October 16, 2021

The 7 Most Popular Types of Commercial Roofing

Commercial roofing has significantly evolved over the past few decades. With new technology, building design, and energy-efficient materials, construction crews have quite a few options. Let’s look at the seven most popular types of commercial roofing available today, including the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Shingle Roofing

From an affordability standpoint, one of the most cost-effective types of commercial roofing is traditional asphalt roofing. Asphalt shingles can also come in various colors, better matching your building’s aesthetic.

Conversely, traditional shingle roofing is possibly the least weather-resistant and particularly susceptible to leaks as the roof ages. In addition, extreme weather changes can age the roof more quickly, and the materials are typically not environmentally friendly.

Eco-Friendly Green Roofing

Popular with hospitals and lifestyle outdoor spaces, eco-friendly green roofing is growing. In addition, the greenery can also absorb rain, help offset CO2 emissions, and insulate your building.

However, they’re also more costly to maintain — be prepared to “mow the grass” as part of your weekly maintenance responsibilities. Aging structures may also not be ready to support green roofing, so perform a thorough structural assessment before proceeding.

Durable Metal Roofing

With up to a 50-year lifespan, metal roofing may be the most durable option available. Metal roofs are also more energy efficient and can withstand the elements far better than many other types of commercial roofing.

This durability comes at a cost. Metal roofs can be the most expensive option, depending on the shape and design of your building. The initial investment cost can be ten times greater than other types of commercial roofing. However, once installed, your ongoing costs will be significantly lower.

Built-Up Roofing Membrane (BUR Systems)

Built-up roofing membranes, or BUR Systems, are a layered type of commercial roofing. Commercial roofing contractors have used BUR Systems for over a century and are more commonly known as tar and gravel roofs. With an average lifespan of 40 years, this is a long-lasting solution and, through its design, highly effective at waterproofing, UV protection, and low maintenance.

Weight is a concern, as BUR Systems are heavier. They can also cost more and emit hazardous fumes during the installation process.

Thermoset Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) Membrane

Commonly known as rubber roofing, EPDM Membrane roofing has an average lifespan of 20 years. This option is also great for flat roofs or ones with a minimal slope.

Remember that this is a highly functional option but low in aesthetic appeal. They can also be punctured easily, a consideration if you live in a high-wind area. 

Thermoplastic Roof Membrane

Both types of commercial roofing are single-layer compared to BUR Systems. Within the category of thermoplastic roof membranes, there are two primary types: PVC and TPO. Both are designed for flat or low-slope roofs and are more commonly known as rolled roofing. 

TPO, or Thermoplastic Polyolefin, is less flexible but can resist tears better than PVC. PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is better suited for restaurants because it is grease and fire-resistant. PVC also works better in parts of the country prone to high temperatures.

Spray-On Roofing

Spray-on roofing is literally what it sounds like a layer of sealant applied over an existing roofing system. For each type of commercial roofing, we’ve discussed today, spray-on roofing is more about maintenance and repair than a complete roofing system. While it can save your company on installation costs, it’s a short-term solution that will eventually need replacing.

Still Unsure Which Type of Commercial Roofing You Need? Branded Group Can Help!

Understanding the diverse range of commercial roofing materials empowers effective decision-making for property managers. Branded Group, a leading facility management company, is here to guide you. Please schedule a consultation today to investigate how our expertise can streamline roofing strategies. Learn how we can optimize your roofing choices and enhance the longevity and resilience of your commercial buildings.


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