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Commercial Roofing 101: Which Roofing Type Is Perfect For Your Business?
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As a business owner or property manager, you must ensure the safety and durability of your commercial structure. Choosing the right roofing system is an important component of building maintenance. Understanding the many types of commercial roofing may be difficult with so many alternatives available.

That is why we are here to help you! This blog will walk you through the many types of commercial roofing. Whether you’re looking for durability, energy efficiency, or a specific aesthetic, our knowledge can help you select the best roofing solution for your company.

So let’s dig in and explore the world of commercial roofing together!

What is Commercial Roofing?

“Commercial roofing” refers to a system developed and built exclusively for business buildings. Such structures include offices, warehouses, retail stores, and industrial facilities. Commercial roofs, as opposed to residential roofs, which are often smaller and simpler in design, are meant to cover greater areas and endure the special problems of commercial construction.
 
The necessity for durability is one of the key difficulties that commercial roofing must meet. Heavy foot traffic, harsh weather conditions, and other variables that might cause wear and tear over time are common in commercial structures. As a result, commercial roofing systems must resist severe circumstances while providing long-term structure protection.
Commercial vs Residential Roofing - How do they differ?

Commercial and residential roofing systems differ in design, function, materials, and complexity. Commercial roofs are often flat or low-sloped, necessitating specialised materials and construction procedures to resist significant foot traffic and probable exposure to industrial elements. Residential roofs are often pitched or sloping, providing a wider choice of material alternatives and a protective barrier for dwellings. Commercial roofing projects are typically more complicated due to their size and unique needs, whereas residential ones are simpler.

Most Common Types of Commercial Roofing

Numerous typical forms of commercial roofing have shown to be durable and effective for a wide range of commercial structures. Understanding these roofing alternatives will enable you to make an informed decision when choosing the best roofing system for your commercial property. 
 
Let’s look at the most frequent commercial roofing types:
1. BUR (Built-Up Roofing)

Built-Up Roofing, or BUR, is a common commercial roofing material. It is made up of many layers of asphalt or bitumen that are alternated with reinforcing textiles or felts. The layers are then protected by gravel or a reflective coating. BUR roofs provide high resistance to water and UV damage.

Advantages:
BUR roofs offer superior defence against UV and water damage. They can resist high foot traffic and have a lengthy lifespan.

Disadvantages:
BUR roofs weigh a lot and need a strong construction foundation. The installation procedure might take a while, and the smell and fumes could be an issue. Leaks and cracks must be avoided by routine maintenance.

2. Modified Bitumen Roofing
A strong and long-lasting choice for business roofs is modified bitumen roofing. Modifiers have been put on the asphalt to increase its performance and flexibility. This roofing material is offered in rolls and may be installed by torching cold application or self-adhesion. Roofs of modified bitumen are more resistant to hail, fire, and high temperatures.
 
Advantages: 
Roofs of modified bitumen are more resistant to hail, fire, and high temperatures. They are excellent for low-slope roofs and offer versatility.
 
Disadvantages: 
Modified bitumen roof seams may be vulnerable to deterioration, resulting in leaks. Repairs may be difficult if the damage extends below the surface layer, and the installation procedure may require special knowledge.
3. Thermoplastic Roofing
The commercial roofing market is seeing increased demand for thermoplastic roofing, often comprised of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thermoplastic olefin (TPO). Heat welding creates a flawless and long-lasting surface from these single-ply membranes. Roofs made of thermoplastic have good resistance to UV rays, chemicals, and punctures.
 
Advantages: 
Roofs made of thermoplastic have good resistance to UV rays, chemicals, and punctures. It offers energy efficiency and comes in a variety of hues and patterns.
 
Disadvantages: 
Compared to other solutions, the initial cost of thermoplastic roofing may be greater. For maximum energy efficiency, extra insulation could be needed. Seams that were improperly installed may eventually start to fall apart.
4. Metal Roofing
Commercial structures can benefit from the adaptability and durability of metal roofing. Metals like copper, aluminium, or steel can be used to make it. Longevity, energy efficiency, and resilience to wind, fire, and vermin are all qualities associated with metal roofing. They come in many designs, such as standing seam, corrugated, and metal shingles.
 
