Resilient Roofs: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Resilient Roofs: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Aerial - Cruise Terminal 3 Roof mid-installation

Resiliency. It’s a term you’re likely to hear more and more these days as it pertains to businesses and building solutions. But now it’s time to ask the key questions:

What is Resiliency?

How does Resiliency apply to roofing?

What is the value of investing in a Resilient Roof System?

Having a resilient business can help you withstand disruptions, fortify against breaches, and endure extreme conditions. In this article, we will cover what resiliency is, what makes a resilient roof system, and why it’s important to you.

What is Resiliency?

Resiliency is a strong word. We talk about people being resilient and having the ability to come back from a tough situation as a stronger person. But now we look at how a business can be resilient.

Resiliency in business is the ability to absorb or avoid damage without suffering from failure, downtime, or loss. A business can be resilient in many ways, their IT infrastructure can be resilient from attacks, their machinery can be resilient from failure, and their building can be resilient against extreme weather.

One of the most critical aspects of a resilient business is the building enclosure. For roofing systems, resiliency means protecting a building’s ability to remain fully operational despite severe weather events, environmental contamination, and man-made wear and tear.

A recent article by FM Global, one of the world’s largest property insurers, reported 94% of Fortune 500 companies have significant concerns about critical equipment failure (due to an event). Protecting these assets is critically important to building owners, and the economic impact is real.

There are critical businesses where a failure in their roof system is not an option.

  • Hospitals and critical care facilities in Miami have to stay secure during the next hurricane threat.
  • Food processing facilities cannot have contamination from outside their plants.
  • Data centers cannot have water near their electronic data storage towers.

Read More: Buildings – 6 Factors that Create Roofing Resilience

What Does a Resilient Roof Protect Against?

Durability has always been an essential aspect of roofing; however, extreme weather events are becoming more and more common: severe hail storms, hurricanes, and fast-moving wildfires. In addition, the ambient environment often adds contaminants on a daily basis that building owners may not even be aware of. Think fuel emissions, food processing byproducts, exposure from UV rays, and more.

At FiberTite, we’ve yet to identify an area that doesn’t experience some assault by the elements or natural forces. Long story short, nearly everyone is at risk.

Here are a few ways a resilient roof system protects your business:

blue sky and sunRoof Resiliency Through UV Protection

Your roof faces constant exposure from ultraviolet rays that can physically degrade the roofing materials. As the materials break down, you can see cracking in the roof materials allowing breaches into your building. A resilient roof system will have UV resistance that holds up long-term to sunlight and UV.

DID YOU KNOW? The Earth’s Ozone Layer protects us from the radiation from the sun; unfortunately, there are some areas (such as Australia and New Zealand) where the Ozone Layer is thinner, the effects of radiation are more severe.

burned-by-wrong-roofing-materialRoof Resiliency Through Puncture Resistance

Commercial roof systems are often at risk of punctures from hail, debris, or even foot traffic. A small hole in the top layer of your roof system can allow water to enter your building and cause more severe roof damage. A resilient roof system will withstand punctures and prevent holes in the top layer of your roof system.

Chemical Resistance 2Roof Resiliency Through Chemical Resistance

Every roof will face some chemical elements in its lifetime, from pollutants in rainwater, industrial emissions, leaks from HVAC units, and vents from the very buildings they protect. Chemical contaminants accelerate the extraction of liquid plastisol, decreasing the longevity of the roofing membrane. A resilient roof system will allow chemicals to stay on top of your roof membrane until they are cleaned off with no damage to the system underneath.

Storm Damage (resized) Blue (1)-1Roof Resiliency Through Wind Uplift Protection

The roof membrane and edges are the first line of defense against failure. If your roof system is not ready for a severe storm, one failure can lead to the entire roof blowing off your building. A resilient system should fortify the edges of your roof system to hold up to the strongest wind gusts and uplifts, no matter the force or angle.

What Is the Value of a Resilient Roofing System?

If a large parcel delivery company is closed for one extra day due to a roof leak, it causes an entire week’s worth of backup for their business. A better question might be: How Much Does Downtime Affect Your Business? What’s more, looming harmful effects don’t just entail time and money.

An FM Global survey asked business leaders about the effects of critical equipment failure with their company. 75% of those surveyed said it would take months to recover from a critical equipment failure, and 14% said it would take years to recover.

A building or equipment recovery does not only apply to the cost of repairs, but it also includes a detrimental decline in:

  • Revenue/Earnings
  • Share Value
  • Brand Reputation
  • Shareholder Confidence
  • Employee Retention

It’s no wonder this subject has caught the attention of U.S. legislators. In Colorado, Congressional legislation is being introduced that offers incentives to build beyond the building code for new construction projects. And this idea is likely to catch on, as leading companies around the world increase their investments in loss prevention and operational security.

Rolling with The Punches, Revisited.

Are you building a resilient business? Do you trust your building to endure what nature throws at it? You can learn more about Business Resiliency from FM Global. And you can learn more about Roof Resiliency from our roofs that are over 20 years old.

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