6 Most Popular Types of Commercial Roofing Materials

February 16, 2022

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Big box stores, strip malls, and apartment complexes, to mention a few, are all covered with commercial roofing materials. Their operation is similar to a residential roof, but everything else about them, from the materials used to the needed upkeep, is quite different.

We'll walk you through commercial roof installation, repair, and maintenance, so your business is safe and secure for years to come.

commercial roof repair job

 Common Commercial Roofing Systems

Many materials may be utilized for a business roof, but we'll focus on the top six most prevalent varieties. They are quite durable, and depending on how much time and effort you want to devote to maintenance and upkeep; some may be more suited to your business than others.

1. Metal Roofing

Because of its extended lifespan and durability, metal roofing is popular for commercial structures. It may be found in various styles, shapes, sizes, and metal kinds. Galvanized steel, aluminum, metal tiles, copper, or even coated stainless steel might be used in commercial constructions. All of which are quite durable and aid in preventing damage and water leaks.

Metal roofing may assist in reflecting the sun's rays, improve HVAC performance, and be treated or coated to avoid corrosion and fading. They also look great if you want a more clean, modern style, and they're recyclable, making them a more environmentally friendly alternative. 

2. Built-Up Roofing

 The typical tar and gravel roof cover seen on most commercial buildings is BUR (built-up roofing). Its name refers to the layers of material built up to provide a robust, long-lasting protection seal on a flat roof. A built-up roof may be made stronger by adding layers.

These alternate layers can be constructed of asphalt, tar, or cold-applied adhesives and are placed between reinforced felt and bitumen. These layers offer durability, prevent leaks, and improve your building's insulation. So, if you're searching for a product that's both sturdy and cost-effective, BUR is the way to go. 

3. Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

 The EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) system, sometimes known as a rubber roof, is well recognized for the rubber membrane that protects it from UV radiation. Because its waterproofing protects the insulation from the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, a business with an EPDM roof membrane will save money on energy expenditures related to heating and cooling the structure. 

4. Single Ply Membrane (TPO)

 The most common business roof material is a single-ply membrane or TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofing system. This is due to its inexpensive installation cost and the fact that it can be put over almost any sort of surface, including flexible membranes, making it perfect for flat roofs.

TPO commercial roofing also has other advantages. 

  • Strong air-welded seams 
  • Resistance to high winds and fire  
  • Ability to withstand large temperature shifts from very cold to very hot.

5. Green Roofs

Green roofs are becoming increasingly popular, not just for residential but also for commercial structures. They have various advantages, including some solar insulation, which lowers HVAC expenses and lessens rain runoff, which can cause floods downstream.

Depending on the green system you pick for your building, the size will vary. Nonetheless, due to how effectively they assist preserve energy and enhancing sustainability, they're regaining favor globally. Another advantage of green roofs is that they provide a usable location for employees to take breaks in a dining area or garden space. 

How Are Commercial Roofs Installed?

Flat Roofing Installation

Depending on the type of roofing material you pick, the cost of installing a commercial flat roof might be rather high. As you can see from the list above, they each have their own set of perks and installation methods. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, but everyone needs a few items to install a commercial flat roof properly.

  • The roof has to have a modest slope to drain down to the edge readily and not pool.
  • It requires a solid framework. Metal and green roofs, for example, add a significant amount of weight to any business structure. You'll have a far bigger problem on your hands if the roof itself can't support the weight of the roofing material.
  • A well-designed gutter system. Your business roof will protect the roof against water leaks and direct the water to the gutters. You risk leaks along the building's sides or accumulating water and ice down below if you don't have a solid gutter system to support it.

installing a commercial roof

Now, each roofing material has its installation method, which we'll go over briefly here:

Metal Roofing

A metal frame is used to anchor your structure with bolts during metal roof installation. Securing the right type and thickness of steel sheet over the top, then sealing it with screws or bolts, is the first step in this procedure. This will give your roof an airtight seal that should endure for at least fifty years.

BUR installation

Installing BUR roofing is a little more complicated than installing metal roofing. This sort of business roof requires alternate materials (rubber, tar, asphalt, etc.) to be layered over one another, then coated with rubberized asphalt and capped with tar and gravel. The underneath of your BUR roof will be strengthened, also known as an underlayment membrane. 

EPDM Installation

EPDM commercial roof installation is easier than metal or BUR roofing systems. A manufacturer's roll of this material is typical. Then you put it on top of the frame of your structure, making sure that all seams are sealed with a specific seam glue that binds one layer to the next. This glue aids in the creation of a waterproof seal. This is one of the simplest types of roofing to replace.

PVC Roofing Installation

A PVC roof installation will require the use of felt paper laid down over your building's existing surface as a base. Next, you'll need to attach this felt with staples or nails and then lay out sheets on top for protection from UV rays. Finally, you can install the next polyvinyl chloride or PVC layer with the same technique. 

TPO Installation

TPO installation is a little more involved when it comes to roofing materials. The first stage in installing a TPO business roof is to apply an adhesive and sealer to the surface area covered with this material. After that, you'll need to put in your commercial waterproof membrane or sheet, then the TPO material over the top of that. The layering processes are similar to those used in BUR. However, there are fewer stages involved.

Green Roof Installation

A green roof installation differs from most others in that it does not need any additional structure or frames to your building's frame to install this particular rooftop system. The process, which may include incorporating plants and extra insulating layers, is more difficult because any drainage systems must be properly erected for the water to drain. 

How to Keep a Commercial Roofing System in Good Shape. 

Commercial roof repair is necessary to keep your roof in good shape and avoid water leaks or structural damage. If you follow these guidelines, you can typically do maintenance without the assistance of a professional.

  • Keep big debris, ice, and snow off the flat roof. If it's safe to do so, keep snow and ice from accumulating in one spot on the roof. If the roof and gutter system are in good operating order, it should melt and shed.
  • Seal any little leaks or repairs as soon as you see them. Please don't put off even minor repairs since they can soon escalate into more serious issues.
  • Keep an eye out for puddles of water. Water should not remain on your roof for more than a day after it has rained. Instead, it should rapidly and effectively flow off the roof. Pooling indicates a failing roof or an old roof that needs to be replaced.
  • Professional inspections should be performed every year. Regular inspections should be a big component of your roof maintenance since they may help you discover problems early and keep it in good shape.

A commercial roofing system is different from a residential roof. Thus attention must be paid to its planning, installation and maintenance. according to HomeAdvisor, the average quote of installing a commercial roof is $5,602 - $11,729.

If you're in need of commercial roofing materials our experts at Professional Roofing San Diego.


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