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4 Commercial Roof Types To Consider For Your Business

The roof of a commercial building is not just a protective cover; it’s a critical element that ensures the safety, functionality, and longevity of your business infrastructure.

Choosing the right commercial roof is essential for maintaining a secure and efficient workspace. But how do you know where to start? After all, most of us aren’t exactly roofing experts.

Lucky for you, we are! In this blog post we’ll dive deep into the various commercial roof types, exploring:

  • What sets them apart from residential roofs
  • Installation costs
  • Maintenance tips
  • When it’s time for a replacement

Understanding the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing Materials

Commercial roofing materials differ from residential ones in several key ways:

  • Durability: Commercial roofs are designed to withstand heavier foot traffic, equipment installations, and exposure to environmental elements.
  • Size: Commercial buildings often have larger roof areas, requiring materials that can cover expansive spaces efficiently.
  • Complexity: Commercial roofs may have unique features like HVAC systems, skylights, and drainage systems, requiring specialized installation and maintenance.

4 Best Commercial Roofing Types

epdm roofing

Now, let’s explore some of the most common types of commercial roofs:

1) Built-Up Roofing (BUR):

Built-up roofing, often referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs, consists of multiple layers of bitumen alternated with reinforcing fabrics.

✅ Pros:

  • Excellent waterproofing capabilities.
  • Long lifespan, lasting up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
  • Resistant to UV rays and weather damage.

❌ Cons:

  • Heavyweight may require additional structural support.
  • Installation can be labor-intensive.
  • Potential for leaks at seams over time.

2) Single-Ply Membrane Roofing:

Single-ply membranes, such as TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), offer a lightweight and flexible roofing solution.

✅ Pros:

  • Quick and easy installation, reducing labor costs.
  • High reflectivity, improving energy efficiency.
  • Resistant to punctures and tears.

❌ Cons:

  • Prone to shrinkage over time.
  • Susceptible to damage from sharp objects.
  • Lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 25 years.

3) Metal Roofing:

Metal roofs are popular for their durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. They can be made from various materials, including steel, aluminum, and copper.

✅ Pros:

  • Exceptional durability, lasting 40 years or more.
  • Lightweight construction.
  • Reflective properties reduce energy costs.

❌ Cons:

  • Higher initial cost compared to other materials.
  • Expansion and contraction may cause noise in certain conditions.
  • Prone to denting from hail or heavy objects.

4) Modified Bitumen Roofing:

Modified bitumen roofing is an evolution of traditional BUR, incorporating polymer-modified bitumen sheets for added flexibility and strength.

✅ Pros:

  • Superior flexibility, ideal for buildings with frequent temperature fluctuations.
  • Easy installation with heat welding or cold adhesive.
  • Excellent waterproofing properties.

❌ Cons:

  • Vulnerable to punctures from sharp objects.
  • Limited color options compared to other roofing materials.
  • Lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 20 years.

Average Cost of Installing a New Commercial Roof

The cost of installing a new commercial roof varies depending on factors such as the roof type, size, location, and labor costs. On average, you can expect to pay between $5 to $12 per square foot for materials and installation. For example, a 10,000 square foot roof could cost between $50,000 to $120,000.

Maintenance Tips for Your Commercial Roof

Regular maintenance is crucial for extending the lifespan of your commercial roof and preventing costly repairs. Here are some maintenance tips to consider:

  • Inspect your roof regularly for signs of damage, such as cracks, leaks, or loose flashing.
  • Clear debris, leaves, and other obstructions from the roof surface and gutters.
  • Trim overhanging branches to prevent damage from falling limbs.
  • Check for ponding water, which can indicate drainage issues.
  • Schedule professional inspections and maintenance at least twice a year.

When to Replace Your Commercial Roof

Despite regular maintenance, there will come a time when repairing your commercial roof is no longer cost-effective, and replacement becomes necessary. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time for a new roof:

  • Multiple leaks or persistent water damage.
  • Extensive mold or mildew growth.
  • Significant membrane or shingle deterioration.
  • Structural damage or sagging.
  • Roof nearing the end of its expected lifespan (typically 20 to 30 years for most commercial roofs).

Learn More About the Different Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

metal commercial roof

Choosing the right commercial roof type requires careful consideration of factors such as durability, cost, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. By understanding the various options available and their respective pros and cons, you can make an informed decision that ensures the long-term integrity and functionality of your business infrastructure. Remember to prioritize regular maintenance and inspections to maximize the lifespan of your commercial roof and minimize the risk of costly repairs or premature replacement.

Contact Roof Medic today to get help choosing the right roofing system for your property!

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