The Top 3 Enemies Of Your Food Factory And How The Right Roof Helps You Beat Them
Your food processing facility is required to have a roof that protects what's beneath it. The roof must also be made of material that is easy to maintain and clean. The type of product you handle as well as your business location may demand more out of your roof. Here are 3 of the nastiest enemies of a food factory and how your roof can help you win the fight against them.
1) Dirt, grime and germs.
One serious outbreak of an illness caused by your product can shut down your factory for good. Food-borne disease is often spread by bacteria. Bacteria love warm, moist places full of nutritious dirt and food dust. Some love the insides of refrigerators or are carried in on rat's feet.
You don't want to get these bacteria started and you definitely don't want to feed them. A good roof will help, by ensuring there are no hidden leaks to create wet areas bacteria love.
Fine food particles will escape your ventilation system or could otherwise contaminate your roof, so be sure your roof is washable. Membrane type roofs and metal roofs are a good choice, as they are easy to rinse. Asphalt or tar roofs allow flour and other dust to accumulate and attract birds and vermin.
2) Speaking of vermin.
No matter what you're cooking inside the walls of your facility, a rat wants some of it. In fact, many rats want in to your facility, especially if you are in an area of severe infestation, near extensive underground sewer lines, dumps or next to farm fields.
Every area of your roof line must be sealed and checked periodically for signs of rodent entry. All vents, chimneys, filters and other protrusions from your roof should be protected with metal flashing and sealed as well.
If gnats or other very small insects are a problem locally, you will want to have fine mesh attached to all roof vents and wrapped around ventilation fans. You should have a roof over your loading dock, with some sort of barrier to keep flying insects and birds out of the interior loading area. Generally 16 mesh per inch is the recommended type of mesh, but your location will determine the proper size.
3) Food costs. They are not happy unless you cry.
Many facilities from tiny food trucks to giant restaurants are hopping on the low cost ingredient wagon. They are using their roofs to grow food.
With advances in hydroponics and aquaponics, engineers have designed low-weight growing systems that allow food service companies to grow their own herbs, vegetables and fruits above their normal business operations. With greens going for $20 a pound, and fresh herbs for more than that, having access to your own supply of flavorful ingredients gives you control and lowers production costs.
This garden solution works best on flat roofs, and is normally accomplished with a membrane type roof surface. Irrigation systems are put in place to keep plants fed and watered to minimize labor expense.
In some areas, growing roofs designed to absorb rainwater into their planting media have another advantage to factories that install them. They help control heavy storm drainage. The rooftop gardens are a great solution not only to lower food costs, but to cut expenses in areas where factories are paying high sewer system fees due to drainage issues.
Your facility's roof is so much more than just a covering to keep you dry and warm. The correct roofing strategy can help you win the fight against your food service enemies. A roofing professional like Valley Roofing will show you all of the best options available for your factory.