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Extending roof life on commercial properties

Roofs deteriorate. This is normal for any roof system exposed to sun, smog, wind, rain, heat, cold, foot traffic, etc. Can anything be done to prolong roof life? Yes, here are some commonly asked questions regarding commercial roofs and roofing contractors.

Q: Can property owners do anything to extend the working life of a new or existing roof?

A: Yes, just follow a few simple rules: 1) Keep the rooftop clean and free of leaves, trash and debris that can retain water, clog drains or promote rot. 2) Regularly inspect and maintain the roof to ensure that water drains are unobstructed, that surface punctures are quickly patched and that any roof damage or problems are quickly corrected. 3) Avoid repairs by well-meaning, but untrained maintenance people. 4) Consider re-surfacing an existing roof with Polara Shield's ceramic granule surfacing, which reflects heat, lowers energy costs and allows for roof warranties of up to 20 years. 5) When re-roofing, take advantage of modern roofing materials that offer longer life spans backed by longer warranties.

Q: What is a "polyester membrane" roof?

A: In Southern California, this patented material is sold under the name Polara and is lighter, stronger and lasts longer than other membrane materials such as felt or fiberglass.

Polyester membrane roofing systems such as Polara feature a built-up, hot asphalt roofing system in which the asphalt permeates the polyester to create a continuous roof surface. There are no seams and the spun polyester material resists tearing, which makes it ideal for roofing flat commercial structures.

Q: What kind of warranty should I expect on a new commercial roof?

A: Virtually every roofing contractor offers a warranty against defective materials and workmanship. Read the warranty carefully and know exactly what is and is not included.

Generally speaking, industry standards for warranties on a flat commercial roof range from 5 years to 10 years, depending on the specific roof, roofing system and materials being used. More modern materials, such as Polara, make warranties up to 20 years possible.

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