Commercial roofing systems are different from common residential roofing options. Though there are roofs that can perform well for both commercial and residential buildings, the conventional roofing options for commercial buildings offer advantages for covering a larger area. These materials often prioritize functionality over looks.
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a lightweight roofing option. Its popularity is due in large part to its affordability when compared to other systems. TPO also offers high solar reflectance. This is an important quality as it allows the building owner more control over the indoor temperature, adding to energy conservation, which lowers utility costs.
If you own a restaurant or a business that produces or uses oils and fats, and releases emissions through its ventilation system, a TPO roof is ideal as it is highly resistant to oils, animal fats and bacterial growth. TPO also offers remarkable resistance to tears and punctures, fire and heat, wind and most chemicals. TPO is a known fire retardant. Make sure to buy your TPO from a reputable contractor.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is another popular option. It’s a double layer of PVC held together by polyester. With additives, the material gains better flexibility and stability against ultraviolet (UV) rays.
PVC is lightweight and long-lasting when applied as a low-slope roof. Sheets are welded together using heat so they are bonded securely. PVC is resistant to many chemicals, wind, fire and water.
PVC is a little more expensive than TPO.
Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is usually called rubber roofing. It’s a type of thermoset membrane. If you’re on a budget, this is one of your best choices for commercial roofing. Like TPO and PVC, EPDM is lightweight. As a matter of fact, your contractor may not have to reinforce your roof deck to install an EPDM roof.
EPDM is commonly black, but it doesn’t get damaged by UV rays easily. It can last up to 20 years.
If you’re anticipating plenty of foot traffic on your roof, one of the most ideal materials is modified bitumen. This is made up of reinforced roof fabrics installed in a layered fashion, usually used as a two-ply roofing system. A modified bitumen roof adheres to the roof deck so it’s stable and durable.
Large buildings with areas on the roof for people typically have modified bitumen. Whether it’s a break area or a place for HVAC equipment, an EPDM can handle foot traffic better than other roofing options.
A built-up roofing (BUR) membrane is one of the most common roofing systems. You probably know it by its more common name, tar-and-gravel. If that sounds familiar, that’s probably because it’s one of the oldest commercial roofing systems in the world.
One of the best characteristics of a BUR membrane is that you can decide on the number of layers so you can adjust it for cost or for durability requirements. BUR is tough and still holds its own in the commercial roofing industry.
Metal roofing is also a great choice for commercial purposes. There are different types of metal roofing systems, including lead, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, corrugated galvanized steel, metal tile sheets, stone-coated steel, tin and aggregates of silicon-coated steel, zinc and aluminum.
Metal roofing is often chosen because it’s lightweight and more attractive compared to other commercial roofing options. It’s also a great choice for solar reflectivity, helping your building with energy efficiency. It’s not susceptible to fire, and it’s often stronger and longer lasting than other roofing options. In case your building needs emergency roof repair, it’s often easier for contractors to fix metal roofs.
While metal is susceptible to corrosion due to the development of rust, surface protective coatings are applied to combat this problem.
Every commercial roofing system mentioned here is a great option, but it’s safer to talk to your contractor about what works best for your needs and for your budget. Total Roof Services Corp. can help you choose the right roof for your business or for your home. We install new roofs and also offer storm damage roof repair. Call us today at (407) 495-4151, or use our contact form to get your free estimate.