The Best Commercial Roofer in Fort Smith
Whether you’re a building owner or manager of a large commercial property, place of worship, apartment complex, or homeowners association, Curb Appeal Construction will help you get the best return on your roofing investment through quality experienced workmanship, high performance roofing materials, and the best industry warranties. There are several factors to consider in purchasing a roofing system:
- What is the most durable material within my price range?
- Is this contractor approved to install the chosen system?
- Does the contractor provide an adequate warranty?
Owners and maintenance managers are faced with so many choices that selection becomes very confusing. Making the wrong decision can negatively impact your business and finances for years to come. In order to better assist you in this important purchase, here is an educational overview of materials and their manufacturers.
Composition shingles are of two types, organic and fiberglass. Both organic and fiberglass shingles come in a wide spectrum of styles and price points. A downside to shingles is that they often take heavy damage due to Arkansas’ frequent hail storms.
Organic shingles are created by coating paper with asphalt. Organic shingles are more flexible and harder to tear, making them less prone to damage from wind uplift. With Arkansas’ high winds, this is an important factor to consider. According to ASTM testing standards, paper based shingles have a fire rating of “B,” which means lower resistance to flames.
Fiberglass shingles are fiberglass particles mixed with a lower amount of asphalt, which earns them a more favorable rating environmentally. Fiberglass shingles maintain a fire rating of “ A” for their superior flame retardant qualities. In areas prone to wildfires, this is an important distinction. Though not as flexible as organic shingles, they are still a viable option in roofing materials.
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Membranes
TPO membranes are the fastest growing roofing system for commercial flat roofs. TPO sheets are a blend of polymers and usually are reinforced with polyester. TPO can repeatedly soften with heat and harden with cold without losing flexibility. The seams are heat welded with hot air for increased resistance to tearing. These qualities enhance puncture resistance, which is vital protection against Arkansas’ frequent hailstorms. To avoid the expense of tearing off an existing non-TPO system, TPO sheets are available with fleece backing that can be applied over an existing concrete or granular molecule roof, or can be mopped onto an existing hot asphalt roof.
TPO’s other properties that make it especially well suited for Arkansas’ extremes include:
- UV absorbers to protect against weather from ultraviolet radiation
- Colorant, usually white, to reflect sunlight and mitigate heat build-up
- Flame retardant, which with the increasing wildfire risks in Arkansas can help prevent combustion.
The sheets range in widths from 6 to 12 feet and thickness between 40 mils to 100 mils. The variable thicknesses provide a spectrum of price and protection options for the business owner. TPO sheets offer longevity in performance that offers long-term savings for the life of your business.
Metal roofing is gaining in popularity across the country for its longevity. Most roofing metals are also resilient enough to resist damage from common Arkansas hazards, such as falling tree limbs, hail, and high winds. Since metal doesn’t burn, it’s especially appropriate for businesses close to areas at risk for wildfires or located far from a fire station. Following are some facts about the five types of metal used in roofing materials.
Aluminum – Requiring little maintenance and highly resistant to corrosion, aluminum has increasingly become the roofing material of choice for customers seeking longevity. In a hot climate like Arkansas, aluminum can be a wise choice as it reflects heat much better than steel, thereby keeping a business cooler and lowering air conditioning costs overall. A properly installed aluminum roof will last approximately 35 years.
Copper – Copper isn’t widely used as a roofing material currently, though it’s by far the longest-lasting of all roofing materials. In many European countries, one can find penny metal covers that have been reliably performing for hundreds of years, and are estimated to last for several hundred more. Copper’s downside is that it is increasingly rare and therefore quite expensive.
Galvanized Steel – This material is made of alloyed steel with a protective coating of zinc, rendering it highly rust resistant. The resilient qualities of galvanized steel can be enhanced with a zinc-dust type paint. Cement-based and latex coatings may also be used, but make sure they are formulated specifically for galvanized steel. Do not use aluminum-based finishes. Bare and painted galvanized steel are recommended for use with concrete or stone buildings, as it will not corrode in reaction to these highly alkaline materials. With proper maintenance, galvanized steel is an inexpensive roofing material that will last 60 years or more.
Galvalume – This is a relatively new material developed by Bethlehem Steel in 1972. Comprised of steel coil coated with metal alloy, it is finer grained and smoother in appearance than galvanized steel. It can be more rust resistant than galvanized steel, however because its protection comes from barrier rather than galvanization, it can rust easier around scratches and cut edges. However, Galvalume should not be used on buildings where it will be in contact with concrete or mortar. These materials are highly alkaline and will cause the sheets to suffer rapid corrosion. Also Galvalume should also not be used for animal confinement operations, as the gasses emitted are corrosive.
Tin, Terne or Terneplate – Any one of several soft metal materials that have been treated with a lead and tin coating. A properly installed tin roof can last between 40 and 50 years. Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home, Monticello, still sports its original tin roof, without any signs yet of catastrophic wear.
All metal roofs require an “accessory”, grounding. As metal roofs are great conductors of electricity, they conduct the electricity of lightning, which is common with Arkansas’ frequent thunderstorms. Grounding provides a path for the lightning’s electrical current, enabling it to bypass the house and harmlessly enter the earth. Without proper grounding, your home’s electrical system can possibly absorb the charge, which can lead to fire or personal injury.
The most common roofing material worldwide, tile is also one of the most ancient building materials. Tile can be manufactured from stone, clay, glass, metal or ceramic. Tiles come in a wide spectrum of styles, shapes and colors to fit any building style, from Mediterranean to New England colonial. Tiles can also be manufactured to simulate other building materials, such as wood shakes or composition shingles. Modern engineering design provides a natural water shedding and ventilation qualities that make tiles a preferred roof covering in warm climates around the world. Tiles can be installed in a system that enables a natural cooling effect, reducing heat buildup in attics and crawlspaces by as much as 40%. This can mean a huge savings in temperature control costs over the life of the business. Another upside to concrete or clay tile is that in case of breakage, single tiles can be inserted and replaced without requiring an entire roof re-do.