Advantages: 
Metal roofs are strong, resilient, insect, wind, and fire resistant. They come in a variety of designs and promote energy efficiency.
 
Disadvantages: 
Metal roofs can be loud during rain or hailstorms if not adequately insulated. They may be more expensive initially than other roofing alternatives and more prone to denting from significant impacts.
5. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing
Commercial low-slope roofs frequently use EPDM roofing. It is a synthetic rubber membrane with outstanding durability and weather resistance. EPDM roofs offer outstanding insulation and UV protection, are simple to install, and require little maintenance.
 
Advantages: 
Excellent weather resistance and durability are provided by EPDM roofing. Compared to other choices, it is reasonably priced and provides decent insulation.
 
Disadvantages: 
EPDM roofs tend to shrink, which puts strain on the joints and increases the risk of leaks. To avoid UV deterioration, they could need routine maintenance.
commercial roofing top view - ELR Plumbing
How to Choose The Best Type of Roofing for Your Commercial Property?
Making the right choice for your business property’s roofing system is essential since it may affect the building’s durability, use, and overall worth. When selecting the appropriate roofing for your business property, keep the following elements in mind to guarantee you make the best decision possible:
1. Building Design and Structure

Take into account the building’s size, slope, and architectural design. Certain constructions are better suited for particular roofing systems. For instance, flat or low-slope roofs may need different materials and installation methods than pitched roofs.

2. Longevity and Resilience

Examine the local climate, considering temperature swings, wind directions, and precipitation amounts. Select a roofing material with a track record of durability and weather resistance in your area. Analyse the roofing system’s estimated lifespan and ongoing maintenance needs.

3. Efficiency in Energy

For commercial properties, energy efficiency is an important factor to consider. To cut heating and cooling expenditures, look for roofing materials with strong insulation qualities. Thermoplastic roofing and metal roofing with reflecting coatings are two roofing solutions that can offer considerable energy efficiency advantages.

4. Budget and Cost Factors to Consider

Set a budget for the roofing project, considering costs for installation, upkeep, and necessary repairs. It’s crucial to strike a balance between your budget and the desired level of quality and durability for the roofing system. The price of various roofing materials varies. Think about the long-term financial effects, such as energy savings and future maintenance costs.

5. Local Building Regulations and Codes

Verify that your chosen roofing system conforms with your area’s building requirements and rules. There could be particular regulations for energy efficiency, wind uplift ratings, or fire resistance in some places. Working with a qualified roofing contractor is crucial since they know local regulations and can guarantee compliance.

6. Considering Maintenance and Repairs

Analyse the upkeep demands and probable repair requirements of the roofing materials you are considering. Some may need more regular inspections, cleanings, or repairs than other roofing systems. Think about whether the chosen roofing system has access to qualified maintenance and repair personnel.

7. Effect on the Environment
Take into account how the roofing materials will affect the environment. Choose products that have little environmental impact, are recyclable, or are constructed from sustainable or recycled materials. Solar panels and other green roofing options, such as vegetative roofs, can have different positive environmental effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

The lifespan of a business roof can vary based on the type of roofing system used and other elements, including climate, upkeep, and installation quality. Commercial roofs typically have a lifespan of 15 to 50 years.
Only some types of business roofing are by nature energy-efficient. However, specific solutions, like green roofing, metal roofing, and thermoplastic roofing, can provide outstanding insulation and energy efficiency.
Yes, many commercial roofing systems can accommodate the installation of solar panels. You should seek professional advice to determine your roof’s structural soundness and appropriateness for solar panels.
Repairs to the roof should only be handled by experts with knowledge of commercial roofing. They have the skills, know-how, and resources necessary to diagnose and repair the issue securely and precisely.
Conclusion
Making the best roofing choice for your business building is a big decision that has to be well thought out. You may make an informed decision by considering building construction, durability, energy efficiency, budget, local legislation, maintenance needs, and environmental effect.
 
It’s important to balance these factors against your unique demands and preferences because each roofing style has benefits and drawbacks. A skilled roofing contractor with experience in commercial projects can offer insightful advice and make sure you select a roofing system that supports your objectives.