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Flat roof of commercial building

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a New Commercial Roof

Flat roof of commercial building

flat roof of commercial building

When it comes to choosing a new commercial roof, the smallest mistakes can end up causing big problems. It’s always best to turn to a reputable roofing contractor with extensive experience to help you avoid common mistakes and ensures the project doesn’t wind up getting financially out of control.

Choosing The Wrong Type Of Roof

Choosing a new commercial roof starts with finding the right type of application. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a roofing system that doesn’t work with the slope of your building. For flat roofs or low-slope roofs with a 3″ in 12″ pitch or less, your options include a built-up roof (BUR) system, modified BUR system, or a single-ply roof system that utilizes EPDM, PVC, or TPO membranes.

Choosing a new commercial roof that’s appropriate for sloped roofs depends on personal preference, aesthetics, longevity, and budget. Common options include:

  • Composition shingles, which offer quick, easy installation, a diverse array of color and style choices, and a cost that works with a tight budget.
  • Clay tiles are more expensive than shingles but offer greater durability and distinctive styles and colors to match unique architectural designs.
  • Natural slate tilesare the most expensive option but are also the longest-lasting.

Roof pitch must be 4″ in 12″ or greater for clay and natural slate tiles. Turn to an experienced roofing contractor who can explain all your options and help you choose the application that’s right for your building.

Choosing The Wrong Roofing Material

You must also avoid choosing the wrong roofing materials. While it’s important to match materials to the architectural details of your building for aesthetics, it’s more important to match the load capacity of your roof. For example, you may prefer clay tiles to give your building a Mediterranean flair, but your roof must have a heavier load capacity to withstand the weight. Slate tiles are even heavier, so you need an even greater load capacity.

Making the mistake of applying roofing materials that are too heavy for the substrate could lead to disastrous results and costly repairs. Another common mistake when it comes to roofing materials is choosing membrane roofing when your roof is subjected to heavy foot traffic.

Choosing the Least Expensive Option

Commercial roofing isn’t a one size fits all because there are numerous factors that can affect your quote. Size, slope, and location impact your cost, but no matter what your specifications are, installing a new commercial roof is an expensive endeavor. To protect your bottom line, you may be tempted to go with the least expensive option available, and this could be a serious mistake that actually costs you more money in the long run; however, the most expensive option isn’t always the best choice either. In many cases, the best option tends to be somewhere in the middle range of your price options.

Skipping The Inspection

Before choosing a new commercial roof, don’t skip having your old roof inspected to save a few bucks. Hiring a reputable roofing contractor to do a roof survey can save you money by preventing you from over-spending on a roof that’s not right for your building or on pricey roofing materials when lower-priced products work just as well. A roof survey may also uncover underlying roof issues you must address before installing a new roof to avoid costly problems down the road.

Trusting An Inexperienced Company

As a property owner, you must always ensure you’re working with an experienced, reputable roofing company. Like any service industry, there are good and bad roofing contractors out there. You might even run into a few who aren’t contractors at all, so don’t forget to do your homework. Steer clear of companies without a portfolio or references, that aren’t licensed and insured or only accept cash payments, and/or who use high-pressure sales tactics. True professionals follow strict installation processes to ensure the safety of their workers, your building, and anyone entering your building.

Turn To The Roofing Experts

At McDonald & Wetle we’ve provided comprehensive advice on choosing new commercial roofs and expert roofing installation throughout Oregon and Washington since 1921. When your commercial building needs a new roof, you can count on us for an honest opinion on what roofing system and materials work best for your establishment. Contact us today at our Portland office at 503-667-0175 or our Seattle office at 253-589-8999 to discuss your commercial roofing needs.