A building is considered resilient if it is capable of surviving extreme weather events while remaining a habitable space even without power for a short period up until electricity comes back on. One essential component of this resilience is the roofing system. Just imagine if your roof gets easily damaged or blown off during a storm, your home will likely become uninhabitable; your building will be unusable.
Furthermore, without a proper roof to protect your home or building, you can expect damage not just to the structure but to your personal belongings or office equipment and inventory too. This could mean expensive repair costs or profit loss. These circumstances may seem difficult to avoid; you may even think that they may actually be inevitable in certain conditions. But with the right roof design and quality materials, you can protect your property and save you from the hassle and expenses of a major repair.
That said, as you install a new roof — whether it’s residential or commercial roofing — make sure that it is designed with specific qualities that will make it resilient.
In this post, trusted roofing contractor DePalma Construction lists the factors that make up resilient roofing.
Resilient roofs should be able to withstand high winds. Over the years, building codes have become more stringent with regards to wind designs of roofs. However, if your area is particularly prone to high winds or you simply don’t want to take any chances, you can opt to design your roof for higher wind speeds than codes typically require. This way, you can ensure greater protection against blow-offs.
You should be especially particular with how you improve protection for your perimeters and corners since wind-related damage usually starts in these areas. For example, you can enhance the edge metal details of your roof by using thicker metal and higher fastener density. These things can increase the wind resistance of your roofing and provide cost-effective and long-term protection.
Additionally, you might want to install a peel-resistant bar as well. Typically placed above the membrane and located two to three feet from the building’s perimeter, this bar is designed to help keep the membrane weather-tight.
Impact resistance can mean various things. It could refer to a roof’s resistance to hail, debris, or even rooftop equipment. To ensure that your roof has good impact resistance, you should install a tough membrane with a durable cover board between the insulation layer and membrane.
High-density polyiso cover boards typically have incredible resistance to impacts from hail. The way they work is that they simply absorb the impact and do not crush in the process. You might want to take special note of this, especially if you live in a hail-prone region because having an appropriate cover board is crucial for resilient roofing.
Moreover, if large hail frequently occurs in your area, it might be for best to have cementitious pavers above the roof membrane. These pavers can be added to existing roofs. However, make sure to check the capacity of your roof structure before adding these pavers because their weight can be significant.
With regards to rooftop equipment like exhaust vents and HVAC units, always keep in mind that these can be overturned or thrown off during a severe storm. It’s not uncommon for property owners to forget about these things. But if you do neglect them, they can cause major damage to your roof and allow water to enter your home or building during an extreme weather event. To secure your rooftop equipment in place, you can add fasteners or tethers to the equipment. This can be done anytime and not just during a roof repair, reroofing, or new roof construction.
Insulation and Roof Color
Roof color and insulation may not come to mind when it comes to roofing resilience. However, these things actually play an important role in maintaining comfort inside your home or building. They are essential in keeping the structure habitable.
A high R-value enables less heat transfer into and out of a building. So in case the power goes out, the building is still able to maintain an interior temperature that’s comfortable for the occupants.
Aside from proper insulation, you might want to opt for reflective roof surfaces as well. Examples of these are white membrane or white coating. Reflective roof surfaces can reduce potential solar gain and aid in further lowering heat transfer into the roof. Furthermore, you should also pair your high-R roof with operable windows. Such windows will allow natural ventilation and contribute to the comfort inside the building.
Rooftop Energy Production
As a property owner, you should aim for longer-term roofing and building resilience. Consider adding solar panels to your rooftop. Solar energy can serve as your backup in the event of a power outage and operate key components of a building. This can be especially useful for commercial establishments like grocery stores where refrigerated and frozen food may be compromised if they are kept in the wrong storage conditions for too long.
However, take note that most PV systems rely on the grid, so they won’t be able to provide energy during a blackout. In this case, you might want to consider a battery-backup PV system specifically. It will add to your costs, but this investment can give you peace of mind and offer protection against profit loss.
Daylighting is simply the use of natural light to keep the interior bright or to complement any artificial lights inside a building. A rooftop daylighting system can provide adequate lighting even when the power is out. It will ensure that the occupants can still go about their business and the building remains functional. However, with a rooftop daylighting system, you will have to trade off some of the roof’s R-value. Consult a roofing expert so that you can ensure a balance between effective daylighting and an appropriate R-value for your roof. Furthermore, make sure that your daylighting system has good impact resistance too.
Roofing resilience is no simple thing. That is why you will definitely need the expertise of a roofing professional. When hiring a contractor to handle your project, ensure that they are knowledgeable and experienced with roofing resilience. This way, you can rest assured that your goals for your roofing system will be met. Moreover, it can also give you confidence that your investment will be worth the cost.
Remember that a good roof design won’t be enough if your contractor is not able to execute the plan properly. Make sure they are trustworthy and their crew is properly trained, skilled, and experienced. Check customer reviews and ask about similar projects that they have done in the past. The latter could be especially helpful if you have questions or concerns about the enhancements needed for a resilient roof.
For your residential roofing needs, you might want to look into one of the area’s most trusted contractors — DePalma Construction. We have several years of experience in the industry, and we guarantee top-quality workmanship for every job, big or small. Rest assured, we only use top of the line materials, and we can complete projects on time. Call us at 717-638-1131 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.