Common Commercial Roofing Materials

The most important part of any kind of building is the roof. All roofs are designed to protect the rest of the structure. If the structure is not built with a roof that is compliant with the overall structural design, the building would be destroyed by nature alone.

Commercial roofing is a building material that is used for protecting and sealing the top of a commercial structure. Unlike residential roofing that is steeply sloped, commercial roofing generally has a flat slope.

Different materials are used to create commercial roofing systems and each type has benefits and disadvantages:

  1. Slate roofing
    Slate roofing is expensive. However, slate can last from tens to hundreds of years. So, if you consider the longevity of the material, it can turn out to be the most cost-effective roofing material. Slate roofing materials are beautiful roofing systems available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. They are also low maintenance because slate is naturally resistant to algae and moss. Slate roofing systems are fireproof and water repellent. They are also highly resistant to hail and wind. Slate is also eco-friendly in that when they need to be replaced they can be discarded as clean land fill or they can be recycled and used for roofing again.
  2. Asphalt Shingles
    Asphalt shingles are commonly used by many steep-slope commercial roofing applications. It comes in many colors and styles. They are affordable and application is easy. However, this material deteriorates easily. It is not resistant to high winds and have been known to be blown off the roof. Asphalt shingles scar very easily under that hot sun and they are prone to mildew and moss in places with moist climates. This material is also not environmentally friendly.
  3. Metal roofing
    Metal roofing involves a high cost of installation. It is also susceptible to wind damage. It can be quite noisy when it rains or when it hails. In addition to that, a metal roof is easily scratched or dented. Despite these disadvantages however, it is still a favourite of many roofing experts because it is strong, durable and fire resistant. It is very low maintenance, earth-friendly and recyclable.
  4. Built up roofing
    These roofing systems are often referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs. It is one of the oldest and most reliable commercial roofing systems for flat roof structures. It consists of multiple plies of roof felts laminated together with bitumen. The original cost of a BUR system is greater than other roofing systems but it is a favourite of architects, engineers, building owners, roofing manufacturers and contractors. It has a proven track record of reaching 150 years. It is thick and durable and can be used in waterproofing applications. Even after many years of service, it can still be maintained and repaired for extended life. However, it can be quite expensive to transport this material. It is heavy and the material is not stable at high temperatures.
  5. Modified Bitumen
    Modified Bitumen roofing is asphalt-based and closely related to Built up roofing (BUR) and is also used on low-slope or flat roof structures. Modified Bitumen gives designers a broader array of options compared to BUR. Additionally, Modified Bitumen products undergo the same fire and uplift resistance testing standards that BUR goes through. A big disadvantage of Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems is that it is not absolutely effective on flat roofs because it has only one layer and when there is a downpour and the roof area becomes totally submerged, water can find even the smallest opening. If this happens, water will seep through your roof.
  6. Single Ply Roofing
    Single ply roofing systems are formed from multiple layers of barriers and insulations that have been fastened together mechanically. It is relatively easy to apply since it is lightweight and thin. It is environmentally friendly because you can recycle it. However, these roofing systems are more expensive than other materials. If people are going to step on this material, it will also need a protective surface.

Just like other building materials, you have to consider many factors before you decide what kind of roofing material you will use for your business. While you may have your own preference, it is best to consult a roofing expert so that you will make the right decision.

commercial roofing