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How To Pick The Right Roof


Today's tip is about the considerations facility managers should consider when thinking about roofing products. Considerations can be separated into four categories: Construction, Contractor, Climate and Owner.

First, in the construction category, consider what type of deck there is, what the slope is, and how well the roof currently drains. Consider how the actual construction will take place vis a vis how materials and workers will get to the roof, and how debris will be removed. Think about how flashings will be done and if there are parapet walls. If the system is structural, what is its load-bearing capacity? And finally, how will ongoing maintenance be performed and what abuse might the roof have to endure over its life?

In the contractor category, find out if there are in fact contractors in your area with experience installing the type of roof you’re considering. Are there projects nearby that illustrate that contractor’s experience that you can visit? Also, try to ensure that the contractor you hire uses a crew familiar with the roofing product. It’s not enough to just ensure the contracting company itself has done installations with that type of product.

Thirdly, in regards to climate, find out first and foremost what the code requires in terms of wind and fire rating for your roof. Determine the ratio of heating degree days and cooling degree days, which can help you calculate whether it makes sense to add insulation. Finally, is hail a threat? If so, you may need to choose a thicker roofing product.

Finally, in the category of things to check with the owner (assuming you're not the owner), find out if the building is insured by a Factory Mutual company. This will add a bit more rigor to how the roof is designed and installed in order to maintain compliance. Also, find out if the owner's planning to hold on to the building long-term. If that’s the case, first cost should definitely not be the most important criterion in the selection process.

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