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Commercial Roofing Companies Traverse City MI

There are a number of commercial roofing services available in Traverse City for homeowners who need to install, repair, replace, or maintain a roof. Traverse City Roofing, for example, offers a wide range of roofing services.

But most property owners want to know ahead of time how the entire process works, so that they know what to look for when hiring a roofing contractor. So Traverse City Roofing has answered a few commonly asked questions about commercial roofing in Traverse City.

For starters, when looking at a project that requires a flat roof, it is essential to pick out the best roofing material. There are many different materials out there, so choosing one can be tricky because it is expected to be a long term investment.

What Is The Longest Lasting Flat Roof?

Metal is one of the most popular materials used for flat roof projects and it is primarily because of its durability. Metal, specifically aluminum, is a great choice for a flat roof replacement, especially if the goal is longevity.

In ideal conditions, flat metal roofs can last for almost 35 years—and beyond, if given proper maintenance. This means more than three decades of protection from the weather, direct exposure to the sun, etc.

In fact, with a metal roof, the sun’s heat is reflected, which helps keep energy costs down. Metal roofing typically comes in large sheets, but property owners can order smaller sizes to fit around unique features or irregular extensions of the roof. For example, some buildings have covered stairwells or small patios. Metal roofs can be used in this situation.

Since all roofing materials have their downsides, metal is far from perfect. When the time comes that a metal roof needs to be replaced, they generally have to be torn out completely. Roof contractors are not able to install a new roof on top of an existing metal roof. Metal roofs are also prone to rust. If this happens, it needs to be replaced.

What Type Of Material Is Used On Flat Roofs?

There are a few materials that are commonly used on flat roofs such as rubber, metal, etc. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The EPDM or ethylene propylene diene monomer is a true rubber that is used for flat roofs. This durable material resembles an inner tube, but it is actually engineered to resist damage from sunlight. It can be mechanically anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone, or glued.

They are fairly easy to recognize because of their black color. They are usually stretched tight over an insulation board or fiber board.

Rubber roofs that are ballasted are held in place with the use of large stones or ballast on top of the sheets of roofing. These roofs are covered in rock, similar to a built up roof, except the stones are usually larger and they are not stuck to the roof with tar. It is possible to expose the rubber membrane by gently moving the stones away.

Rubber roofs are relatively light, yet highly resistant to tears and scuffs. Leaks are also easy to patch.

However, the standard black material absorbs heat. Light-colored coatings, recommended in warm climates, add 30 percent or more to the cost. Even the black version is generally more expensive compared to BUR or modified bitumen. Also, it is the most vulnerable to punctures compared to the other choices.

A built-up roof or BUR is another good flat roof option. The traditional hot-tar-and-gravel roof is built with three or more plies of waterproof material alternated with hot tar and ballasted by a layer of smooth river stone. Interestingly, this type of roof was once made of tar paper. Over time, they gradually shifted to more advanced materials such as fiberglass membranes.

BURs have been in use for more than 100 years in the United States. They are often referred to as tar and gravel roofs. Gravel is an excellent fire retardant. BURs are also very attractive for homes with windows and decks that overlook the roof.

Built-up roofs are also one of the cheapest varieties property owners can go for. The only disadvantage is that they are quite heavy and joists sometimes have to be strengthened. Built-up roofs can also be messy to install, so this is not a DIY job. Traverse City Roofing can help with the installation process for property owners in Traverse City.

Another option is modified bitumen, which is similar to BUR in that it is composed of asphalt rolls that are usually three foot wide. The difference is that a modified bitumen roof is usually only made of two piles or layers, a base sheet and a cap sheet.

Other possible roofing choices include spray polyurethane foam roof and thermoplastic membranes PVC or TPO.

What Is The Best Commercial Roofing Material?

Commercial flat roofs are cost effective because they require less material compared to pitched roofs or steep slope roofs. They are also easier and quicker to install. This can translate to significant savings for the building owner. The less time spent on installation, the smaller the profit lost. Traverse City Roofing can install the property owner’s preferred roofing material as quickly and as efficiently as possible, making sure that it is installed properly.

Proper installation saves more money on commercial roof repair and maintenance simply because it ensures durability.

Owners have many types of flat roofing materials and membranes to choose from: rubber, EPDM, PVC, TPO, bitumen, modified bitumen, metal, and built-up roofing. Since no material is perfect and each choice offers significant benefits and advantages, it is all a matter of preference.

For those who want their building to be cost efficient, metal could be a great choice, for instance.

How Much Do Flat Roofs Cost?

Choosing a material for a flat roof can be challenging, especially with all the factors that need to be considered. But budget is the one thing that could dictate a property owner’s final decision. Do keep in mind that prices may vary.

Built-up roofs consist of several layers of materials that are laid down atop each other. This includes hot tar, gravel, fiberglass, and roofing felt. The average cost of a built-up roof installation is $3.50 to $7 per square foot.

This is a good investment because it is fire resistant and quite durable. It can last up to 30 years if properly maintained.

Modified bitumen installation may also cost between $3 and $6 per square foot. It is a direct contrast to the layered approach of the built-up roof, having only one layer of rolled material, which can be made of various compounds. Properly maintained, modified bitumen roofs may also last up to 30 years.

Roofs that are made of “true rubber” or ethylene propylene diene monomer orEPDM, have an average cost of $4 to $6 per square foot. They are easy to install, lightweight, resistant to scuff marks and tears, and are relatively easy to patch in the event of a leak. They come in two colors: black and white, which serve different climates and budgets.

How Long Does A Flat Roof Last?

A flat roof may last from 25 to 30 years, offering continuous protection for commercial buildings. This means once installed, all the property owner has to worry about is the annual maintenance. They provide weather protection and energy efficiency.

Find a Roofing Company to Install a Flat Roof on Your Building

Flat roofing installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance for commercial buildings are not DIY projects. For these projects, it is always necessary to hire a professional roofing contractor or company that could provide proper assistance.

Traverse City Roofing is a roofing contractor in Traverse City, Michigan that can help property owners install the roofing material of their choice. Contact Traverse City Roofing today. Call (231) 222-6538 or visit


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