As environmentalists and regulatory bodies emphasize the need to adopt sustainable building materials, choosing an energy-efficient roofing solution has become the need of the hour for commercial establishments. If you are considering a new roof or retrofit to an existing roof, now is the right time to look for a sustainable solution. Though energy-efficient roofing systems may be slightly costlier than traditional options, considering the amount of money saved on reduced utility bills in long term, they are well worth the investment. In addition, several Energy-Star rated roofs are eligible for tax credits. Here are four key factors that you should keep in mind when looking for sustainable roofing repair or installation solution.
Roofs not only bear the brunt of external weather, but also tackle the atmospheric conditions from inside the building. Most people are unaware of the fact that the imbalanced atmospheric conditions inside the building can dramatically affect the overall lifespan of their roofing system. A building that contains high volume of indoor moisture moving upward through stack/chimney effect into the roof is prone to condensation inside the roofing system. If left unchecked it may lead to expensive repairs and a possible premature roof replacement – especially if the vapor barrier for internal moisture is not properly installed at the time of roof installation. Whether getting a retrofit or a new installation, it is important to evaluate atmospheric conditions outside and inside the building to avoid potential damage to the roof in long run.
As roofs act as an essential barrier to different environmental forces inside and outside the building, roof insulation plays a crucial role in ensuring longevity and energy efficiency. The form of R-values for various U.S climate zones provides several codes and standards to help owners determine the quantum of insulation in roofing system. The minimum the R-value, the better the insulation. Having said that; minimized R-value alone may not be sufficient to ensure optimum value addition from a repair or installation job. As there are various interdependent components involved in the roofing system, many other factors need to be considered when evaluating a roof system. For example, location, design and construction details of a building have a huge impact on the thermal performance of the roofing system. Investors should ensure that the roofing contractor provides a roofing solution that fits well within local environmental conditions.
Energy-efficient roofing material can significantly reduce the amount of household energy usage, thereby lowering greenhouse gas emissions as well as the utility bills. Different climatic conditions demand different types of roofing materials to conserve energy. Light-colored, highly reflective surface, for instance, are suitable for warm southern climate, while dark, heat-absorbing roof surfaces are best in the Northern part of the US. Despite the variations in the requirement of roofing surfaces, EPDM single-ply roofing membrane is the only roofing solution suitable for both climatic zones without further need of additional coating and modifications. Commercial units located in hot regions can be made energy efficient by applying cool coating or white single-ply membrane on the roof surface, whereas black EPDM single-ply roof membrane works well for cold regions.
4.Service Life and Maintenance
Roof is the most vulnerable part of the building, as it is exposed to harsh environmental forces, such as the wind, rain, hail, snow, and UV radiation. A proper routine maintenance and repair regime, therefore, has to be followed, to ensure the longevity of roofing system and maximum return on the investment. Make sure that the roofing contractor you hire is known to provide high quality roofing solutions with extensive service life, backed by a substantial warranty. Moreover, it is equally important to ensure that the provider is always ready to address any issue that may arise during the warranty coverage period.
The maximum value for any commercial roofing job comes from optimizing the interaction of the various components of the roofing system, while giving due regard to the specific climatic conditions. Though high returns on investment is the primary goal of every investor, it is important to consider other essential aspects of investment. When choosing a commercial roofing and waterproofing system contractor, investors should ensure that their service provider has necessary technical expertise to assess the component interactions with the climatic zones in terms of sustainability, services life, and life cycle cost.