Knowledgeable commercial roofing estimators who are familiar with the needs of a new commercial roof installation in the Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland area — combined with journeyman commercial roofers and roof systems from industry-leading manufacturers — enables Surlang Roofing to offer unbeatable value in new roofing and re-roofing on warehouses, malls, restaurants, office buildings, medical centers, agricultural structures, and apartment buildings that stand the test of time and all that the West Coast weather throws at them.
Years of experience installing, servicing, and maintaining commercial roofs in Greater Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland gives us the ability to properly address your building needs. Whether it is a case of selecting a two-ply SBS membrane for greater durability, a single-ply membrane for a more economical roof system, sloped insulation packages for better drainage on older buildings, or insulation upgrades, we can provide the answers. Trust Surlang Roofing to complete your commercial roofing job on-time and on-budget, with no surprises, no delays, and no hassles.
Commercial Roof Design
From the ground up, most commercial buildings look the same. From up top, there can be many differences: single-ply, two-ply, TPO, EPDM, BUR, SBS, sloped, inverted, green, and so on. Unlike the old days where tar and gravel (BUR) was “commercial roofing,” there are now more options to suit individual building needs. Choosing the right commercial roofing contractor who has the experience and knowledge in putting together the right roofing system is more important than ever. A properly-installed system completed to industry standards can last more than 25 years. A poorly-installed system will give you problems from the start. Commercial roof design will also involve working with curb-mounted units that may require the use of cranes and coordination with other trades – an area where Surlang Roofing has the experience and contacts to get the job done.
Commercial Roofing Materials
While some types of roofing materials can be used for both residential and commercial roofs, the selection will generally depend on the type of structure, the roof’s intended use, insulation requirements, and slope.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR / Tar and Gravel)
Once the mainstay in commercial and flat roofing in general, BUR roof systems are now rarely used, largely due to the advancements in single-ply membranes and SBS. Built-up roofing is structured like lasagna, with multiple layers of roofing felts offset and laminated together with hot asphalt bitumen, completed with a protective coating. The roofing felts or ply sheets are 36 inches wide and reinforced with organic or fiberglass mats. The protective coating is normally aggregate (gravel). BURs are typically low-maintenance options, offer excellent protection against water and ultra-violet light, and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
One of the downsides to Built-Up roofing is the need of a kettle to heat the asphalt or bitumen to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which exudes a lot of smoke and an odor that most would find offensive.
What is EPDM?
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a form of single-ply roofing that is generally self-adhered (glued) or held in place with ballast. The membrane itself is black in color and feels like the rubber from a tire’s inner tube, but is thicker and reinforced.
The advantages of EPDM single-ply roofing are the speed of install, as the product itself comes from the manufacturer in rolls of up to 50 feet in width, and the lower labor costs that come from being able to cover large amounts of square footage in a short period of time. An EPDM / ballast roof system has the lowest cost per square foot for commercial roofing.
A disadvantage to EPDM roof systems is the fact that it is a single-ply membrane that relies on adhesives to bond all seams and protrusions, which can be difficult in cool damp Lower Mainland weather, and the bond between the membrane and other components can be susceptible to occasional failures. Single-ply EPDM roof systems are best suited to structures like large warehouses.
What is TPO
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a single-ply roof membrane composed of a synthetic rubber compound, generally white in color, and can be mechanically fastened, fully adhered, or held down with ballast.
Two advantages of TPO single-ply roofing are
- speed of installation, as the product itself comes in rolls of up to 12 feet in width, and
- once fused together, the membrane is essentially a one-piece unit with seams that will not deteriorate over time.
Fusing of the seams and other protrusions are done with hot air, meaning there is no open flame, as is the case in with other forms of flat roofing.
A disadvantage of TPO roof systems is the fact that it is a single-ply membrane; although reinforced with polyester and more durable than EPDM, it does not have the puncture resistance of a SBS or BUR membrane. Single-ply TPO roof systems are best suited to large warehouse-type structures.
What is SBS / Torch-On
SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene) is a bitumen-based product modified with synthetic rubber, installed using an open-flame torch, which heats the bitumen to its melting point, allowing the membrane to be completely fused together.
The standard installation method for a SBS roof system is a two-ply membrane, installed over a suitable protective barrier so as to prevent the open flame from being directed to a wooden roof deck surface.
An advantage of SBS/torch-on roofing is the fact that you are installing two plys of membrane completely fused together, which results in a very durable, water-tight system that can be used in almost any kind of water-proofing needed above or below grade.
A disadvantage of a SBS roof system is the need for open flame and the hazards that can result from installers who may lack the experience necessary to safely perform the duties required.