3 Of The Best Roofing Options For School Roof Replacement In Western New York

Posted on April 28, 2024

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3 Of The Best Roofing Options For School Roof Replacement In Western New York

In Western New York, selecting a suitable roofing material for a school roof replacement is crucial in order to ensure durability, safety, and cost-effectiveness amid diverse weather conditions. Schools require roofing systems that are capable of withstanding extreme temperatures while protecting students, teachers, and staff. 

In this blog post, we will look at three of the top roofing options for schools in Western New York that offer durability, energy efficiency, and overall performance.

The Top 3 Roofing Options For Roof Replacements For Schools

1. TPO

Installation Cost:  $5.50 to $8.75 per square foot

 TPO Roof

TPO, which stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, is a single-ply membrane made of synthetic materials. It stands out for its reflective surface, which deflects UV rays, making it one of the most energy-efficient options. Its popularity comes from its durability, energy efficiency, and ease of installation, making it ideal for school roof replacements. 

These roofing systems are versatile, suitable for various climates, and can be installed over other existing roofs, reducing expenses and disruption. Overall, TPO offers schools a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution with long-term benefits, including reduced maintenance and energy expenses.

> Energy Efficiency

Highly reflective TPO roofing membranes deflect a significant portion of the sun’s radiant heat and UV rays, reducing HVAC energy consumption that works to provide cool air in summer and warm air in winter.

> Durability and Resistance

Lasting around 20 to 30 years, TPO roofing systems exhibit flexibility and resistance to tears, punctures, and impacts, making them ideal for school buildings with foot traffic and potential hazards.

> Environmentally Friendly and Recyclable

As they are made of thermoplastic, TPO roofing membranes are resistant to UV rays and pollutants. Many TPO roofing products are also 100% recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly option for schools looking to lessen their environmental impact.

> Easy Installation and Cost-Effectiveness

TPO roofing systems are relatively lightweight and can often be installed over existing roofs, minimizing disruption to school operations and reducing installation costs. 

> Versatility

Schools with flat or low-sloped roofs can benefit from TPO roofing systems. Installing them in different thicknesses and colors enables customization according to the unique requirements and preferences of the school.

2. PVC 

Installation Cost: $3 to $4.50 per square foot

PVC  roof

PVC roofing membranes are especially helpful in Western New York because they are resilient to various environmental problems. With two polyester-reinforced PVC layers, these membranes, frequently used on commercial properties such as schools, offer remarkable longevity. 

Low-slope roofs, common on school buildings, are a good fit for this chemically treated roofing material resistant to heat, bacteria, and UV rays. They benefit schools that have large, flat roofs because of their high solar reflectivity, which lowers energy costs and eases the burden on school cooling systems. To further ensure safety, PVC membranes are self-extinguishing and fire-resistant.

> Low Maintenance Requirements

PVC benefits schools by requiring less maintenance, which eventually results in lower operational costs related to roof maintenance. Because it requires little upkeep, PVC roofing systems are a great cost-effective option for educational institutions in Western New York.

> Waterproofing Capabilities and Resistance to Chemical Exposure

The seamless, heat-welded membrane of a PVC roof creates a watertight barrier against leaks and water infiltration, giving it exceptional waterproofing qualities. It is also highly resistant to chemicals and pollutants, ensuring long-term performance in urban or industrial areas.

> Durability and Longevity

PVC roofing membranes are incredibly strong and resilient to weather-related elements like UV rays, high temperatures, snowfall, and other severe conditions. When installed and maintained correctly, a PVC roof can endure more than 20 years, making it a lasting investment for schools.

> Energy Efficiency and Potential Cost Savings

Many PVC roofing systems have reflective surfaces, or cool roof coatings that can reduce the building’s cooling load and energy consumption during warm summer months, leading to substantial cost savings on utility bills for schools over the roof’s lifespan.

> Fire Resistance

Since PVC is naturally fire resistant, school buildings in Western New York will have an extra degree of security. This characteristic helps ensure the general safety and security of staff and students in educational facilities.

3. Modified Bitumen 

Installation Cost: $4.00 to $7.50 per square foot

Modified Bitumen

Owing to its resilience in severe weather, modified bitumen is a popular option for school roofs. It guarantees prompt repairs in an emergency because it is simple to fix and can tolerate heavy foot traffic. 

This low-risk, roll-to-roll product provides a consistent, quality installation at a reasonable cost. For schools that experience temperature swings, its flexibility is essential as it minimizes the risk of leaks or cracks due to membrane expansion and contraction.

> Resistance to Extreme Temperatures and UV Radiation

The sturdy membrane is resistant to temperature changes and strong UV rays, which are common in Western New York’s weather. Its asphalt-based material provides school buildings with long-lasting protection against UV deterioration and thermal shock as welll.

> Waterproof and Resistance to Ponding Water

With several layers of reinforced membranes, modified bitumen resists water infiltration and ponding water, which is a typical problem for flat or low-slope roofs. This keeps the learning environment dry and safe by preventing leaks and possible water damage.

> Cost-Effectiveness and Potential for Long-Term Savings

Although it requires more maintenance initially, its longevity results in big savings over time. A modified bitumen roof has a 20-year lifespan with proper installation and upkeep, which lowers the need for frequent replacements and their related expenses. Savings can be further increased by installing it over existing roofs, which reduces the need for tear-off and disposal.

Why Is A Roof Replacement Important For Schools?

1. Structural Integrity and Safety: 

A roof replacement is crucial for maintaining structural integrity and safety in schools. Deteriorating roofs lead to leaks, which damages ceilings, walls, and electrical systems, along with the creation of mold and mildew, posing health risks. A well-maintained roof also prevents hazards like collapse, ensuring safety.

2. Compliance with Building Codes and Regulations: 

Roof replacements ensure schools meet local building codes and safety regulations that are essential for protecting occupants and ensuring structural soundness. Non-compliance can lead to penalties, fines, or even closure.

3. Long-Term Cost Savings and Maintenance: 

Proactive roof maintenance, including regular inspections and timely replacement, helps schools avoid costly emergency repairs and extends the roof’s lifespan. Investing in roof replacement as part of proactive maintenance allows strategic fund allocation, preventing unexpected financial burdens.

4. Improved Learning Environment: 

A new roof enhances the learning environment by providing better insulation, reducing noise levels, and creating a comfortable indoor atmosphere conducive to learning. Additionally, a well-maintained roof improves the school’s appearance, fostering a positive community image and boosting its reputation.


For reasons such as comfort, safety, and energy efficiency, selecting the best roofing solution for a school roof replacement in Western New York is essential. Modified bitumen, TPO, and PVC are a few options that are perfect for schools because they are energy efficient, durable, and resistant to weather. 

If your school is in need of a roof replacement in Western New York, or the surrounding area, reach out to the team at OConner Contracting.  From installation to repair, our expert roofers guarantee excellent workmanship and outstanding support. For dependable, energy-efficient commercial roofing solutions that safeguard and improve your commercial property, turn to OConnor Contracting and give us a call at (716) 600-7663.

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