When it is time to decide on the right roofing material for your commercial building, there are many variables to consider. One critical component of any roofing system is the roof substrate or the layer of material that comprises the foundation for the other roofing materials. While not the most glamorous of decisions that need to be made, the choice of roof substrate represents a vital factor in the longevity, durability, and performance of your commercial roof.
This blog will offer a basic introduction to roof substrates and explain why having a comprehensive understanding of this roofing materials component is crucial for anyone in the process of installing a new roof or repairing a current roof. Whether you’re a property owner, architect, or builder, this article should help you make an informed choice when it comes to selecting the right roof substrate for your project.
Roof Substrate: Definition and Application
The term substrate actually describes multiple things and is most often used in the context of science and construction. In the world of roofing, it defines the layer of material that operates as the foundation for the entire roofing system. The substrate is the surface onto which the chosen roofing material is installed, and it delivers the necessary stability and support. The substrate is usually installed on top of the structure known as the roof deck, but the roof deck itself may also be considered the actual substrate.
The decision of which substrate is to be used is a vital choice when designing, planning for, and installing a roofing system.
Why are Substrates Important?
The decking or roof substrate provides the foundation for the roof system. To guarantee that the commercial roof performs at its optimum level, the owner or property manager needs to take into account the condition of the roof’s foundation. This is why it is important to install a quality roof deck when building a new roof for your building.
Because the roof substrate supports the rest of the roofing system components, a quality substrate must be used – and it should be professionally applied. This substrate will allow the roofing system to hold up under the weight of the roofing materials, as well as to endure any harsh weather conditions such as wind and rain. The substrate is vital for maintaining a safe and environmentally sound interior.
A professionally installed roofing substrate can help to extend the lifespan of the roofing system by avoiding premature damage and wear and tear. These substrates can significantly prolong the life of the roof and help property managers to prevent many unnecessary roof repairs and replacements which can be very expensive to remedy.
Finally, a roof substrate helps to prevent moisture infiltration, which can present a significant problem for roofing systems. Too much moisture can result in damage to the building structure and eventually, lead to expensive repairs. A professional-grade substrate helps avoid moisture infiltration by creating a barrier between the roofing material and the building interior, helping to maintain a dry and structurally sound roofing system.
Different types of roofs require different types of substrates. In our next blog, we will examine BUR (built-up roofing), metal roofing, modified bitumen roofing, single ply, and SPF roof types and discuss the solutions available.
Unicoat Industrial Roofing offers decades of professional commercial roofing experience to commercial property owners and managers needing solutions. If you are wondering if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, call our expert team.