What Is the Best Type of Commercial Roofing?
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What Is the Best Type of Commercial Roofing?

Learn the pros and cons of each type of commercial roofing
Jan 22, 2022

Just as with the roof of a residential home, commercial roofing is also meant to protect the building it’s installed on from weather and other external threats. However, commercial buildings are different from residential homes and have different roofing needs. Check out these types of commercial roofing materials to determine which is the best for your commercial building.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin roofing on flat roof

TPO roofing is a thin membrane roofing material. TPO roofing has many benefits that make it a popular choice for commercial building owners. It’s popular for commercial roofing because it is waterproof, affordable, and can help to save money on energy bills because it is reflective.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • UV resistance
  • Reduces energy costs
  • Waterproof
  • Easy installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Durability

Cons

  • Variations in quality
  • Disparities in thickness
  • It’s a new material
  • Weak points caused by lamination
  • Sold in rolls, so there are seams

EPDM Roofing (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) Roofing

EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer, roofing is a popular option for commercial roofing because of its durability and low cost. EPDM roofing is especially popular with commercial building owners looking for opportunities to save money.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Long lifespan
  • Resistant to fire
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Environmental friendliness

Cons

  • Not aesthetically pleasing
  • High installation costs
  • Shrinks towards the end of its lifespan

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Roofing

A PVC roof typically has two layers of PVC with a polyester layer in between them for reinforcement. PVC is popular for its longevity, fire resistance, and other benefits.

Pros

  • Environmental friendliness
  • Water resistance
  • Durability
  • Long lifespan
  • Fire resistance
  • Moisture resistance
  • Wind resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Can hold a lot of weight
  • Recyclable

Cons

  • Cost

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is an asphalt-based roofing material that works well with either low-slope or flat commercial roofs. Modified bitumen roofing combines many of the benefits of single-ply roofing materials and those of built-up roofing.

Pros

  • Durable for high traffic
  • Greater thickness
  • Easy to install in tight spaces
  • Compatible with other asphalt roofing materials for repairs

Cons

  • High prices
  • Absorbs heat in hot weather
  • Risky installation
  • Increased risk of standing water and puddles

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing in gray

Metal roofing is an increasingly popular option for both commercial and residential buildings. It may cost more to install initially, but its durability and longevity as well as energy savings can help to offset that cost in the long run.

Pros

  • Recyclable materials
  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Environmental friendliness
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Safety
  • Fire resistance
  • Water resistance

Cons

  • High initial cost
  • Noise

BUR (Built-Up Roofing)

BUR roofing for flat roof

BUR is one of the oldest commercial roofing materials available. It’s made of a combination of tar and gravel on top of multiple layers of fabric.

Pros

  • Longevity
  • Resistance to impacts
  • Traction for walking on the roof
  • No seams
  • Installable in all types of weather
  • Fire resistance
  • UV resistance
  • Low price
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Wind can blow away the top layer
  • Not as commonly used now
  • Difficulty in finding leaks
  • Toxic fumes produced when heated
  • Heavy weight
  • High price for its longevity
  • Vulnerability to mold
  • Slow installation process

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