When it comes to your business, it’s important you make every decision right. Whether it’s choosing who to hire, whether or not to open a new location, or running a sale, it all matters.
This includes roofing.
While you may not see your commercial property’s roof as a critical component of your business, it absolutely is. Without a good roof, your property can look bad, which pushes customers away. Or worse, a bad roof can get damaged by the weather, which can cost yor money and even prevent you from staying open.
Therefore, choosing amongst the many different commercial roofing materials available to you is absolutely essential. But we’re here to help.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the different commercial roofing materials used today, as well as which one is right for your business.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMMERCIAL ROOFING MATERIALS
Given the wide range of climates around the world, as well as people’s differences in tastes and budgets, there are many different types of commercial roofing materials to choose from. Here is a list of all the different options:
TAR AND GRAVEL
One of the most common types of commercial roofing material is a mixture of tar and gravel. It is usually combined and rolled out onto a sheet, which is then applied to your roof to create what is called a Built Up Membrane (BUR).
It’s common for each layer of tar and gravel to be separated by a layer of insulation to help protect the roof from the elements.
Because of the materials used, and also due to the simplicity of installation, these roofs are some of the most common and also the least expensive.
For most commercial properties, a standard tar and gravel BUR roof will do just fine. But there are many more choices.
Another material often used in BUR roofs is modified bitumen. It’s made up of several different hydrocarbons (which is a fancy way of saying it comes from chemically enhanced petroleum) so that it is more durable.
Modified bitumen is also more waterproof than traditional tar and gravel, which makes it an ideal choice for those living in areas that receive a lot of rain.
LIQUID APPLIED ROOFING
For a quick roof installation or repair, Liquid Applied Roofing is a great option. This is a mixture of resin and reinforced polyester. It comes as a liquid and installation is simple: you just roll it onto whatever material that currently makes up your roof.
The big upside of Liquid Applied Roofing is that it is so easy to install, and because it’s a liquid, it will seep into all the cracks and crevices on your roof, giving you a complete seal. The only issue with it is that it must be applied to an existing roof.
THERMOSET ROOF MEMBRANE (EDPM)
While traditional tar and gravel or modified bitumen will work in most cases, some commercial properties will require something a bit more durable.
If this is the case for you, then you may want to consider a thermoset roof membrane, which is often referred to as EDPM. This acronym comes from ethylene propylene diene monomer, a special compound designed to resist the damage that can be caused by UV rays.
EDPM comes in a sheet just like the other materials discussed, and it is applied using the BUR method. But because of its durability, it tends to be more expensive than traditional tar and gravel or modified bitumen.
THERMOPLASTIC ROOF MEMBRANE (PVC)
The last material usually applied using the BUR method is Thermoplastic Roof Membrane, often referred to as TPO, or PVC, due to the fact that it is made up of polyvinyl chloride, the same material so often used in modern-day plumbing.
In addition to being waterproof and fire resistant, TPO can also be welded to metal, which makes it a great option for commercial properties that need to protect metal surfaces.
However, all of these added properties do drive up costs. But in some cases it’s completely worth it.
Moving away from the BUR method, another one of the most popular commercial materials out there is metal.
Roofs made of metal have high fireproof ratings and are extremely durable against the elements. In addition, metals can be molded and shaped fairly easily, meaning they are ideal for those who want to add design elements to their roof.
Of course, there are disadvantages to this roofing material, mainly weight and cost. Metals are heavier than the other materials we’ve discussed, and so you may need to reinforce the structure before installing them on your roof. Also, because metals are harder to produce, they tend to cost more.
The most common metals used in commercial roofs are galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper, though there are other options.
One last option is a “green roof.” These roofs are usually covered with some other material using the BUR method, and then they are covered again with some sort of plant.
This helps provide shade and also helps your company look hip and clean. But water can be an issue, and if you go this route, you also need to make sure you keep up with your gutter cleaning schedule.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMMERCIAL ROOFING MATERIAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS
As you can see, when it comes to commercial roofing materials, you have a lot of choices.
However, in the end, local weather conditions, aesthetic preferences, and budget will make the decision for you.
When it comes to weather, extreme heat and extreme cold can contribute significantly to the wear and tear of your roof.
To help you make the right decision, here are some off the best commercial roofing materials for a few different types of climates
BEST ROOFING MATERIALS FOR HOT CLIMATES
When it comes to hot climates, there are a few things to consider: the damage caused by the sun, heat, and insulation (if your roof gets hot, it will heat up the rest of the building and cause cooling costs to rise.)
In residential properties, one of the most common materials to use is adobe bricks. Made from clay, they hold onto very little heat and can withstand the sun, keeping the property cool.
When it comes to commercial properties, here are the best roofing materials for hot climates:
Because EDPM is designed to resist UV rays, it is one of the best roofing materials for hot climates. It will break down more slowly over time and protect the underlying structure from sun damage. And because it goes on using the BUR method, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to protect your commercial property from heat.
If you are able to spend a little extra money, then consider installing a metal roof in hot climates. Metals are great because not only can they withstand the heat and won’t break down, but they also reflect sunlight, which will keep your entire building cooler, helping to reduce energy costs.
Go one step further and add some plants to your roof. Choose things that do well in direct sunlight, and that also grow up enough to create shade. This will not only protect your building from the sun, but it will also help keep it nice and cool, which will make it much cheaper to maintain.
BEST ROOFING MATERIALS FOR COLD CLIMATES
While the sun and heat can do a number on your roof, so can the cold. Whether its wind, snow, ice, or just plain old cold temperatures, harsh winters can destroy your roof. Protect your property by installing one of the following materials:
Although metal is great in heat, it’s also one of the best roofing materials for cold climates.
However, in this case, the metal needs to be installed on top of a thick layer of insulation. This is because metals tend to conduct heat more easily, which means they will get colder faster.
However, the advantage they provide is that they are extremely durable against ice, wind, and snow. So, with the proper insulation, this is going to be the best roof you can get in a cold climate.
SLATE AND ASPHALT SHINGLES
When it comes to residential properties, the two best roofing materials for cold climates are slate and also asphalt shingles.
Slate is so good because it’s so thick it doesn’t need any additional insulation, and it’s also impervious to the elements.
However, it’s heavy (meaning you will likely need to reinforce your roof) and also expensive.
In fact, cost is usually what keeps slate off residential roofs. In most cases, it won’t be feasible for your commercial property; metal roofs get you close enough for much less money. It’s only really an option if you have the budget and really feel as though the aesthetic of slate shingles will provide a boost to your business.
Asphalt shingles also provide tremendous protection against the perils of cold climates. But they do wear down over time and need to be replaced, something that is not ideal for business owners. But again, if the design of your roof is important to you, it’s worth considering. If not, stick to metal and keep costs and maintenance down.
BEST ROOFING MATERIALS FOR A FLAT ROOF
If you have a flat roof on your commercial property, which most do, then your needs are going to be different. However, choosing the best roofing materials for a flat roof is easier said than done, mainly because it depends on so many factors.
For those who have the budget, EDPM or TPO roofs are going to be the best. They provide the most protection and will be worth it in the end. If you want to save a little money, or don’t live in an area with an extreme climate (either hot or cold), then modified bitumen or traditional tar and gravel will work just fine.
CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL AND CHOOSE THE ROOF FOR YOU
Because there are so many factors that will determine the best commercial roofing materials for your business, the best thing you can do is call in a professional to do a consultation and walk you through your options.
At Premier Group, we have helped countless business owners with their commercial roofing needs, and we’re standing by ready to do the same for you. Get in touch today and let us help install your next roof and set your business up for long-term success.