Top Three Most Common Commercial Roofing Types

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Each commercial building requires a durable roofing system to provide a safe environment for its employees. Therefore, choosing a suitable roofing material can be daunting for any business owner. As with any significant project, the same goes for roofing; you must consider several factors when choosing a suitable material. These factors include your business property’s location, climate, and the budget you’re willing to invest in your roof materials.

This article will go through the top three widely used commercial roofing systems and their characteristics so you can make a well-informed choice when choosing a roof for the company you operate.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Roofing Material

Before opting for a roofing material, we have to mention three critical things to be aware of. So, if you want your roof to last, consider these things:

  • Durability – In roofing, a material that can survive the effects of weather over a long period of time without suffering considerable degradation is called durable. Your roof should be able to resist natural disasters and high temperatures without cracking or becoming brittle.
  • Efficiency – For the roof to be called efficient, it has to fulfill its primary role without wasting too many resources or too much energy. In commercial roofing, there are two types of efficiency – energy and cost efficiency. Energy efficiency’s main task is reducing energy consumption to minimize heat loss or heat gain. On the other hand, a roof’s cost efficiency minimizes maintenance and repair costs.
  • Budget – Last but not least is your budget. Don’t forget that every material comes with its own market price and a set of pros and cons. Therefore, consider all of the factors mentioned above, as well as the roofing materials we will cover below.

Top Three Most Common Commercial Roofing Types

The top three most common commercial roofing types we will mention in this blog are:

  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR),
  • Single-Ply Roofing,
  • Metal Roofing.

1. Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing System is one of the oldest and most common commercial roofing types for buildings with low-slope or flat roofs. They are also known as tar and gravel roofs because they consist of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets, which are then covered with a layer of a cap sheet or a flood coat of asphalt and granules. Also, they are usually installed in two or three layers, which are applied by using hot asphalt or an adhesive.

This type has many excellent benefits because it is highly durable and can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. In addition, due to its high level of water resistance and thermal performance, it can ensure reliable and long-lasting protection for commercial buildings.

Benefits of Using Built-Up Roofing

Since this is the oldest roofing method, it can be concluded that it is a tested material that will provide many years of worry-free for your commercial roof.

Furthermore, it is applied in a few layers to ensure that the layers beneath protect the building from water seeping in if the top layer is damaged.

In addition, there is an increased chance that these materials may be eligible for warranties or guarantees of up to 20 years, which is a splendid benefit.

2. Single-Ply Roofing

Single-Ply roofing is also one of the most favored commercial roofing options, as it is made from just one layer of material that can be divided into two divisions – thermoplastics and synthetic rubber. In this blog, we will discuss three types of single-ply roofing materials: TPO, PVC, and EPDM.


Single-ply membranes like TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin) are made from synthetic materials and are reinforced with a fabric scrim to boost their durability and performance. Because of its high reflectivity, TPO roofing is an energy-efficient choice because it reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the building. Furthermore, TPO roofing is resistant to tears, punctures, and weathering, making it a very durable roofing option.


Another single-ply membrane, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), can be seen on the roofs of both business and residential buildings. It is an excellent option if you don’t want to use an additional cooling system, such as an air conditioner because it will keep the room below cooler. The reason is hidden in its white membrane, which reflects heat. In addition, this system is highly durable and resistant to fire and chemicals.


EPDM is an abbreviation for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a synthetic rubber compound. It’s a favorite among company owners because of how easy it is to set up and how well it holds up against the damaging effects of the ozone and ultraviolet rays. Another strong point of the EPDM roofs is their resistance to the effects of some of the acids and solvents. This material usually comes in black but can also be in white.

Benefits of Using Single-Ply Roofing

Single-Ply roofing systems are a great choice to lower your energy costs, so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Furthermore, they are known for their durability, as they can withstand harsh weather conditions, tears, and punctures.

Amongst other things like energy cost and durability, single-ply roofing systems come in various color options, are easy to install, and are eco-friendly.

3. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing’s durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal have made this material popular for commercial and residential properties. It consists of metal panels or tiles attached to the roof’s substructure by screws or clips.

Commonly used materials for metal roofing:

  • Metal tile sheets,
  • Corrugated galvanized steel,
  • Stainless steel,
  • Aggregates of aluminum,
  • Copper, zinc, tin, and more.

Metal roofing is so popular because of its attractive look, strong fire resistance, and being stronger and more sustainable than the other options we mentioned. The only downside is that it is susceptible to corrosion. However, today’s metal roofs have an additional surface layer that protects them from damage and so on.

Benefits of Using Metal Roofing

This type of roof is eye-catching and has appealing aesthetic features, and it’s no wonder why people are increasingly interested in metal roofing.

Their life expectancy is approximately 40+ years, making it far superior to other commercial roofing options. In addition, they are fire-resistant and energy efficient, which can result in long-term cost savings.

Also, one significant benefit is that it requires low maintenance, so this roofing is relatively cheap.

Commercial Roofing Contractors That You Can Trust

White Roofing System consists of Conklin-trained contractors who are experienced in commercial roofing throughout the U.S. We use Conklin Roofing Systems, a trusted and reputable brand in the commercial roofing industry for over 45 years, to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality service and materials.

As the most reliable commercial roofing company that serves business owners, White Roofing Systems should be your first call if you need a new roof for your commercial building.

Interested in our commercial roofing services?

Contact us today!