The Importance of Roofing and Building Construction

A roof is the top component of a building that serves as the structural covering to protect against rain, snow, sunlight, wind and extremes of temperature. It is constructed in a wide variety of forms, such as flat, pitched, vaulted, domed and in combinations as dictated by technical, economic and aesthetic considerations.

The roofing materials used in a building have a profound impact on its performance and lifespan. Because the roof is constantly exposed to sunlight, rain and snow, the selected material must be durable and capable of enduring a range of climate conditions. While asphalt shingles are popular in residential construction, metal, EPDM and built-up roofs are commonly used in commercial construction.

Choosing the wrong roofing material can cause a to lose energy efficiency, experience moisture infiltration and become susceptible to damage from hail or other environmental factors. The type of roof should be matched to the environment in which it will be installed, and comprehensive construction documents should anticipate and provide solutions for potential problems.

As facility executives prioritize sustainability, durability, longevity and resilience, metal roofs and walls are becoming a go-to solution. These systems are able to resist harsh environmental conditions, are less prone to damage and offer a host of additional benefits, including improved occupant health and safety, energy efficiency and enhanced stormwater management.

Re-roofing can be a messy project, and occupants are often unhappy about the appearance of their building during this time. To help mitigate the inconvenience, the building owner should consider hiring a professional roofing contractor that specializes in commercial re-roofing projects. This company can handle the entire process, from tear off through installation and can guarantee that the job is completed on time and within budget.

If a roof leaks, it is important to identify and correct the problem as quickly as possible to avoid extensive structural damage and costly repairs. Some problems may not be visible to the naked eye, especially when water leaks down interior walls and through ceilings. A professional roof inspector should be consulted to evaluate the condition of the structure and determine what steps are necessary to remedy the problem.

A major problem area for leaking roofs is the juncture of the roof and vertical surfaces. This is often caused by improper flashing and can result in extensive and expensive damage to the roof, stairways, walkways and building structures. Flashing should be made from corrosion resistant materials such as stainless steel or galvanized metal and should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In the past, many roofers and paving workers were exposed to coal-tar pitch. This chemical was found to be carcinogenic to humans and contributed to the high incidence of cancer in these workers. A safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to coal-tar pitch is asphalt shingle membranes. However, these shingles still contain asbestos, which poses a significant health risk for anyone who comes into contact with them.