What is a commercial building without a roof? Or any roof for that matter? Not a place you want to run your business or livelihood from that’s for certain. To see were commercial roofing techniques and services, such as the ones used by Rockn G Roofing in Miami, OK developed from, we need to look at their predecessors. Before TPO roofing, acrylic roofing, and silicone roofing coatings were used, most roofings were very rudimentary.
When commercial buildings were first created during the industrial era, wood, slate, and clay tiles were commonly used. These materials were very accessible during this time until the mid-19th century. With the coming of the second industrial revolution came the commercial production of steel industries. Mega-corporations alongside the steel industry created more reliable and less expensive roofing options. Commercial roofs were then created from metal. While metal was expensive, it was more durable than the roofing materials previously used. Metal roofing embraced the steep slope roof design, as did its predecessors.
During the 19th century, commercial roofers began using bituminous membrane. Bituminous membrane consisted of rubber and thermoplastic material similar to asphalt. This type of roofing technique was more commonly referred to as built-up roofing, BUR. Like commercial roofs today, it mimicked the use of laying strong material in between bitumen. Its top layer was typically gravel. This kind of roofing is very close to what commercial roofers use today.
Built-up roofing changed the way commercial roofers designed roofs forever. Due to its ability to withstand rain, commercial roofers moved to utilize flat roofs. As you can see in every commercialized area, flat roofs are still being used to this day.
With time, commercial roofer contractors began using new materials to improve the bituminous membrane. During the 1970s, the most common materials used were ethylene propylene diene Terpolymer (EPDM), or a form of PVC. These membranes were known for their flexibility, however, the materials these coatings were made from became brittle with time.
To save on roofing costs for both business owners and commercial roofing contractors, a new coating membrane was designed. This material is still actively used today in 2019. It is referred to as thermoplastic polyolefins, commonly known as TPO.
As TPO became the more predominant roofing material used for commercial flat roof buildings, concerns for safety became an issue. During the 1990s, people were fearful of the halogenated fire retardants used in TPO roofing. Due to these concerns, manufacturers replaced it with magnesium hydroxide (MDH). MDH has flame retardant properties that make it much safer than halogenated chemicals.
TPO to this day remains one of the top choices for commercial roof coatings. TPO is affordable, resistant to extreme weather, and has a quick application time. In only a few hundred years, commercial roofing has gone from organic materials such as clay to manufactured chemicals able to withstand temperatures exceeding 200 degrees.
Look at how far TPO roofing has come from the 19th century to 2019. If you’re considering TPO roofing, call us. We give estimates and quotes for all commercial roofing projects including restoration, installation, and maintenance.