Read more about the types of commercial roofs found in and around metro New Orleans
The rich history of commercial properties in New Orleans provides a huge assortment of roofing systems. From the French Quarter to the stately buildings throughout the community, businesses have all types of low slope and steep slope roofs.
Many of the older and new commercial buildings in the New Orleans area have roofing systems with a low slope. Typically, the roofs are sealed with roof membranes that are weatherproof or water impermeable. Generally, the slopes on these roofs are equal to or less than 3:12, or a pitch of 14°.
Other commercial roofs in the area are steep sloped and made of specific roof coverings that shed water. Generally, these roofing systems are classified as being greater than 14°.
Low Slope Roofs
All throughout the New Orleans area, many commercial buildings with low slope roofs use one of five different available types. Generally speaking, these types of membranes all have three components in common. The layers are installed for weatherproofing. In addition, they are used as a reinforcement to offer puncture resistance and durable strength and stability. Finally, they are used as a surfacing material to guard against weather and sunlight. They also provide resistance to hail and fire, while holding up well to wear and tear and heavy roof traffic. These products also have increased solar reflective properties.
Low slope roofing materials include:
- BUR (built-up roof) Membranes – These types of roofing systems use a built-up membrane. Commonly called “tar and gravel” roofing materials, a BUR system alternates a layer of reinforcing fabric with a layer of bitumen to create the finished product. Many commercial properties use three plies and four plies, which denotes the number of layers of membrane used during installation.
- Polymer-Modified Bitumen – This type of sheet membrane was originally created in Europe over a half a century ago. It has been used along the Southern states of the US since the 1970s. There are two types of polymer modified bitumen products including hot mopping, and torch-applied (heat-welded) membranes.
- Metal Panel Roof System – Many commercial properties in the New Orleans area use a roof system of metal panels in low slope applications. However, they can also be utilized for steep slopes too. They can be installed over a huge assortment of substrates, and are typically used for water resistance at the joints or laps.
- Spray Urethane Foam – This type of roofing system requires a two component liquid that is mixed and then sprayed onto the roof system substrate. The material can be installed at any number of thicknesses to meet specific thermal resistance requirements. Generally, an elastomeric protective surface coating is applied on top of the sprayed urethane foam roof system to protect against the elements.
- Single Ply Membranes – This type of membrane is usually factory-manufactured and delivered to the site. They are often categorized as thermoset or thermoplastic. The thermoset material is designed to set, or solidify, completely after being heated. Alternatively, the thermoplastic has the ability to be repeatedly softened by using heat, and will harden once the product cools.
Steep Slope Roofs
Typically, the commercial buildings in the New Orleans areas that have steep slope roofs can be seen from the ground. These are more traditional roofing materials that are often used on residential properties. They include:
- Asphalt Shingles
- Concrete or Clay Tile
- Metal Roof System
- Wood Shingles or Shakes
- Synthetic Materials
The materials used in the New Orleans area are ideal for most commercial applications in either new construction, or for the replacement of an aging, outdated roof. When properly installed, the selected materials can last for decades.