Which Roofing System is Best for My Commercial Property?

Oct 25, 2022Blog, Commercial Roofing

Any commercial property owner knows that the roof over your head is integral to the property functioning of your business. A failing commercial roof means lost time and money. With all of the options on the market for commercial roofs in Eastern Pennsylvania, how do you know which is best for you?

How To Choose the Best Roof for Your Commercial Property

Multiple factors will be important for you to consider when you’re determining the best roof for your commercial property. 

Budget

Most business owners will agree that their bottom line is their top priority when it comes to choosing a new roof for their property. Setting a budget and finding a roof that fits within that budget will be imperative for most business owners. 

Climate

The climate in Eastern Pennsylvania will play an important role in your decision-making process. You’ll need to find a system that can withstand the elements and the weather patterns that are common to the area. 

Type of Business

The business you’re running out of your commercial property will be important as well. For example, if you have an industrial, manufacturing plant you’ll likely find a particular system is better suited to your property than someone who owns a multi-family property or a church. 

Environmental Impact

Environmental impact has become increasingly important for many business owners in the last few decades. If you’re one of these business owners you’ll want to consider how environmentally friendly your new roof will be. 

Energy Efficiency 

The energy efficiency of your roof can affect the comfort and function of your property as well as the costs associated with heating and cooling your property. You’ll want to carefully consider your heating and cooling needs when you choose your new roof. 

TPO Roofs

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. TPO roofing is made from rolls of TPO that are adhered to the roof and heat welded at the seams.  

tpo roofing experts Eastern Pennsylvania

Advantages

  • Durable
  • Fungi, UV, and Impact Resistant
  • Variable Colors
  • Long Life
  • Low Maintenance
  • Fully Recyclable
  • Easily Installed
  • Lightweight and Flexible

Disadvantages

  • Quality Variability Between Brands
  • Repairs Can Be Complex
  • Slippery When Wet
  • Relatively New Material

PVC Roofs

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. PVC roofs are single-ply roofing systems for installation on low-slope commercial properties. 

Eastern Pennsylvania leading pvc roofing professionals

Advantages

  • Durability
  • Long-lasting
  • Fire, Water, and Wind Resistant
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Color Variety
  • Thickness Variety
  • UV, Chemical, and Puncture Resistance
  • Easy Repairs
  • Strong
  • Light Weight

Disadvantages

  • Temperature Sensitive
  • Toxic Chemicals
  • Old Roof Must be Removed
  • More Expensive

EPDM Roofs

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer and is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane often installed on low-slope commercial properties in the United States. 

epdm roofing experts Eastern Pennsylvania

Advantages

  • Light Weight
  • Easily Installed
  • Long Lifespan
  • Flexibility 
  • Affordable
  • Fire, Wind, and Impact Resistant
  • Wide Temperature Range
  • Easy and Inexpensive Repairs

Disadvantages

  • May Absorb UV Rays
  • Vulnerable Seams
  • Unattractive
  • May Corrode

Are you still having a difficult time deciding which commercial roofing system is best for your Eastern Pennsylvania property? Call River Run Roofing in Eastern Pennsylvania, today, and let our commercial roofing experts walk you through all our options to determine which one is right for you!

9 Questions To Ask Potential Roofing Contractors 

Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of roofing contractors in  Eastern PA alone. How are you supposed to choose one? 

We can’t decide for you, but the following 9 questions will help you pick a competent contractor and avoid ending up with a bad one. 

  • Are you licensed and insured? 

It’s essential to ask about insurance for several reasons. For one thing, when a contractor has all their papers in order, it shows they care enough to follow proper procedures. 

And secondly, having proper paperwork protects both you and your roofer should anything go awry. 

The requirements to become a licensed roofer differ from state to state. In PA, contractors must meet the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act requirements and register at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. 

Regarding insurance, PA law requires roofing companies to provide their employees with worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation protects you, as the homeowner, from being financially responsible for any injuries that might occur on your property. 

Your contractor should also have general liability insurance. This protects you from being responsible for any damage or injury to non-employees that might occur on your property, such as a bystander being injured on property damage.  

Roofing contractor insurance
  • Are you local? 

Some roofing companies like to move from town to town following storm damage. These companies may not be familiar with local laws and regulations, and if there is a problem with your roof after installation, they wouldn’t be available to help you. 

