When it comes to commercial buildings, there are several roofing materials to choose from. Learn more about your options by clicking here.

4 Common Roofing Materials for Commercial Buildings

Do you own commercial buildings or work in commercial real estate?

If so, you know a sturdy roof is necessary for protection, increasing energy efficiency, and avoiding severe health or safety problems. 

But when you’re installing or replacing a roof on a commercial building, which roofing materials should you choose?

Keep reading to explore four common materials professional roofers use.  

Single Ply Roofs

Single-ply roofs use the following systems:

  • Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

These materials are incredibly flexible and robust. They are common commercial roofing materials because they can resist natural elements like bacterial growth and UV light. They can also resist chemicals, fats, and oils. 

Single-ply roofs are lightweight, puncture- and fire-resistant, and heat reflective. However, some manufactures make cheap quality single-ply roofs. Thus, choosing a quality manufacturer is essential.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is one of the most common roofing materials because it has a 40-60 year lifespan. There are many different metal roofing systems to choose from. They include:

  • Aluminum
  • Coated, corrugated galvanized, or stainless-steel 
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Tile Sheets
  • Tin

Some metal roofs even have integrated solar power or snow removal systems.

Commercial buildings with a metal roof have an attractive look and strong fire resistance. But unfortunately, metal is susceptible to corrosion. So, they require protective surface layers. 

Green Roofs

Green roofs are becoming more popular because they’re sustainable and provide a green space where employees can relax. Plus, green roofs last 30-50 years.

A green roof has a tough, durable, impermeable membrane that is covered by greenery. Also, the roof comes with drainage management and climate control. 

There may even be utility and government incentives for buildings with green roofs. You can ask the professionals at Far West Roofing if this is the case in the Salt Lake City area.

Yet, green roofs require routine maintenance and care. 

Built-up Roofs

A built-up roof (BUR) consists of layers of tar and gravel. This type of roof is inexpensive and easy to repair. In addition, it’s UV-resistant and provides a stable understructure. 

But unfortunately, BURs have the shortest lifespan of commercial roofing materials, with a durability of 20 years. It’s also challenging to detect the source of leaks on a BUR.

Bonus: Shingles

Shingles usually aren’t the first choice when installing a roof on a commercial building. However, shingles are typical in residential buildings. 

But because they come in many different materials, like slate, ceramic, and asphalt, they are a decent choice for some commercial buildings to get the right look. It’s more common to use shingles on buildings with steep rooflines.

Singles are affordable, easy to install, and versatile. Yet, they don’t have a long lifespan. They are also susceptible to moss, mold, and mildew, especially if the building doesn’t get a lot of natural sunlight. 

Roofing Materials for Your Next Project 

Roofing materials come in various colors, shapes, sizes, styles, and durability. Before settling on which material to use for your next project, consult a roofing professional for best results.

For more information on commercial buildings and maintenance, check out the Household & Real Estate section.