Starting Your Own Bakery? What Will You Need To Consider When It Comes To Roofing And Ventilation?

If you've recently decided to take your small baking business from your kitchen to an independent storefront, you may be excited about the possibilities that await you with a larger baking area and direct access to the public. However, high initial overhead costs can sink a fledgling business -- and operating multiple ovens in a small building with an inefficient air conditioning system or inadequately insulated roofing could cause your electricity costs to skyrocket. Both your roofing and your air conditioning systems in a bakery are indelibly intertwined, as adequate insulation and roof ventilation is key in making sure the air conditioners work efficiently. Read on to learn more about the best roofing and air conditioning options for your new bakery.

Why do you need bakery-specific roofing and air conditioning?

Bakeries are unique businesses, different from even restaurants in their humidity and air conditioning requirements. A too-humid preparation area will cause meringues and whipped cream to fall flat, while inadequate air conditioning could leave your employees suffering from heat exhaustion during the summer months. It's important for your bakery's roof to help your air conditioning system operate at full speed so that you can maintain a comfortable temperature for your employees and customers and an appropriate humidity level for your baked goods. The right roofing system could allow you to sink profits into additional employees or expanded menu offerings rather than paying high monthly bills to the utility company.

What should you take into consideration when choosing roofing and air conditioning options for your bakery? 

Your most important factor when choosing a roof is its ability to insulate your bakery from outside heat. Meanwhile, the most important factor when choosing an air conditioning system is its ability to quickly ventilate hot air from inside the bakery.

It's likely that you'll want to install zone air conditioning in your baking area for efficiency and employee comfort. These systems operate by combining large, powerful exhaust fans with air conditioning vents that direct cool air straight to employees' work areas. This allows the heat from the ovens and stoves to quickly be vented through the roof while employees benefit from their own individual air conditioning hoses.

However, having heat ventilated out of your baking area quickly won't do much good if the roofing material surrounding these fans is thin or flimsy enough to permit heat transfer from outside to inside. For example, black-painted aluminum panels with no surrounding insulation will serve as direct conduits for the sun's rays, essentially creating oven temperatures in the air just below these panels. On hot days, your air conditioning system will struggle to keep up with the cooling requirements of your baking area with heat coming from both the ovens and the roof itself.

By that same token, damaged roofs that permit any water leakage during a rain can impact the humidity level enough that your air conditioning system won't be able to keep up. If your bakery's existing roof has any missing shingles, gaps between panels, or other visible damage, having this damage repaired (or possibly your roof replaced) is imperative.

One good and inexpensive roofing option for bakeries is recycled rubber tiles. These tiles look like flexible shingles, come in a variety of colors, and are made from recycled tires, asphalt, and other crude oil byproducts. This roofing material is highly insulative and waterproof, and many varieties have been treated with UV-resistant chemicals to help the tiles avoid fading or other sun damage. Because they're made from recycled products, they're both eco-friendly and inexpensive.

Another good option is clay tile. This roofing material is heavy, but can block the sun's rays on even the hottest days, allowing your ventilation fans and air conditioner to do their jobs. This material is also highly water-resistant, allowing it to repel rainwater and other environmental moisture to keep your bakery's humidity levels steady.

Consult with a roofing company like Specialty Commercial Contractors Llc to discuss the specific roofing needs of your bakery.