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The 5 Types of Commercial Roofing: Pros and Cons

February 17, 20236 min read

When it comes to protecting your commercial building, the type of roof you choose is an important decision. A roofing contractor can help you select the right commercial roofing solution for your building, taking into account its size, shape, and materials. In this blog post, we'll explore the different types of commercial roofing and their respective pros and cons. Read on to learn more about the best roofing option for your commercial building.

TPO Roofing

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a single-ply roofing membrane made of ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, and other reinforcing materials. It has become a popular choice for commercial flat roofs due to its durability, cost efficiency, and ease of installation.

Low cost - TPO roofing is one of the most affordable types of commercial roofing systems available.

Durability - TPO has excellent tear resistance and UV protection, making it a long-lasting choice.

Lightweight - This type of roofing membrane is much lighter than traditional options, making it easier to install and less strain on your building structure.

Energy efficiency - TPO reflects solar energy and helps keep buildings cool in the summer months.

Flexibility – TPO can be prone to tearing when walked on, so extra caution must be taken to ensure that no punctures occur.

Compatibility – It can be difficult to find products that are compatible with this type of roofing material, such as adhesives and sealants.

Limited warranty - Due to its relatively short lifespan, most manufacturers offer only limited warranties for this type of roofing.

commercial roofing types

EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing is one of the most popular types of commercial roofing available. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer and is a synthetic rubber material that is highly durable and long-lasting. This type of roofing is typically black in color and can be used in both flat and low slope roof applications.

EPDM roofing offers many benefits to businesses looking for a reliable and cost-effective roofing solution. It is very lightweight, making installation quicker and easier than some other roofing types. It is also very flexible, allowing it to expand and contract with changes in temperature without cracking or splitting. Additionally, it is resistant to UV radiation and ozone, which helps increase its lifespan. Finally, it is a cost-effective option when compared to other types of commercial roofing.

While EPDM roofing does offer a number of advantages, it does have some drawbacks as well. One major disadvantage is that it can be prone to punctures if not properly installed and maintained. Additionally, it may require more frequent repairs due to its susceptibility to UV radiation and ozone. Finally, while it is very lightweight and flexible, it is also less durable than some other types of commercial roofing, meaning that it may need to be replaced more often.

PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is a popular choice for commercial buildings due to its cost-effectiveness, durability, and energy efficiency. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a synthetic plastic polymer that is strong and flexible. PVC roofing systems are composed of two layers—a base sheet and a membrane—which are heat welded together. This creates an extremely durable waterproof bond.

PVC roofing is available in many colors and can be designed to look like slate, tile, wood shake, and other traditional materials. It can also come in various thicknesses to accommodate different types of buildings and climates. The membrane has a reflective surface which helps to keep the building cool in summer months. It is also resistant to fire, wind, hail, and UV rays.

PVC roofing typically comes with a manufacturer's warranty of up to 20 years, though some warranties may extend to 30 years or more. The installation process is relatively quick and easy, which makes it an attractive choice for businesses that need their roofing system installed in a short time frame.

The primary drawback of PVC roofing is that it can be damaged by certain chemicals and solvents, so special care must be taken when applying these products near the roofing system. In addition, PVC roofing does not provide as much insulation as some other types of roofing systems, so additional insulation might be necessary.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a popular option for commercial buildings due to its long-lasting durability and cost-effectiveness. Metal roofing can be made from aluminum, steel, copper, and other metal alloys and can be coated with a variety of finishes for added protection. Metal roofs are typically highly resistant to fire, wind, and hail damage and are very low maintenance. Metal roofs can last up to 40 years or more, depending on the material used.

The primary pros of metal roofing include:

Durability: Metal roofs are extremely durable and long-lasting. They are resistant to extreme weather conditions such as hail and wind, as well as being fire-resistant.

Cost-effective: Metal roofs are relatively inexpensive compared to other commercial roofing options, so they can be a great choice for businesses on a budget.

Low maintenance: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal option for businesses that don’t want to spend time and money on repairs.

The primary cons of metal roofing include:

Installation: Installing a metal roof can be time-consuming and difficult, so it’s important to make sure you hire a qualified roofer with experience installing metal roofs.

Noise: Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rains and strong winds.

Heat retention: Metal roofs are good at reflecting sunlight and heat, but can also trap heat in hot climates, making them less energy efficient than some other materials.

Green Roofing

Green roofing is a type of commercial roofing that uses plants and vegetation to improve energy efficiency and reduce runoff. This eco-friendly option has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its numerous benefits. In addition to providing additional insulation for your building, green roofs can help reduce air pollution, absorb water, and improve the overall aesthetics of a space.

The main benefit of green roofing is the ability to provide additional insulation for the building. Green roofs are made up of vegetation and a waterproof layer, which helps keep temperatures within the building regulated. This can result in lower energy costs and improved comfort levels.

Green roofs can also help reduce air pollution by reducing the amount of pollutants in the air. The vegetation on the roof helps trap pollutants and filter them out, resulting in cleaner air. Additionally, the vegetation helps to absorb and retain water, reducing runoff and helping to prevent flooding.

Green roofs can also improve the aesthetics of the space they cover. The variety of colors and textures provided by the plants adds character and beauty to the area. This is especially beneficial when used on commercial properties, as it can add value to a business or office building.

Overall, green roofing is an excellent choice for commercial buildings looking to reduce energy costs, improve air quality, and add aesthetic value to their space. It is important to consider all the pros and cons of green roofing before making a decision. The cost of installation and maintenance may be higher than traditional roofing materials, but it can be well worth it for the long-term benefits it provides.

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