It’s common knowledge that asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material for residential homes. What many don’t know is that they’re also a great choice for commercial buildings.
Here are some of the advantages of commercial asphalt-shingle roofs:
The most important aspect of any roofing material would naturally be its durability. The roof, after all, is the building’s first line of defense against the elements. Commercial flat roofs, in particular, need to be exceptionally durable, given that leaks can severely disrupt businesses or tenants’ day-to-day routines and operations.
In terms of durability, asphalt shingles are a good choice. Standard shingles usually last from 15 to 40 years, although their shingles’ lifespans may vary depending on the quality of the shingles. High-quality asphalt shingles are known to last up 50 years.
Buying Tip: Choose Reputable Brands
When shopping for new roofs, it’s best to stick to the tried-and-tested brands. Not all shingles are manufactured equal. If you’re looking for reputable brands, GAF is one of the most trusted names in the roofing industry. GAF also happens to be the manufacturer behind North America’s number one shingle, the Timberline® shingle line.
The Different Types of Roofing Shingles
The durability of asphalt shingles may also vary depending on their type. Here’s a quick overview of the three most common types:
3-tab roofing shingles – Three-tab roofing shingles are often used in roofing projects with tight budgets, but they’re rarely used in commercial asphalt shingle roofs. This may be due to their bare-bones feature set that may not provide adequate protection.
Architectural or laminated roof shingles – This type of shingle is more durable than 3-tab roofing shingles and has excellent wind resistance. Architectural shingles can also mimic more expensive roofing materials like wood shake, tile or slate roofing, making them a great choice for building owners that are concerned about their property’s appeal.
50-year roof shingles – As the name suggests, these premium shingles come with 50-year warranties and are one of the most durable options on the market. However, 50-year shingles are heavier than standard shingles and, by extension, harder to install. Your building may also need additional structural support for the additional weight load. These are the reasons why only a professional contractor from an experienced roofing company should handle your roof installation.
Ease of Maintenance
Asphalt shingles don’t need a lot of upkeep to maintain their durability. Keep in mind that low-maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance. The surface of shingle roofing systems should be kept free of leaves and other kinds of organic debris, and their gutter systems cleaned regularly.
Building owners should also have a professional contractor from a commercial roofing services company routinely inspect their roof. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends scheduling roof inspections in fall and spring when weather conditions are milder to prepare the flat roofs for harsher weather.
Keep in mind that the NRCA’s recommendation is the bare minimum – depending on your area’s climate and the frequency of extreme weather events, your building roof may require more frequent inspections. Commercial roofing systems, due to their susceptibility to leaks and moisture damage, usually require more inspections than a residential roof.
Buying Tip: Take Advantage of Features and Accessories
Aside from routine maintenance, how can you enhance your flat roof’s durability? By taking advantage of some of the shingle features manufacturers offer. For instance, GAF’s Timberline shingles come equipped with Dura Grip™ Adhesive and a Micro Weave™ Core to improve their resistance against gale-force winds and cracks respectively.
Leak Protection Accessories
GAF also happens to offer leak-protection accessories. The manufacturer’s highest-rated leak-protection accessories are the StormGuard® and WeatherWatch® leak barriers. The former can be installed under shingle and metal roofing systems while the latter can only be used in asphalt shingle roofs. Both leak barriers prevent water from seeping into a roof’s underlayers by covering its most vulnerable points.
Ease of Installation and Repair
Of course, even the most durable roof is bound to suffer some form of damage at some point. When cracks start to appear, the flat roof should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent it from affecting the other parts of the building. This is also the main reason why contractors don’t usually recommend highly specialized types of roofing systems: they take a long time to repair them, not to mention not all contractors are qualified to handle them. By the time you find a contractor, the leaks may have affected other parts of the building.
Fortunately, since asphalt shingles are lightweight and easy-to-install, they can be easily replaced. Plus, any professional contractor should be able to install asphalt shingles, given that they’re found in roughly 80% of homes.
Perhaps, the biggest advantage of asphalt shingles is their cost-effectiveness. They have fairly lengthy lifespans, and, as such, you don’t need to replace them often. Asphalt shingles are also easy-to-install, allowing you to save on labor costs.
Maximizing Your ROIs
It’s always a good idea to get a roof warranty. Regardless of how durable your roof is, you can never rule out the risk of roof damage from unexpected weather events. Of course, just like roofing materials, not all warranties are made equal, which is why you need to do your research before getting a warranty.
If you’re looking for roof warranties, GAF offers some of the most comprehensive warranties on the market. In particular, GAF’s lifetime warranties give great value for your money. If you install GAF Lifetime shingles along with a minimum of three qualifying GAF accessories, your roof will automatically get a lifetime limited warranty on its shingles and qualifying accessories. Not to mention, you’ll get to enjoy non-prorated coverage for the first 10 years.
The GAF Master Elite® Advantage
To make sure you get to enjoy all of the benefits of GAF roofing materials, you need to make sure only a professional contractor from a reputable roofing company handles the installation. Here’s a vetting tip: check a contractor’s certifications. These credentials are proof a contractor has undergone stringent vetting by a manufacturer or an independent organization.
One of the most widely recognized certifications in the home improvement industry is the Master Elite® certification. Only licensed and experienced contractors who have a solid reputation and undergone extensive training can qualify for the Master Elite certification. The requirements for certification are so stringent that only 3% of all roofing companies in the country can qualify for the certification. So, you can rest easy knowing you can only expect high-quality work from a Master Elite contractor.
Exclusive GAF Warranties
Another advantage of hiring a Master Elite contractor is the exclusive warranties only available to roofing systems installed by GAF-certified roofers. Here’s an overview of the levels of warranties GAF offers:
Golden Pledge Limited® warranty – The Golden Pledge Limited warranty is the most comprehensive warranty level. The one-time transferable Golden Pledge warranty covers all manufacturer defects for the entire lifespan of the shingle and labor defects for 25 years. Plus, any roof repair work aimed at fixing the aforementioned defects will be handled by a Master Elite contractor so you can expect the same high level of workmanship.
Silver Pledge™ warranty – The one-time transferable Silver Pledge warranty also covers all manufacturer defects for the shingles’ entire lifetime. The only difference is the shorter 10-year coverage for workmanship errors.
Systems Plus warranty – The Systems Plus warranty may be the lowest warranty level, but it still completely covers roof repair work for manufacturer defects for the entire lifespan of the shingle. However, the Systems Plus warranty only covers workmanship defects for two years.
To learn more about GAF’s exclusive warranties, consult a GAF-certified roofer. Call us today at (571) 364-6399.