Roofing Terms 101 | Fort Lauderdale Commercial Roofing Blog

Fort Lauderdale commercial roofing companies often speak a language that few property owners completely understand. This isn’t done intentionally it’s just the jargon that is used in the industry to describe a product or process but it can create misunderstandings and result in a less than satisfied customer.

If you are considering a commercial roofing project, particularly if you have a flat roof, never hesitate to have your contractor fully explain any term used in a proposal that you do not fully comprehend. Professional roofers use professional terms to describe their service and are happy to “translate” those terms into language consumers can understand if asked. Don’t agree to a contract if you don’t understand exactly what, when and how the roofing work will be accomplished.

To give you a head start in decrypting a roofing proposal we’ve listed some common terms that are often associated with commercial flat roof projects:

  • Flat roof. Not surprisingly this is a roof that is nearly horizontal with only a slight pitch for drainage. Flat roofs are the most common roofs for commercial application. They also present unique challenges like pooling and excessive UV damage.
  • Reflective roofing. This technique typically involves a white roofing material to reflect the sun’s rays and minimize heat transfer. Reflective roofing can offer a significant reduction in energy costs for the property owner.
  • Modified Bitumen. A bitumen roofing material that has been modified by the addition of one or more polymers. This material provides superior protection from water damage, can reflect the sun’s rays and reduce energy costs and is an economical roofing solution because of its relatively low installation cost.
  • Membrane. This term refers to any flexible or semi-flexible material that is applied to deflect water from a roof. There are numerous materials that fit this category like Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) which are considered two of the best and they do much more than just protect the roof from rain.
  • Cold Tar Pitch. This is an asphalt coating combined with a gravel topping. It is an extremely common application with high durability and low maintenance. This system is also highly resistant to damage caused by insects and UV rays and given Fort Lauderdale’s hot and humid summers that’s important.

Odds are terms like Thermoplastic Olefin won’t come up in your everyday conversations like it does in ours and why should it? The take away here is to not hesitate to ask your Fort Lauderdale commercial roofing contractor to fully explain any language you don’t understand.

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