We aren’t saying this is a bad or dishonest business model. Just keep in mind that these companies won’t be around long-term.  

Hiring a local company is normally better, so ensure your contractor has a local address and phone number. Then if complications arise, they’ll be around to assess the situation. 

  • How long have you been in business? 

The longer a contractor has been in business, the better they understand their trade. And while it’s not wrong to hire a new company, it’s more risky. A roofing company that has “been around the block” understands all the ins and outs of a roofing system and will likely do a better job. 

Plus, the longer a business has been around, the more likely they are to be in business for years to come, and that means they’ll be around if you need them in the future. 

  • Do you offer a warranty on your products? 

Roofers may offer warranties for 1, 5, 10, or 25 years or even for life. Normally the roofing company’s warranty covers the work, and the materials manufacturer offers another warranty for the materials, so there are two separate warranties. 

Roof warranties typically last a year, and an extended warranty may add to the overall cost of your project. 

understanding roofing warranties
  • Do you use subcontractors? 

Some companies use subcontractors to help them get the work done. You should know if your contractor uses subcontractors for several reasons. 

  • One, you don’t want to be completely surprised and confused when trucks with an unknown company name on them show up at your place and strangers start working on your roof.
  • Two, you should ensure that all subcontractors have adequate licensing and insurance. 
  • And three, sometimes disreputable contractors neglect to pay their subcontractors, and in such a case, you could be held financially responsible. You may want to consider getting a lien waiver for the project to protect yourself from this. 
  • Do I need a full roof replacement or just repairs? 

You don’t want to fork out the money to replace your entire roof if you could fix your issues with some simple repairs. Alternatively, you don’t want to put a bandaid on a broken leg by replacing a few shingles when the problems go deeper. 

Knowing the extent of your roofing damage will allow you to make the best possible decision for your home. 

know the extent of your roof damage
  • Will you remove the old roof?

When fixing a roof, there are two options: tear off the old roof and completely replace it or install new roofing materials over the old roof. 

Roofing over old materials is faster and cheaper since you save the time and labor to tear the old roof off. However, if you go for this option, you won’t see your roofing system’s actual state as clearly. If there are underlying issues you missed, you may need to replace the roof a few years down the road anyway. In that case, the money you spent on roofing overtop would be wasted. 

An expert contractor can help you make a wise decision about repairing or replacing your roof. 

  • Do you have a cleanup policy once the installation is complete? 

Installing a roof is a messy project that leaves a lot of scraps and debris. You don’t want to be left in the lurch with a huge mess in your yard. 

Ask your contractor what their cleanup policy is before you hire them–a quality contractor will have policies in place. 

Will there be a dumpster sitting in your yard? Or do they hire a trash removal service? Some trash removal methods may have implications for your property and yard, and it’s best to ask about them so you aren’t surprised. 

  • How will you protect my property and yard during construction? 

During a construction project, there may be scraps lying around, large vehicles driving through your yard, and strange people in your home. Your contractor should have policies to protect your property, so it’s left mostly the same as before.  

Some companies enforce mandatory foot traffic patterns so your flower beds and grass don’t get trampled. Some use large magnets to pick up any nails that might have fallen in your yard so your children and pets don’t get injured. 

You should make sure your contractor is conscientious enough to treat your property like their own.  

Tips For Hiring A Competent Contractor 

Those are a few questions you should ask your roofing contractor before signing anything. As a bonus, here are a few miscellaneous tips for hiring a good roofing contractor: 

  • Ask for some references or previous jobs you could look at. Talking with previous customers and asking about their experience with a contractor is one of the best ways to learn more about them. 
  • Request roofing price estimates from several contractors in the area and compare them. That gives you a good idea of a reasonable price. 
  • Know your needs. Do you need to complete the project by a specific time at all costs? Or do you have a specialized roofing system requiring unique expertise? If so, these things affect what contractor you should hire. 

There are lots of good contractors out there! These questions and tips should help you make a good decision for your home. 

tips for hiring a roofing contractor
Conclusion 

We hope this article has been helpful for you, and we wish you luck with your roofing project. 

If you want to hire a contractor in Eastern PA, contact us at River Run Roofing! We would be happy to help with your project. 

We specialize in residential roofing, light commercial roofing, and siding.

Give us a call today to get an estimate on your project! 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

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