If you're in charge of a commercial facility that has a large flat roof in need of some care and attention, you'll be considering your options. You want to know how to refurbish your roof as effectively as possible and should understand that there are many different options available on the market today. How should you proceed?

Look at the Current System

Firstly, you need to determine the make-up of the roof at present. Most roofing systems in this situation were added or "built" by the contractor that initially installed the system. These contractors would use several different layers of felt or synthetic fabric in the old days and then installed a gravel top layer to protect the building. Determine whether you can refurbish or add to the existing configuration.

Single-Ply Refurbishment

In more recent years, installers might have chosen modified membranes instead. These could be rolled out quite quickly and would consist of sheets of asphalt. The advantage here is that these products are single-ply, and there are various material options in this category, including thermoset or thermoplastic.

As single-ply options are so easy to install (in relative terms) and cost-effective, many people in your situation will choose them for a refurbishment project. They are designed to last a long time and are undoubtedly cheaper than some of the traditional alternatives.

Installation Options

Typically, a refurbishment contractor will introduce these products using hot-air welding equipment or through an adhesive bond. There are slight differences in the approach between thermoplastic and thermoset, with the former being more commonplace. PVC is generally easier to handle and weld in place, while most materials are certified for fire resistance. Some manufacturers include additives to their FPO membranes to improve overall fire performance.

Environmental Considerations

If you're worried about your corporate carbon footprint and want to know if you can install a green roof on top of your refurbished single-ply membrane, you'll be happy. Most of these options have root barrier certification, so they are suitable for green roofs. Alternatively, you could consider leaving the membrane as-is and taking advantage of its highly reflective white surface. This will help to keep the interior relatively cool on those hot summer days so that you can save on your air conditioning costs.

Analysing Your Options

Talk with your contractor and weigh up your different options. See if a single-ply layer will be the perfect choice for your refurbishment project. Contact a company that offers commercial flat roof refurbishment services to learn more.