If you’re an industrial or commercial building owner, and you’re in need of a new roof, it’s reasonable to ask about the types of commercial roofing that would be available to you.

When clients approach their trusted local roofing contractor, all sorts of questions start flying. People want to know which types of commercial roofing are better. They want to know which one is more reasonably priced. Clients need the pros and cons of each roofing material.

And that’s good… It’s very advantageous to know as much about the types of commercial roofing as you can if you plan to have roof replacements or just having a new commercial building built.

But in your quest to know all about these different types of commercial roofing, it’s understandable that it can get overwhelming at certain times — even if your contracted roofing service is very accommodating. So, to make things simpler for you here’s what you really need to know about the types of commercial roofing available.

The Different Types of Commercial Roofing

Much like residential roofing options, there are many options to choose from when it comes to commercial roofing. Of course, you want the right roofing materials to save you the most money, don’t you?

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)


Image Credit: Pro Roofing

This is comprised of two layers of PVC roof material. The polyester acts as a reinforcement between the layers, and these layers include additives that make it UV-stable and flexible. It’s a lightweight commercial roofing material.

And on a flat or low-sloped roof, PVC can last relatively long. It’s famous for its durability and is resistant to moisture, wind, fire, chemicals, and the heat emanating from welding. The installation process with this type of roof creates a permanent bond between the roofing sheet, securing it effectively together.

PVC is expensive though. From $4-$6. And in cooler temperatures — cold weather — an older PVC roof has the tendency to puncture and shatter.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)


Image Credit: Hicks Roofing

EPDM is how roofers refer to it. EPDM is most commonly known as rubber roofing. And unlike PVC, it belongs to the inexpensive category of roofing materials. Compared to others, it’s fairly easy to install and is very lightweight. With a high-quality rubber roof, EPDM can have a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

However, rubber roofing tends to absorb most of the sun’s heat, so it’s not that energy efficient. You can order lighter rubber roofing colors, of course, but that’s going to jack up the price to about 30%. Rubber roofs are also prone to be punctured by hail, or falling branches, or other heavy objects falling at a considerable impact.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)


Image Credit: CSI Roofing

TPO is popular among commercial building operators and owners. It’s also one of the inexpensive types of commercial roofing, and it actually costs less than EPDM. It also comes in white, which means, it’s better at reflecting the sun’s rays — effectively reducing heat buildup within the structure.

TPO can be installed in different ways; lightweight as well as easily fastened to the roof deck. It’s also corrosion resistant.

But despite how numerous its advantages are, TPO actually comes with plenty of drawbacks. That is largely due to TPO quality varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. In addition, TPO’s top layer is laminated. And because of this, it causes cracking, shrinking, and deterioration.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)


Image Credit: White Roofing Systems

Praise the work of science for SPF. It’s a form of plastic that transforms from liquid to solid in a few seconds. It also expands at least 30 times as it dries. It’s also a sustainable type of roofing in terms of energy savings. That’s because a multi-layer of SPF exhibits outstanding durability. Be sure to incorporate proper maintenance so your SPF roof can last for years — 40 years at most.

However, SPF roofs need to be applied very carefully because it’s the product of a chemical reaction between two liquid compounds. Be wary of improper SPF roofing installation, because it can be expensive to remove.

Acrylic Roof Coating


Image Credit: hodgesroofs.com

Acrylic coatings are applied to a wide variety of commercial roofing types. They are actually the preferred alternative to replacement. That’s because acrylic roofing coatings are UV resistant, and they reflect the sun’s rays fairly well. Using this, building owners also have a prim balance between performance and cost.

Asphalt Rolls


Image Credit: Smart Roof

This type of roofing is preferred for buildings with low-slope roofs. It also belongs in the inexpensive category and is very easy to install. However, asphalt rolled roofing has a very short life span compared to other types of commercial roofing. It only lasts up to 10 years before due replacement is needed.

Metal Roofing


Image Credit: coldprocessroofing.com

One of the oldest types of commercial roofing in the market, metal roofs have been used for many years. Most of them use corrugated and galvanized steel or aluminum and tin. Metal roofing material is lightweight and can be installed right on top of an existing roof. It’s well worth noting that price ranges can change depending on the type and style of the metal panels that you use.

Built-up Roofing


Image Credit: Roof Crafters

Built-up roofing is also referred to as tar-and-gravel roofs. They are installed by alternating layers of tar, asphalt, and supporting fabrics. Most professional roofing services would let you choose the number of layers that would be installed.

In Conclusion

With this article, we can only hope that you now have an idea of what various types of commercial roofing can do for you and your structure. They each have their own pros and cons, and it’s up to you to choose wisely.