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A Complete Guide to the Types of Commercial Roofing

| 6-minutes Read

When it comes to commercial buildings, the roof is more than just a protective covering; it’s a crucial aspect of the structure’s integrity and functionality. Choosing the right type of roofing for a commercial property is essential to ensure longevity, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. With various options available, navigating the world of commercial roofing can feel overwhelming. But before you start stressing out, let us break down the different commercial roof types for you so that you can relax and make an informed decision with ease.

Inside this blog:

  • An overview of the popular types of commercial roofing
  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing a type of roof for your commercial property

Keep reading to figure out which type of commercial roofing is right for your business!

Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are a common choice for commercial buildings due to their cost-effectiveness and versatility. Here are some popular materials used in flat roofing:

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Constructed with layers of tar and gravel or asphalt, BUR roofs offer durability and weather resistance. They are suitable for low-slope or flat roofs and provide excellent protection against UV rays and weather elements.

Modified Bitumen

This type of roofing consists of asphalt-based materials reinforced with modifiers like rubber or plastic. Modified bitumen roofs are known for their flexibility and resistance to extreme temperatures, making them ideal for commercial properties in harsh climates.

Single-Ply Membrane

Materials like EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are used to create single-ply membrane roofing. These lightweight and durable membranes offer ease of installation and excellent resistance to UV radiation and chemical exposure.

Metal Roofing


Metal roofing has gained popularity in the commercial sector for its durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Here are some common types of metal roofing materials:

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Characterized by raised seams that interlock to form a watertight seal, standing seam metal roofs are known for their sleek appearance and superior weather resistance. They are often made from steel, aluminum, or copper and can last upwards of 50 years with proper maintenance.

Metal Shingles

Mimicking the appearance of traditional roofing materials like asphalt or slate, metal shingles offer the benefits of metal roofing with a more traditional aesthetic. They come in various colors and styles, making them a versatile option for commercial properties.

Metal Panels

Corrugated metal panels are a cost-effective roofing solution that provides strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion. They are lightweight and easy to install, making them an attractive choice for large commercial buildings.

Green Roofing

Green roofing, also known as eco-roofs or living roofs, involves the installation of vegetation and plants on the roof surface. Here are some benefits of green roofing:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Green roofs act as natural insulators, reducing heat transfer into the building and lowering energy consumption for heating and cooling, ultimately leading to significant savings on utility bills.

Stormwater Management

Green roofs absorb rainwater and reduce runoff, helping to alleviate strain on stormwater systems and prevent flooding, thus contributing to sustainable water management practices.

Enhanced Air Quality

Vegetation on green roofs absorbs pollutants and carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen, improving air quality in urban environments and creating a healthier, more pleasant atmosphere for building occupants and surrounding communities.

🎨 Roof Coatings

Roof coatings are applied directly to existing roofing materials to enhance their performance and extend their lifespan. Here are some common types of roof coatings used in commercial roofing:

  • Acrylic Roof Coatings: Acrylic coatings provide excellent UV protection and reflectivity, helping to reduce energy costs by keeping the building cooler. They are also highly flexible, allowing for expansion and contraction with changing temperatures.
  • Silicone Roof Coatings: Silicone coatings offer superior water resistance and durability, making them suitable for flat or low-slope roofs. They form a seamless membrane that protects against leaks and ponding water while resisting UV degradation.
  • Polyurethane Roof Coatings: Polyurethane coatings provide exceptional adhesion and waterproofing properties, making them ideal for roofs with high foot traffic or frequent exposure to harsh weather conditions. They are also resistant to chemicals and abrasion, ensuring long-lasting performance.

✔️ Choosing the Right Roof Type for Your Commercial Property


Now that you’re familiar with the different types of commercial roofing, how do you decide which option is best for your property? Consider the 5 following factors:

1. Climate

Choose roofing materials that can withstand the climate conditions in your area, whether it’s extreme heat, cold, or precipitation, ensuring that your roof remains resilient and functional in all weather conditions.

2. Budget

Evaluate the upfront cost as well as long-term maintenance and replacement expenses to ensure the roofing solution fits your budget, allowing you to make a financially sound investment in your property’s infrastructure.

3. Durability

Opt for materials that offer durability and longevity to minimize the need for frequent repairs or replacements, providing peace of mind and long-term protection for your commercial property.

4. Energy Efficiency

Select roofing materials with high reflectivity and insulation properties to reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility while also enhancing comfort for building occupants.

5. Aesthetic Appeal

Consider the architectural style of your building and choose roofing materials that complement its design aesthetic, enhancing the overall look and curb appeal of your property.

🤔 Which Roof Will You Choose for Your Commercial Property?

From flat roofing to metal roofing, roof coatings to green roofing, the options for commercial roofing are diverse and varied. By understanding the characteristics and benefits of each type of roofing material, you can make an informed decision that meets the unique needs of your commercial property. Whether you prioritize durability, energy efficiency, or environmental sustainability, there’s a commercial roofing solution that’s right for you. So, take your time, weigh your options, and invest in a roof that will protect your property for years to come. 

Reach out to our expert roofers at Premiere Roofing & Gutters today and we’ll ensure you have a roof that’s resilient and beautiful for years to come. We can’t wait to answer your questions and hear about your vision for your next roofing project!

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