts 15 to 30 years when properly installed and maintained
- Multiple colors and styles
- Climate resistant
- Low maintenance
Metal roofing encompasses aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, and steel, although steel is the most widely used and affordable.
- Environmentally friendly
- Quick installation
- High return on investment
- Low maintenance
- If properly installed can last up to 40 years
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
A standing seam metal roofing system has concealed fasteners and vertical or trapezoidal legs with flat space in between.
Benefits of standing seam metal roofing for commercial properties:
- Advantageous for complex, multi-level roofs or those that benefit from dramatic aesthetics
- Effective for steep or low-slope roofs
Stone-coated steel roofing has multiple layers including galvanized steel sheets coated with a primer, stone granules for gloss and extra protection, and it’s finished with an acrylic glaze.
Benefits of stone-coated steel commercial roofs:
- Remarkably tough
- Lightweight and sound absorbent
- Gorgeous aesthetics
- High return on investment
- Strong guarantee
Featured Commercial Roofing Project
What factors affect the cost of a commercial roof?
Cost is often one of the main considerations when it comes to choosing a commercial roofing material. Multiple factors go into the cost of a roof replacement including:
- Size – Obviously, the more square footage you need to cover, the more expensive your new roof will be.
- Insulation thickness, quality, and type – Higher quality insulation, such as polyiso, is more expensive.
- Membrane thickness – Commercial roofing membranes are available in a variety of thicknesses. Thicker membranes provide better protection against harsher weather and other hazards, but they are also pricier.
- Condition of substrate – Does your existing substrate need to be removed or replaced?
- Installation technique – Some techniques create a smoother surface but cost more.
- The complexity of the project – More roof features such as skylights, chimneys, roof hatches, or other structures or openings will result in a more expensive installation.
- Timing – Contractors charge more during the peak seasons of late spring and summer. If you schedule your installation during early spring or late fall, you’ll pay less.
- Roof access – Your contractor may need specialized equipment if your commercial building’s roof is not easily accessible.
- Tear off – Most states don’t allow more than two layers of materials without approval, which means all wet insulation must be removed and any necessary repairs must be made before new roofing is installed.
- Maintenance – While a maintenance plan may add additional costs, it will also likely save you money in the long run as it will increase the longevity of any roofing system.
- Warranty – The more comprehensive the warranty, the more expensive your roof will be. However, an extended warranty will afford you greater peace of mind!
Commercial Roof Maintenance Programs
A damaged roof can have a massive adverse impact on your property. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also end up causing you a gigantic headache. When left unattended, cracks, tears, leaks, and other problems can grow worse with time. Ultimately, it can end up costing you, both in terms of finances and labor. It can also seriously harm the underlying structure, jeopardizing your investment.
Believe it or not, proactively maintained roofs last up to 60% longer than those that are reactively maintained, which is why roof maintenance is so critical. Many commercial roofing contractors provide maintenance programs with regularly scheduled inspections, monthly maintenance, and periodic cleanings, so you don’t have to sweat the details.
A certified maintenance program typically includes:
- Annual inspections
- Communication and maintenance records
- Certified repair services
- Extended warranty
The benefits of a commercial roof maintenance program include:
- Prevents ongoing damage by catching cracks, missing flashing, small leaks, weak spots, and holes and rips
- Keep your roof looking attractive
- Improves durability by clearing dirt, debris, and fallen branches that can accumulate on flat roofing
- Helps you manage maintenance expenses by addressing small problems before they become worse or necessitate a complete replacement
- Prolongs its life and improves durability
Why Choose Christian Brothers Roofing for your Commercial Roof Installation?
As Kansas City’s premier roofing company, Christian Brothers has helped thousands of business owners protect their commercial structures with durable roofing systems. Replacing a commercial roof is a huge investment, so when you choose a contractor, you want to ensure you are working with a company you can trust.
We are wholly committed to providing you with outstanding customer service, the highest quality materials, and expert craftsmanship so you have peace of mind that your commercial property is protected.
Ready to schedule a consultation? Contact us today!