With all the commercial roof types on the market, deciding which one’s the most suitable for your building can be challenging. To help, we’ve outlined the best roofing materials to consider for your upgrade.
What are the Best Types of Roofing Materials for Flat Roofs?
Most commercial buildings, such as grocery stores, shopping malls, and offices, have flat roofing structures. They’re popular because of their longevity and durability, giving building owners and property managers peace of mind regarding occupants’ safety and their company’s reputation for professionalism. Although flat roofs last for decades, roof restoration or replacement is inevitable.
If your roofing system shows signs of severe wear and tear or deterioration, the best thing to do is call professionals to analyze the damage and confirm the best course of action. Consider these industry-trusted roof membrane types if it’s time to upgrade your structure. Weigh the pros and cons to determine which one is most compatible with your facility.
Thermoplastic polyolefin, also known as TPO, is a single-ply rubber roofing material. Different types of rubber and other synthetic fillers like talc, fiberglass, and carbon fiber are combined. TPO roofing is essentially three parts covering the surface in a monolithic layer: the bottom layer is the TPO compounded pinnacle ply. There’s polyester or reinforced fabric (scrim) in the middle, and finally, the TPO polymer base is on top.
- TPO is easy to install and requires less material and fewer seams.
- It’s cost effective thanks to its quick and easy installation. On average, this commercial roof type costs about $7,455 on the high end.
- It’s UV reflective and energy-efficient, so it’s not ruined by high heat or sun rays as quickly as other commercial roof types.
- Maintenance can be expensive since TPO requires special tools like a heat welder.
- It’s slippery when wet, which is dangerous for contractors working on the surface.
- TPO has several different makes and manufacturers, so not all TPO is created equally. Some brands won’t last as long as others, so it’s wise to research which kind to use.
Silicone roofing is a fluid-applied membrane that provides excellent long-term protection. This commercial roof type is silicone metal, the second most common element on earth. Therefore, it’s plentiful and inexpensive. Silicone costs between $2 to $3.50 per square foot.
Silicone can bring any flat roof back to life.
- As long as your structure passes the infrared inspection, silicone roof coatings have a straightforward application process.
- Silicone creates a seamless surface, so it’s waterproof, making leaks, mold, and mildew a thing of the past.
- Silicone coatings extend the life of your roof. They’re the perfect alternative to a roof replacement and put an end to frequent repairs.
- Silicone tends to attract dust and dirt. Eventually, the white coating gets dirty and ruins its UV reflectivity, so owners must schedule routine power washes.
- Adhesion can be a problem with silicone roof coatings unless you’re using more silicone; if your roof needs to be replaced, the silicone coating must be removed entirely.
- Silicone gives off a strong smell during the curing process and could be bothersome to contractors and building inhabitants.
Ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, is another rubber commercial roof type. It’s also comprised of natural gas, oil, and synthetic materials. Additionally, EPDM is one of the most cost-effective roof membrane types, at an average of $75 to $450 per square (100 square feet), so it’s cheaper than other commercial roof types. EPDM has been used since the ’60s and has continuously gained popularity, making it one of the most common types of commercial roofing systems in the US.
- EPDM is highly weather-resistant. It withstands temperatures as low as -49 degrees and as high as 240 degrees, so thermal shock, the constant expansion and contraction of materials, isn’t an issue with this commercial roof type.
- Roof repairs are few and far between; as long as building owners keep up with routine maintenance, it stays in great condition.
- Since EPDM is a flat roof material type that comes in large rolls, its installation process is quick and easy.
- Since most EPDM material is black, it absorbs UV rays, which expedites the degradation process.
- It doesn’t boost the building’s appearance, so it’s not the right choice for curb appeal.
- The seams don’t hold up as well as other commercial roof types, like TPO, for instance. Instead, EPDM’s rubber expands and contracts as the weather changes.
ROOFCORP Helps You Choose the Best Flat Roof Material Type for Your Building
ROOFCORP has all types of commercial roofing systems that offer the ultimate protection and durability. We’ve got your building covered whether you’d like a built-up roof or a single-ply membrane. Call us today to discuss your requirements and schedule your free inspection.