Both commercial roofing systems and residential roofing protect the building from the elements, but that’s where those similarities end.
The primary difference between commercial roofing systems and residential roofs is the slope, which gets determined by the building size. Residences are smaller, so they have a steeper roof visible from the ground and use asphalt shingles, slate, and tile.
However, commercial buildings often have flat roofs made of various materials. The building structure and other factors determine the commercial roof types used.
Do you need a new commercial roof? It’s time to learn about the common types of commercial roofing. Keep reading below.
Types of Commercial Roofing Materials Based on Your Roofing System
Commercial roofing comes in many forms, and the roofing system you choose matters. Here are the types of commercial roofing materials to consider:
Single Ply Roofing
Such roof systems feature EPDM, PVC, and TPO. The materials are more flexible and robust, and many building owners like them because they resist cracking and peeling. The main characteristic of this commercial roofing type is that they’re installed in one layer. This commercial roofing system has two categories: thermoset or thermoplastic membranes.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) in Commercial Roofing Systems
Commercial roofing contractors like this material as North America’s top commercial roofing system. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) uses heat-welded seams and is a single-ply membrane composed of ethylene-propylene or polypropylene rubber that’s polymerized. It comes in many colors and can be ballasted, adhered, or mechanically attached.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Another common type of commercial roofing material is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). You get a polyester scrim between two layers of the substance. The top ply of this roofing system uses additives to make it UV-resistant.
Benefits of this commercial roofing option include durability, longevity, and fire resistance. PVC roofing is also weldable, so you can make it watertight.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM Roofing)
EPDM roofing is well-known for toughness and elasticity. Ethylene propylene diene monomer can resist ultraviolet light. Overall, EPDM roofs are a popular roofing material. When paired with rubber, this roofing system combines strength and low costs, which is ideal for commercial buildings.
The EPDM roofing membrane is a synthetic rubber made of oil and natural gas. Such roofing materials are used for low-slope commercial roofing installations throughout the world. It might be best for your commercial roofs!
Modified Bitumen Roof Systems
The modified bitumen commercial roof uses asphalt and a chemical polymer for temperature resistance and flexibility. You can apply it in many layers and several ways. Therefore, it’s a viable installation option for commercial roofing systems that must weather all seasons.
Such commercial roofing systems use melted seams, forming a secure bond. Therefore, modified bitumen can withstand hail, fire, and wind.
Built-up Roofing Systems
The oldest commercial roofing systems featured built-up roofing (BUR). It uses three to five layers for more protection, which is ideal for commercial roofs in extreme climate conditions. Such BUR roofing systems have been around for over 100 years. This popular commercial roofing type is excellent in many ways.
Metal roofing is used for its durability, longevity, and aesthetics. Typically, metal roofing is used on low-sloped roofs and steep ones. Building owners prefer the endurance and look that metal roofs offer.
These metal roofing systems are top-rated now, and many homeowners and commercial property owners like metal roofs. This roofing system’s longer lifespan and durability keep your commercial roof performing longer.
Corrugated galvanized steel is the top choice for a commercial roofing project.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing
Generally, Spray Polyurethane Foam is an eco-friendly roof system option for industrial buildings, manufacturing facilities, and commercial properties. SPF is sprayed as a liquid that expands to foam, creating a more solid layer across the roof.
[Read: What Is SPF Roofing System? Roof Contractor Explains]
Shapes of Commercial Roofs
With a commercial roofing system, you must address the roof’s slope. Flat roofs are often called low-slope roofs, and there are also steep slope options.
Low-slope roofing systems (flat roofs) are standard for shopping centers, big box stores, and warehouses. With the roofing system, you can choose different options for these flat roofs, including TPO, PVC, and the EPDM roofing material.
Apart from low-sloped roofs, you also have the steep slope commercial roof. They’re more prominent on homes than commercial properties. However, popular roofing material options include shingles, tile, slate, and metal roofs.
Have you chosen your commercial roofing system?
Choosing a commercial roof system isn’t easy, and it’s best to let the professionals help you. A roofing contractor gives you the details necessary, such as the type of roofing systems available and what works best for your needs.
A metal roof is a popular commercial roof type, but that’s not all. You should also think about energy efficiency for your commercial roofing. Does your existing roof not work for you anymore? We can help you select the best commercial roofing system for your needs.
Our team at Easy Roof Solutions helps with commercial flat roofs, offers SPF roofing options, and much more. Let us work together to find the best commercial roofing systems!
Founder of Easy Roof Solutions, LLC. He started in the construction industry at the age of 14 and has been involved in it for over 25 years. His wide experience in commercial roofing speaks for itself.
Outside his roofing work, Ken enjoys being in the great outdoors, traveling to new places, and bonding with his wife and children.