Because of how big commercial buildings tend to be, most of them have a flat roof. One of the most common ways to waterproof a flat roof is to install alternating layers of tar paper and asphalt to create a solid roof. An alternate method for installing a roof is to use a rubberized roofing membrane. Both options can make a solid roof, but if you want to save on your cooling costs, then there is only one choice to make.
An Analysis of a BUR Roof
A Built-up, or BUR, roof has the primary advantage of being less expensive than any other option. This cost advantage is the primary benefit of installing a BUR roof. The main problem with alternating layers of tarpaper and asphalt is that they are both susceptible to damage from the sun, and they tend to radiate the sun's heat into your building. The UV rays of the sun will bake a built-up roof until it gets brittle and starts cracking, which will lead to leaking. Asphalt tar will also absorb the sun's heat and then let it seal into your home. Thus, you pay for your roof over and over in the form of increased cooling costs.
An Analysis of a Rubber Membrane
A rubber roof will be impervious to water damage as long as installers take the time to seal sufficiently around anything that protrudes from the roof. Depending on how large the roof is, you might also need to use more than one membrane to cover the roof. The sill between membrane is the most common place for leaks to form. Thus, care must be taken to make sure that the seal is done properly. Buying a white membrane will help to reflect the sun's energy away from your building and thus keep your building cooler. In fact, a white roof can help you save up to 20% on your cooling costs.
It is easy to focus only on the installation costs of your roof. A myopic focus on initial costs can actually leave you susceptible to higher costs down the road. Freeing up money from month to month on your cooling costs can help to allay the cost of a rubber roofing membrane. Furthermore, once you pay your roof off, the reduction in cooling costs will translate to pure savings. Because rubber roofing membranes help to keep your costs down, they are clearly the better choice for a flat roof.
To learn more about roofing options, visit a website like, http://www.empireroofingnm.com.