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Common Roofing Materials for Commercial Buildings

A commercial building’s roofing material is one of its essential components. As establishment owners, they must ensure that the material they choose will match the building’s aesthetic and, at the same time, provide comfort, efficiency, and longevity.

Commercial roofs can come in different forms, with each one made specially according to the allotted budget and the needs of the building. To help maintain the quality of your roof, you can consider installing domed roof hatches for easy access when it comes to roof check-ups. But, if you’re still having difficulty selecting the perfect roofing material for your commercial building, here’s a list to help you out with that decision.

  1. Built-up Roofing Membrane

Built-up roofing is essentially your typical tar-and-gravel roof. It has multiple layers which you can modify to help control costs or meet specific durability requirements, making this a flexible roof type. It’s an ancient low-slope roof system and is one of the most cost-effective and durable roofing types available today.

2. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a prevalent commercial roof type with many different kinds of metal materials available for use on the market. These metal roofing materials are:

  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Aggregates of zinc, aluminum, and silicon-coated steel
  • Metal tile sheets
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Tin
  • Lead

The added protective surface layers lessen the damage from prolonged exposure to sunlight and other environmental dangers to prevent the metal from rusting. Metal roofing benefits from having an attractive finished look, but if budget and durability are your main priority, it’s wise to go with what works best rather than what looks best. However, metal roofs for commercial roof cooperative purchasing have strong fire resistance ratings and are stronger and more durable than traditional options. They also help create a more maintainable design for your building. 

3. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Reinforced roof fabrics are placed as “carriers” for bitumen, cut, and installed in layers like the BUR membranes. These roofing systems fastened to commercial rooftops via two-ply methods adhere to the roofing deck for maximum stability and protection.

Maintenance of modified bitumen roofs is uncomplicated and can typically end with annual inspections and maintenance. They also offer enhanced tensile strength compared to most other flat roof types that experience regular foot traffic. That means if you expect a lot of activity on your commercial building roof, modified bitumen may be the right option for you.

4. Thermoset Roof Membrane

Also known as EPDM roofing, the Thermoset roof system offers versatility and long-lasting durability, paired with an easy installation and swift maintenance/repair compared to other commercial roof types. EPDM boasts a solid resistance to ultraviolet light and ozone from a single-ply rubber material. Here are other benefits of the EPDM roofing:

  • Great flexibility in colder temperatures.
  • Resistance to some acids, solvents, and alcohol.
  • It has reflective properties that help lower cooling costs.

5. Green Roofing

Green roofs are known to be one of the most versatile kinds of commercial roofs available today. They have become trendy in recent times, but they present a sustainable option for commercial properties and businesses. The maximum advantage of green roofing systems is their ability to protect commercial buildings from the elements while simultaneously managing water, drainage and improving energy efficiency. They’re beautiful to look at while becoming a huge step toward a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly commercial property.

6. Spray-on Roofing

Spray Polyurethane Foam is a material that starts as a liquid spray that expands into a foam instantly, which hardens into a solid layer after a while. This eco-friendly roofing applies on top of an existing roof. In addition, it has been around since the early 1960s. An SPF roofing system helps waterproof and also adds an insulating factor.

Spray-on roofing can be used in any climate and will last up to 50 years with correct installation and maintenance. Unfortunately, the installation window for this particular roofing type is limited to favorable weather conditions (no snow, no ice, no water). Once installed, you should inspect SPF roofing once or twice a year.

7. Shingle

Shingles are also used on commercial properties, typically ones that have steep roof lines. Shingles come in numerous materials, including asphalt, architectural, slate, plastic, and ceramic. This material is convenient since it is relatively easy to install, affordable, and versatile. On the downside, its lifespan isn’t as long as some other commercial roofing options depending on the brand used. Shingles are also adaptable to mildew and moss if your building is unfortunately in a shaded area.

With these options, you will undoubtedly find the perfect roof material that contains all the qualities you are looking for that are enough for your budget. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek professional help on any construction matter.


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