5 Common Commercial Roofing Systems

Choosing the right commercial roofing system is more than a simple aesthetic decision—it’s an investment in the longevity of your business infrastructure. Not all roofs are created equal, and with multiple options on the market, it can seem daunting to navigate the world of commercial roofing systems. This makes it all the more imperative to identify the roofing system that best aligns with your functional needs.

But, fret not. This insightful analysis is specifically designed to unveil common types of commercial roofing systems. We’ll discuss their unique benefits, drawbacks, and distinctive features to help you make informed and better decisions.

So whether you’re seeking to replace an old roof or diving headfirst into a new building project, this in-depth article can function as your practical roadmap. Remember, the ultimate checkpoint of a thriving business isn’t just what happens inside the four walls but what sits atop them!

The Various Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

The diversity of commercial roofing systems is a reflection of the broad spectrum of business needs and preferences. While some roofing systems are engineered for superior energy efficiency, others are designed for longevity.

Therefore, understanding the unique characteristics of each roofing system is crucial for decision. Here’s an overview of the most common types of commercial roofing systems:

1) Metal Roofing

Metal roofing systems are the epitome of durability and strength. Crafted from various metals, like steel, aluminum, and copper, these roofing systems are known for their long lifespan. In most cases, they can last up to 40 years or more.

Metal roofs are also highly resistant to fire and adverse weather conditions. This makes them a reliable option for businesses located in regions prone to natural disasters. However, their initial installation costs are relatively high, and without proper insulation, they can be noisy during rainfall.

2) Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofs are a modern take on the classic built-up roof. They are composed of layers of bitumen and reinforced with fiberglass. These roofing systems offer excellent waterproofing features and enhanced tensile strength, making them a great choice for businesses in rainy climates.

Unfortunately, their relatively short lifespan may deter some business owners.

3) Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane

Built-up roofing systems, often referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs, are composed of alternating layers of asphalt and ply sheets. They are then topped with a layer of aggregate, such as stone or gravel. BUR systems are sought-after for their cost-effectiveness and ability to withstand foot traffic, which makes them suitable for buildings with rooftop access.

On the downside, the installation process can be messy and time-consuming, and they may not be ideal for buildings with weight restrictions.

4) Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane

Thermoset roof membranes, commonly known as EPDM roofs, are made from a synthetic rubber compound. They are renowned for their superior durability, flexibility, and resistance to UV radiation. Their dark color also helps retain heat, making them ideal for colder climates.

This type of commercial roof installation process can be strenuous, and it may not be as aesthetically appealing as other roof systems.

5) Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane

Thermoplastic roof membranes, including PVC and TPO, are lightweight and energy-efficient. These roofing systems are heat-welded at the seams, making them exceptionally resistant to leaks. They also reflect sunlight and are resistant to tears and bacterial growth.

However, they can be more expensive than other roofing systems, and their lifespan is largely dependent on the quality of installation.

How to Choose a Commercial Roofing System for Your Business

Selecting the proper commercial roofing system involves a careful balance of various factors. Three primary considerations include the following:

Budget Constraints

Budget is often the first consideration for businesses when selecting a roofing system. While some systems, like metal roofing, might have a higher upfront cost, their durability and low maintenance requirements can lead to cost savings over time.


The functionality of a roof extends beyond shielding the building from weather conditions. For instance, if your business requires regular rooftop access, a built-up roofing system could be a practical choice due to its ability to withstand foot traffic.

Regional Climate

Your region’s climate can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your roofing system. Therefore, it’s best to choose an option with excellent cold-weather flexibility and heat retention.

The Life Expectancy of Commercial Roofing Systems

The lifespan of a commercial roofing system is influenced by various factors, including the type of material, quality of installation, and regular maintenance. Metal roofs can last up to 40 years, thanks to their robust and resilient nature.

Modified bitumen roofs, while durable, have a shorter lifespan of around 20 years. Built-up roofs can last between 15-30 years, depending on the number of layers used. Thermoset roofs boast a lifespan of 20-30 years, while the life expectancy of thermoplastic roofs is up to 30 years.

Professional Services for Commercial Roofing Systems

Professional roofing services play a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity and performance of your commercial roof. These services encompass installation, routine maintenance and inspections, and timely repairs.

Your roof’s installation should always be entrusted to experienced professionals. By doing so, you can ensure optimal performance and adherence to local building codes. Furthermore, routine maintenance and inspections will help to identify issues early, preventing expensive repairs in the future. Plus, on-time repairs can prolong the life of your roof and maintain its functionality.

Essentially, the only way to adequately manage your commercial roof is through the assistance of a roofing contractor.

Let Us Take Care of Your Commercial Roof

As a facility owner, you have enough tasks on your plate. The last thing you should have to worry about is your roof. That’s why you need the help of a professional roofing company.

At AllPhase Roofing & Restoration, we’ll make sure that your building’s roof is in pristine condition. And, if you need assistance with picking the best roofing system, we can help you out with that.

To inquire more about our services, call us at 614-810-8272, or contact us on our website to get a free inspection. We look forward to serving you!

Read Our Recent Posts