Roof-Top Equipment Installation

Not only do we repair, maintain, and replace commercial roofs, we also install rooftop equipment.

The roof is often the most efficient location for certain equipment and allows the building to hide it from pedestrian view. This equipment must be carefully sealed into the roofing system to be watertight. Improper installation and poor maintenance of the roof around the equipment can lead to issues in the future.

Our roofing contractors are very experienced installing equipment on new and old roofs. Some of the types of equipment we regularly install:

  • HVAC
  • Cameras
  • Solar panel base
  • Ducting
  • Compressors
  • Packaged units
  • Secured piping
  • Service walkways
  • Exhaust fans
  • Duct supports
  • Skylights
  • Equipment platforms
  • Equipment flags
  • Communication equipment

Most rooftop equipment installations depend on the roof surrounding it to be airtight for optimal efficiency. Proper installation is essential. The installations must also be level and any discharge from the equipment must be able to exit unobstructed and not result in pooling.

We often design custom supports but there are generally three different ways to properly support various equipment on a flat roof, including:

  • Flashed curbs - flashed into the roof membrane with a sheet metal cap
  • Flashed steel supports - structural steel vertical posts supporting a structural steel framework
  • Non-penetrating supports

Flashed curbs are rooftop curbs that are flashed into the roof membrane with a sheet metal cap. Typically, flashed curbs are built in one of two ways: with individual curbs often referred to as "runners" or with square/rectangular-or box-shaped curbs.

Flashed steel supports are structural steel vertical posts supporting a structural steel framework. This is generally used to support fairly large or heavy equipment. There are a number of different steel shapes that are used depending on the equipment shape including circular, square, wide flange shapes, "C" shapes, and angles. Light gauge steel struts are also used to support larger items and are often the chosen material for electrical realted equipment.

Non-penetrating supports are a way of securing rooftop equipment without penetrating the roof membrane. These supports range from simple wood blocking to pre-manufactured steel strut assemblies. The non-penetrating support elements are placed on the roof with some type of protection/separation pad between the support and the roof membrane.

Before proceeding with an equipment installation there are some important things to consider. This will help to determine which type of support is best suited for your roof and equipment:

  • Budgetary constraints
  • Anticipated load capacity
  • Project requirements (wind/seismic loading)
  • Designer or installer preferences
  • Site constraints of limitations
  • Roof age

Something to remember, the actual equipment itself can have an adverse effect on your roofs performance. Just like a roof, the rooftop equipment will need proper maintenance as well. Damage can result from the lack of proper care and precaution during servicing of the equipment. Dropped tools, access panels and doors can puncture the roof, and the damage can remain undetected until a serious resulting leak occurs. Depending on the roofs materials the roof can also be ruined by the careless spilling of lubricating oils, and other chemicals incompatible with the membrane. Even prolonged foot traffic resulting from regular servicing can have harmful consequences.

Pathways are often a good recommendation for equipment that will need regular servicing; walkway pads, pavers, or other forms of roof protection can save you finances down the road.

We also recommend posting a notice identifying the roofing system at all roof entrances so that equipment service personnel will know what precautions are required to avoid damaging the roof.

We have been called to many roofs to find that a leak was caused by the faulty performance of roof top equipment. These types of expensive problems can be avoided or eliminated by careful design, initial quality installation and ongoing maintenance of the rooftop equipment and the roof. Maintaining both of these requirements will result in your rooftop equipment performing efficiently and a long roof life.

Call us today for information or a quote on installing your roof-top equipment.


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