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The Different Types of Commercial Roofing Materials

Roofing materials determine the strength, durability, and dependability of your protection against the elements. With a wider roof span, commercial properties are much more susceptible to wind and hailstorm damage. Learning about the different kinds of commercial roofing materials can help you make an informed decision as to which material to use.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

TPO is a standard option among commercial properties. It has a 10-20 year lifespan and has exceptional moisture resistance. However, it lacks the flexibility of EPDM and PVC when it comes to heat resistance and expansion and contraction.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing systems is a common type of commercial roof that uses advanced methods to improve its strength and durability. Typically, it uses multiple layers of fabric and asphalt with a gravel and stone top layer. BUR can be expensive but it would protect your property for 15-20 years.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC Roofs are flat commercial roofing materials made from vinyl membranes. Its UV resistance improves property insulation and can withstand extreme weather conditions with minimal repair for 25 years. That said, it's the priciest option among other roofing materials.

Super Storm Restoration has a great post about the reliability of flat commercial roofs below.

Flat Commercial Roofing Systems

Flat roofs are by far the preferred type of roofs on commercial buildings because they are more cost-effective than a sloped roof. Additionally, the size of most commercial buildings would make a pitched roof dangerous or inefficient. Here are some more things to consider when choosing a flat type of roof on a commercial building:


Flat roofs are easier to install. Since there’s no steep slopes, there’s less risk and liability to commercial roofing contractors when installing flat roofing materials.

There’s less material, so flat roofs are less expensive to install. This is just one of the reasons flat types of roofs on commercial buildings are more cost-effective than a sloped roof.

Flat roofs allow for extra storage. Oftentimes, businesses will opt for commercial flat roof materials so they can store their HVAC system on top of the building instead of down below. Keeping these systems out of the way looks nicer for the business front and keeps maintenance and tuneups more discreet.


Flat commercial roofs have poor drainage. Like we mentioned, having a slope can help with water run-off and limiting excess water build-up. The pressure from pooled up water over time could lead to a roof leak if gone unnoticed.

Debris collection is much more likely on flat roofs. Not only is it harder to spot a miscellaneous item on a flat commercial roofing system, it’s unlikely the debris will fall off on its own, so debris will collect on the roof until it’s cleared. (Continued)

Commercial flat roof materials require more maintenance. Not only will businesses with flat roof types need more maintenance because of water and debris clean-up, commercial roofing contractors will also need to perform maintenance checks to ensure the seals remain watertight to prevent leaks. In addition, some types of commercial roofing materials need to be reapplied to prolong the life of the roof.

Want an excellent commercial roofer to maintain and improve your roof's capabilities? Don't look further than Roper Roofing & Solar. Our roofing contractors have decades of combined experience and knowledge to deliver outstanding commercial roofing. We guarantee only top-notch results and above and beyond roofing performance. Call us today to get started.


795 McIntyre St. Suite 303
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 720-809-7586

7421 Brecourt Manor Way
Austin TX 78739
Phone: 512-305-3695



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