Understanding Different Types Of Commercial Roofing Materials

When it comes to commercial buildings, the importance of a sturdy and reliable roof cannot be overstated. After all, the roof is the first line of defense against the elements, protecting the interior of the building and everything in it. Choosing the right roofing material for a commercial property can be a daunting task, given the wide range of options available in the market today.

There are undoubtedly many industry experts who can advise you on the right choices that match both the local climate and your personal aesthetic preferences. However, it’s beneficial to have a basic understanding of materials yourself, so that you can choose the most suitable service provider for the task at hand.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common types of commercial roofing materials to help you make an informed decision for your property.


Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing, also known as tar and gravel roofing, has been a popular choice for commercial properties for decades. It consists of multiple layers of roofing felt or fabric, alternating with layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) and finished with a layer of gravel or mineral granules. BUR roofing is known for its durability and longevity, making it an excellent choice for flat or low-slope roofs.

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-ply membrane roofing systems are lightweight, flexible sheets of synthetic materials that are mechanically fastened, adhered, or ballasted to the roof substrate. The two most common types of single-ply membranes are TPO (thermoplastic olefin) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer). TPO membranes are known for their energy efficiency and resistance to UV radiation, while EPDM membranes offer excellent durability and weather resistance.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has gained popularity in recent years due to its durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. It can be made from various materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.

They are available in different styles, such as standing seam, corrugated, and metal shingles, allowing for versatility in design. As also highlighted by the experts in the industry like Austin roofing contractor, metal roofing is known for its long lifespan, low maintenance requirements, and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is an asphalt-based system reinforced with fiberglass or polyester mats. It is installed in multiple layers, with each layer bonded together using heat or cold adhesives.

Modified bitumen roofing is known for its flexibility, durability, and resistance to temperature fluctuations. The addition of fiberglass provides strength and stability, making it resistant to tears, punctures, and impacts. This durability ensures that the roof can withstand harsh weather conditions.

It is commonly used on flat or low-slope roofs and can be installed as either torch-down, peel-and-stick, or cold-applied systems.

Solar Roofing

Solar Roof

Solar roofing integrates photovoltaic (PV) cells or solar panels into the roofing material to generate electricity from sunlight. Solar roofing systems can be installed on various types of roofing materials, including asphalt shingles, metal panels, and flat membranes. They offer a sustainable energy solution for commercial properties, reducing reliance on traditional grid power and lowering energy costs over time. Solar roofing systems are available in both traditional rack-mounted and integrated designs, depending on aesthetic preferences and structural requirements.

Green Roofing

Green roofing, also known as vegetative or living roofing, involves installing a layer of vegetation and soil on top of a waterproof membrane. Green roofs offer a range of environmental benefits, including improved insulation, reduced urban heat island effect, and stormwater management.

They also provide aesthetic value and create usable outdoor space for building occupants. However, green roofs require specialized design and maintenance to ensure proper drainage and plant health.


In conclusion, the choice of roofing material for a commercial property depends on various factors, including budget, building design, climate, and maintenance requirements. Each type of commercial roofing material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to carefully consider your options and consult with a qualified roofing professional before making a decision. By understanding the different types of commercial roofing materials available, you can choose the option that best meets your needs and ensures the long-term protection and integrity of your building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *