Types of commercial roofing

Get to know the top types of commercial roofing

When it comes to building a commercial structure, every part of the building is important. But the roof might just be the most vital element. Why? Because the roof is responsible for keeping the entire building dry, covered, insulated, and enclosed. With a poor-quality roof, the building could have leaks, leading to structural damage. Or it could be exposed to high winds, resulting in wind damage or a completely torn-off roof, which is both dangerous and an expensive fix.

On the other hand, with the right commercial roofing, the building will be structurally sound and reliable, no matter the weather. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top types of commercial roofing so that you can know which is the right one for your project. Let’s get into it!

Commercial vs. Residential Roofing

First of all, you’ll want to know the difference between commercial and residential roofing. There are many types of roofing, but the most popular choice for residential buildings is high-sloped shingle roofing. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of homes in the U.S. are made with an asphalt shingle roof.

For commercial roofs, there are two very different ways of constructing the building that determine the type of roofing that can be used. Some commercial buildings will have high slopes like residential structures, and if this is the case, then shingle or metal roofing can also be used here. However, there are also low-slope or flat roofs. These are commonly found on commercial structures and have a roof slope of 3:12 or less. Flat roofs require a completely different type of roofing from residential buildings.

For each type of commercial roofing discussed below, we identify whether it should be used for a high or low-slope roof, making it easy for you to know which one is best for you.

The Top Types of Commercial Roofing

There are seven main types of commercial roofing. Knowing which of these seven you should choose begins with analyzing the five variables of your roof–the slope of the roof, cost, durability, energy efficiency, and appearance. You will want to look at each of these categories for each type of roofing to decide which is best for your project.

Shingle Roofing

The first type of roofing we’ll look at is the shingle roof. Asphalt shingle roofs are, as mentioned before, widely used on residential buildings, but they are also commonly found on commercial structures.

Asphalt shingles are durable, easy to install, and affordable. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, textures, and styles, so you can choose the type that looks best on your building.

The primary reason why you might not see shingles on every roof is because of the slope of it. Shingles are only used on steep or high-slope roofs.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is the next top type for residential and commercial structures. This type of roofing can be made from various materials, including corrugated galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, coated or stainless steel, and tin. The upfront cost is higher than other types of roofing, but its longevity makes up for that.

Metal roofs are highly durable, lasting up to 60 or more years. Additionally, they can withstand wind gusts of up to 140 mph, are fire resistant, and are energy efficient. As with shingles, they come in various colors and styles.

Metal roofing can also be used on a roof of nearly any slope.

Spray-On Silicon

This unique roofing type is applied on top of an existing roof. Spray-on silicon is a liquid that is sprayed or rolled onto the roof, and expands into a foam, then hardens into a solid roof. This silicon roofing provides a way to prevent a complete re-do for structures with an existing roof that might have minor issues.

Spray-on silicon roofs insulate and waterproof existing roofs. They can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance, and the color can be customized. This roofing is perfect for low-slope roofs.

Built-Up Roofing Membrane

A built-up roofing membrane is a type of roofing that has been used for over a hundred years. This roof is made from alternating layers of tar and gravel, with the final layer being either stone or gravel. The number of layers used will affect the cost and overall durability, but this type of roofing is very affordable.

Built-up roofing is excellent for flat slope roofs with foot traffic and is seamless, waterproof, and UV-resistant. It can last for up to 40 years with proper care.

Green Roofing

Green roofing is a great choice for an unusual but aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly roof. This type of roofing starts with a durable, waterproof membrane that is then covered with living green plants. For this reason, it can only be used on a flat roof.

Green roofing improves air quality and provides a place for employees to rest, and it can last for up to 30 to 50 years. In addition, you might be able to get government and utility incentives for putting it in. Keep in mind, though, that green roofs require regular monitoring and care.

Thermoplastic PVC & TPO Roofing

When looking for roofing for a commercial flat slope structure, thermoplastic PVC or TPO roofing is highly recommended. These roofing membranes are heat-welded together, extremely durable, and can handle just about anything from fire to wind to heat and more.

PVC is best for roofs that are exposed to grease, oils, fuels, or even acid rain, and TPO is excellent for an environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient roof, thanks to its white heat-reflecting color. Both can last up to 30 years.

Thermoset EPDM Roof Membrane

Thermoset EPDM roof membrane is a type of commercial roofing made from synthetic rubber, giving it a black color. It is a single-ply membrane that is long-lasting, easy to install, and requires minimal maintenance. EPDM is resistant to UV radiation and ozone and withstands temperature extremes.

EPDM roofs can last for up to 50 years. Again, as with PVC and TPO roofing, EPDM can only be used on flat slope roofs.

Do You Need a Roof for Your Commercial Building?

If you are in the Middle Tennessee area and need commercial roofing for your building, the team at Quality Exteriors is here for you! We can help you choose and design the perfect roof, and we’ll deliver superior roofing services for every project. Contact us today to consult with our experts!