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As per our last two blog posts, here are the last few important commercial roofing terms that we think you need to know if you’re connected to the commercial roofing industry. At Shencorp Inc., we want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.


This term refers to the act of getting more useful life from your commercial building’s roof by being proactive in caring for it to prevent problems.


If you’ve ever shopped for insulation for your home or commercial building, you’ve heard this term, and you know that the higher the R-Value number, the better. This is because the term refers to thermal resistance, or the measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. In practical application, R-Value denotes the specific thickness of an insulating material or construction type.


Roofing membranes that are applied in one layer only are known as single-ply membranes. The EPDM systems we talked about above, as well as thermoplastic systems (defined below), are commonly single-ply membranes.


This term refers to the surface on which roofing or waterproofing membranes are applied. The term may refer to the structural deck of the roof, an underlayment, or a cover board (as defined above), depending upon the roofing system used.


As external temperatures naturally change throughout the seasons and even day-to-day, your roof system will expand and contract. Over time, this causes stress to the materials as they age, and will eventually lead to damage. Some roofing systems are more resistant to thermal stress than others.


If a substance or material is thermoplastic, it means that, by design, it becomes soft when heated and hardens as it cools. TPO, which stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, and PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride, are both materials that have this quality. TPO and PVC weather well and are resistant to UV light, punctures, and many chemicals, including oils, animal fats, and bacteria. These systems are great for restaurants and other businesses that vent oils to the exterior.


A felt or sheet material that is installed between a roof deck and roof covering (most often in steep-slope roofs) is referred to as underlayment. Its purpose is to separate a roof covering from the structural deck of the roof and provide secondary weather and water protection within a roofing system.


It may sound strange, but all buildings need to “breathe” and exchange indoor and outdoor air. Roof vents are openings or devices that permit air to exit an enclosed structure. These vents must allow air and vapors to escape, but must not allow moisture to infiltrate the structure.


In short, water infiltration equals roof leaks. If water or moisture is infiltrating, or getting into, your commercial building, you may have a major problem on your roof that requires attention right away.

If you’re searching for a roofing company that specializes in all things concerning commercial roofing, contact us at Shencorp Inc, proudly serving Winchester, VA, Charlottesville, VA, Waynesboro, VA, Richmond, VA, Virginia Beach, VA, and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic region. Since 1977, Shencorp Inc. has specialized in commercial roofing and commercial protective roof coating services. Since then, we have become the leading choice for industrial and commercial roofing services for customers throughout Virginia.