You've found the perfect home in an area zoned for businesses, and you're transforming it into a law office, restaurant, or plumbing repair shop. If replacing the roof is in your renovation plans, you should become familiar with any local safety issues before you choose your roofing type.
Keep these considerations in mind:
It's not the fire; it's the embers.
Fire is a risk no matter where your business is located. Before you start any renovations, examine your roof to find its vulnerabilities including the flammability of current materials.
Any commercial building may be at risk of igniting due to airborne embers even when the business is not directly in contact with flames. Embers easily ignite dry, standing debris and set highly combustible roofing components on fire. Embers also enter buildings through openings in the structures of their roofs. There are precautions you should take to ensure that your business has a roof that repels fire rather than feeding it.
Some fire precautions you should take include the following:
- Ordering Class A fire-rated roofing materials for maximum protection.
- Replacing existing open vents with new fire-resistant vents.
- Having mesh-covered, non-combustible gutters installed.
- Running a rooftop sprinkler system in wildfire-prone areas.
Install a roof that can take a beating and not get blown away.
Hail is a big problem in some locations, but there are ways to offset significant impact damage. One method is to use impact-resistant roofing materials. The use of cover boards is recommended over non-impact-resistant materials such as single-ply membrane or modified bitumen roofs. Protecting vents, attic fans, and other rooftop fixtures with mesh or chicken wire is also a good idea as long as flammable leaf debris and trash are regularly kept cleared away from the protective wire.
High winds damage roofs, so if you live in an area that experiences tornadoes, hurricanes, or intense storms, ask about ways to reduce your risks.
Wind damage prevention may include:
- Installing windscreens.
- Using shingles rated to exceed wind loads in your area.
- Choosing stronger fasteners to attach shingles and materials.
Remember that your roof is your business's first line of defense. Once it's breached, your entire operation is at risk from flooding, rain, and snow damage. Go with a roof that's rated higher than the recommended wind rating for your area to ensure you're covered for extreme wind events.
Your local roofing professionals are good sources of information about weather and disaster preparation for roofs. Learn how to defend your building from the roof down so you'll have peace of mind when bad weather or fire risks threaten your business.
For more information, contact Danny Odom & Son Roofing or a similar company.