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Commercial Flat Roofs - Part 2






Here we continue with the types of roofing methods available. Any reputable roofing company will be able to go over these methods with you in greater detail and explain the pros and cons.

Hot Tar or Built-Up Roofing

Built up roofing or tar roofing, is the oldest and least seldom used type of commercial flat roofing anymore by contractors. In this system, a base sheet is applied to the deck, and then hot asphalt is “mopped” over it. Typically 2-3 more layers of the felt are added with an additional layer of hot asphalt coated over top. Afterwards, a layer of small gravel is embedded into the asphalt which gives the roof a more finished look and also aids in ultra violet protection. Many variables such as amount of asphalt used, asphalt temperature, the amount of plies, ply quality, burn hazards for workers and unpleasant odors make this system somewhat undesirable. However, this type of roof can have a life of 20 years or more, making it a viable option in some situations.

SBS Roofing

The cold system or SBS (Styrene Butidene Styrene) is similar in make up to the APP, and is commonly utilized when open flames are not desired. The quality of the adhesive, the potential for mess, and the air/adhesive temperature during application however, can create some quality control issues, so it is not often a viable option.

Peel and Stick Roofing

More recently, a self-adhered or peel and stick roll has been introduced. With this system, the flat roofing contractors kick the roll out and peel off the release paper. Once the paper is off, the exposed membrane will adhere to either a base sheet or roof deck. These systems eliminate many of the disadvantages of the other systems, but are more expensive. Also, the window of opportunity for doing this work is much smaller as it is very sensitive to outside temperatures.

Roof Coatings
Lastly, coatings are especially useful for re-roofing, renovations, and recover applications. The two basic types are a roll on coating, or a spray on that requires special equipment. Rather than trying to manipulate larger cumbersome materials (often requiring cranes) these product are more portable, and easier to apply. The spray on version dries almost instantly once applied, while the roll on version will take a couple of days to cure fully cure. For NJ property owners who have rounded buildings, a small area to cover, or existing roofing they want to extend the life of, this type of repair can be a viable solution. However the performance and price of these products varies greatly, and like self adhered systems are extremely temperature sensitive.

In NJ, roofing companies are easy to find- but flat roofing contractors will vary in skill and ability. Make sure you ask any company you are looking to go with the questions below.

Do they have enough qualified, long-term experience?
Do they offer workmanship warranties that exceed industry norms?
Do they have proper roofing insurance?
Do they have a current New Jersey contractor license?
Do they offer 100% financing?
Do they have detailed written proposals with photos?
Do they have a quality assurance inspection process?
Do they have references from satisfied customers?
Do they use "green" certified and solar products?
Do they have sufficient office and repair staff for emergency service calls?



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About the Author

Chuck Anania, Certified Roofing
360 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042
866-921-8004

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