The Difference in Commercial Roofing Options

A modified bitumen roofing system installed on a commercial roof.

With a wide variety of materials available for commercial roofing, many business owners can become a little overwhelmed when it comes to roofing repair or replacement. Whether you’re looking for an efficient project for your budget’s balancing or are searching for the best roof fabric/material for your building, you need information you can trust.

To begin, the type of roofing material you choose for your commercial installation will depend on several factors, including the building’s location and intended use. For instance, a roof that needs to withstand extreme weather conditions may require more durable materials than one that is used solely as an aesthetic feature.

In this article, you’ll find out the critical differences between construction materials, and their durability, then discover how you can improve the efficiency and lifetime of your roofing installation by choosing experienced, trustworthy commercial roofing contractors.


If you’re curious about common roof types, you’re not alone. Many business owners ask these questions when they’re looking at new roofs or remodeling their businesses. Roof types are important because they determine how your business will look and how long the roof will last.

The following is an examination of commercial roofing types, the materials used for each kind of roof, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Throughout this, we will also discuss the specifics of industrial roofs and roof types.


The following will be a short cover of the advantages and disadvantages of flat roofing as they have been a staple of the industry since the years around the 1920s – a symbol of industrial and commercial toward a more modern America. But before this, pitched roofing was the common standard used for commercial buildings, architecture that can be found even in large commercial structures. But flat roofing is often a good option for your commercial building, which is why the trend exists.

For many commercial roofing contractors or building owners, starting with a flat roof or transitioning into flat roofing offers many benefits.

Commercial flat roofs are much less expensive to build than other types of roofs, such as pitched roofs or low-slope roofs. This is because they require fewer square feet of material, which translates into lower costs for the building owner. Commercial flat roofs can also be installed quickly and easily, translating into significant savings for the building owner and an easier installation for commercial roofing contractors.

In turn, this effect is also seen in your next commercial roof repair cost estimate. Commercial flat roofs are also easier to repair than other types of roofs. This is because they only require a single layer of material, which can be easily removed and replaced with new material.

Flat roofs have many benefits, but they also have drawbacks. Because they are simple, single-layer installations, flat roofs can be more susceptible to leaks. This is because water will seep through any holes or cracks in the membrane and damage the sub-structure underneath.


Though these installations are more commonly found in residential homes rather than businesses and other commercial structures, they’re still just as common as flat roofs.

Debris, in general, becomes easier to dispose of as well. The increased slope of a sloped roof also means that it is more resistant to the effects of high winds. While it can be argued that a flat roof is more durable, this is only sometimes the case. The first line of defense for any structure against high winds is its ability to shed water and snow, which sloped roofs do quite well. This also means that any drainage systems installed along your roofline are far more simplified. Pitched roofs reduce the need for constant maintenance and repair by a long margin compared to flat roofing and anything less inclined.

Unfortunately, this means pitched roofs become more challenging to repair and maintain. The added precautions and safety protocols needed before anyone can start repairing or maintaining a pitched roof, let alone the difficulty in navigating steep slopes, generally increase the cost of repairs, installation, and maintenance service.

This is where we introduce you to a third option: low-sloped roofs.


These roofs are often installed in factories, warehouses, apartment buildings, and other industrial buildings. They only appear flat, but there is a low rise in pitch around the center of the Low-Slope Roofing’s line.

A low-sloped roofing installation allows water runoff. The roof design directs flow to outlets in the form of valleys, saddles, and drains. Also, take into consideration that the total roof area will be less than high-pitched roofs and steep slope roofs, which means these installations require fewer square feet of roofing materials. Low-sloped roofs are also easier for roof workers to install compared to high-pitched or steep-slope roofing.

Commercial roof installation, repair, and replacement can also be easier to perform because there is a smaller likelihood that the building owner will need to call a maintenance specialist to manage water problems caused by standing water or puddling. With a low-sloped roof, water runs down the shingles into drainpipes at a faster rate. This reduces workers’ time on repairs and cleaning up after storms.

Lastly, low-sloped roofs are more energy efficient than steep or high-pitched roofs because they have a lower surface area, and therefore, allow less heat to escape your home. This can also reduce your money on heating bills in the winter months.

Since low-sloped commercial roofs are easier to install and maintain than roofs with a higher pitch, rubber-rolled roofing, EPDM, TPO, bitumen, and modified bitumen are commonly used on these kinds of commercial roofs. Modified bitumen has longer warranty times due to its additional thickness and superior sealing capabilities.

The only disadvantage we can list is only applicable to those who live in snowy areas, as snow only melts slowly on low-sloped roofs and can add unneeded weight onto the surface. This can be a risk, and can make construction a little more complex. The building codes regarding low-sloped roofs for your site must be strictly adhered to, and can necessitate supports and other additions you generally wouldn’t need for other roofs.


With that being said, hopefully our expertise on the matter can help guide you through any decisions you may want to make on your next building’s installation. If you’re looking for a second opinion, we’d be happy to offer our feedback and suggestions to ensure that you get the right kind of roof installed on your commercial building with little to no hassle.

There are many different roofs, each suited to a different kind of building. Consider your exact building specifications, budget, and goals when choosing a roof type. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option, an environmentally friendly alternative, or a long-lasting investment, need the right installation that suits your building.

Discuss your options with a professional roofing contractor or roof material distributor to learn more about these options and choose the best roof for your business. If you are a commercial contractor starting a new job contact us to find out everything we offer and how we can assist in your job. We’ll ensure that you understand what you’re looking at and what it means.

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