With all the commercial roof types on the market, deciding which is most suitable for your building can be challenging. To help, we’ve outlined the best commercial flat roofing materials to consider for your upgrade.
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. Older materials, like modified bitumen, are on the way out and need to be retired. Weigh these efficient commercial flat roofing materials’s pros and cons and determine which is most compatible with your facility.
Thermoplastic polyolefin, or 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 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 problematic 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 curing and could bother contractors and building inhabitants.
Ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, is another rubber commercial flat roof material. It also consists of natural gas, oil, and synthetic materials. 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 flat roofing materials. 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 U.S.
- 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 provide routine maintenance, it stays in excellent 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 like other commercial roof types, like TPO. Instead, EPDM’s rubber expands and contracts as the weather changes.
Built-up commercial flat roofing materials are popular for low-slope or flat roofs on commercial buildings. These systems consist of multiple layers of materials, including asphalt, bitumen, and reinforcing fabrics like fiberglass or felt. Contractors apply these layers in a staggered fashion, creating a strong and waterproof membrane. Gravel or a reflective coating is often added to enhance durability and energy efficiency. Built-up roofing systems provide excellent weather resistance, longevity, and can accommodate rooftop equipment, making them a versatile and enduring solution for commercial properties.
- Built-up commercial roofing materials are exceptionally durable, offering long-term protection against weather and wear.
- They provide superior waterproofing, preventing leaks and water damage effectively.
- These roofing systems require minimal maintenance, reducing long-term repair expenses for commercial property owners.
- Built-up commercial roofing materials can be heavy, requiring additional structural support and increasing costs.
- Installation is labor-intensive due to multiple layers, potentially raising upfront expenses.
- Environmental concerns may arise from the petroleum-based components in some built-up roofing materials.
ROOFCORP has all types of commercial flat roofing materials, offering ultimate protection and durability. Whether you’d like a built-up roof, or a single-ply membrane, we’ve got your building covered. Call us today to discuss your requirements and schedule your free inspection.