5 Types of Commercial Roofing

 

When we meet with future clients, they are usually comparing several types of roofing systems. We are always asked: What are the most popular types of commercial roofing? Which is better? Which is more reasonably priced? In this article, we will cover 5 types of commercial roofing.

At West Roofing Systems, we have been helping customers for decades choose the right roof for their building and their budget. We want everyone to feel empowered when they start getting quotes from their contractors. In this article, we break down the five most common types of commercial roofing along with their average costs* and advantages.

 

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is an eco-friendly roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities. Spray Polyurethane Foam, more commonly referred to as SPF, is a material that is sprayed as a liquid so it can expand into a foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof.

Read More: Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofing: Installation & Performance

While SPF roofing is not the most known type of roofing material, the technology has been around since the early 1960s for industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. An SPF roofing system can be used in any climate, and when correctly installed and maintained, can last over 50 years.

For an average 20,000 sq. foot commercial roof, it will usually cost between $4.00 and $7.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical SPF roofing system. This price range is for an SPF roof of average thickness and building structure.

Read More: Cost of a Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing System

 

Spray Polyurethane Roofing Advantages

There are quite a few benefits of SPF roofing systems:

  • Energy Efficient – SPF delivers thermal, air, and moisture barriers to provide the highest R-value per inch.
  • Durable – The foam material can expand and contract with the building, decreasing the likelihood of cracks and splitting.
  • Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.
  • Environmentally Friendly – In most cases, there is minimal stripping of the original roof – eliminating the need for costly roof tear-offs and waste. The materials that are used for SPF roofing systems are also environmentally friendly: Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), Low in the Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

 

 

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-Ply Membrane EPDM Installation

Single-Ply Membrane is a time-tested roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities. Single-Ply Membranes are sheets of rubber and other synthetics that can be ballasted, mechanically fastened or chemically adhered to insulation creating a layer of protection on your commercial facility.

While Single-Ply Membrane Roofing is one of the most well-known types of commercial roofing material, there are several types to fit your budget and facility needs. For an average 20,000 sq. foot commercial roof, it will usually cost between $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot for EPDM and $3.50 to $6.50 per square foot for TPO*, including materials and labor warranty.

Read More: Cost of Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

 

Single-Ply Membrane Advantages

If properly installed and maintained, a commercial single-ply membrane roof can last 30 years. There are quite a few other benefits of single-ply membrane roofing systems:

  • Proven Track Record – EPDM roofing has been used for commercial flat roofing for over years. This amount of time on the market has allowed various laboratory and field studies to be performed and tracked.
  • Customer Choice of Insulation – Since single-ply membrane roofing does not include the insulation factor, as a customer you have more options to choose from to insulate your facility’s roof.
  • Class A Fire-Rated – TPO membranes and EPDM can achieve Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Class A fire resistance listings by adding fire retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process.
  • Reflective or Retentive – TPO is generally white and highly reflective. On the other side of the spectrum, EPDM is often described as “Black Roofs,” due to the natural dark color of the membrane.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Single-Ply Membrane Roofing Systems

 

 

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is one of the oldest commercial roofing systems on the market. Most metal roofing systems use corrugated galvanized steel, although other materials such as aluminum or tin can also be used.

Since metal roofing material is rather light in weight, it can be installed right on top of the existing roof. After a metal roofing system is installed, a coating can be added for waterproofing, rust protection, and UV protection.

For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $5.00 and $10.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical metal roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the metal panels you choose.

 

Metal Roofing Advantages

If properly installed and maintained, a commercial metal roof can last 40 years. There are quite a few other benefits of metal roofing systems:

  • Design – Variety of material and color choices.
  • Stability – Ability to hold up to high winds and snow.
  • Energy Efficient – Sheet metal can be made from recycled material.
  • Fire Resistance – Metal panels are less prone to fire damage and do not promulgate fire events.

 

 

Shingle Roofing

Shingle roofing is mostly known for homes and residential roofing, but shingles are very often used for steep slope commercial roofing applications. Shingles can be made out of a few different materials, including wood, slate, metal, plastic, ceramic and composite material such as asphalt. There are two main types of shingles: Asphalt and Architectural.

Asphalt Shingles: most common, cost-effective shingle on the market used for applications. These roof systems often come with 15 – 30-year warranties on average.

Architectural Shingles: multi-layered and heavier to add durability and weatherproofing to the building. Often comes with “lifetime” warranties.

For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical shingle roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the shingles you choose.

 

Shingle Roofing Advantages

Some benefits of commercial shingle roofing include:

  • Design – Wide variety of colors and designs
  • Durable – Some types of shingles are class IV hail rated
  • Easy Repair – Easy to spot and repair small areas of damage

 

 

Built-Up Roofing

Tar and Gravel Roofing

Built-Up Roofing Systems have been in use in the U.S. for over 100 years. These roof systems are commonly referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs. Built-up systems are installed by alternating layers of asphalt or tar and supporting fabrics directly onto the roof. You can choose the number of layers (or plies) that are installed. The final layer of a built-up roofing system consists of stone or gravel.

For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between per $5.50 – $8.50 square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical built-up roofing system. This price range can change depending on the materials you choose.

 

Built-Up Roofing Advantages

If properly installed and maintained, a commercial built-up roof can last 40 years. There are a few other benefits of built-up roofing systems:

  • Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.
  • UV Rays – provides ultra-violet protection.
  • Low- maintenance – Minimal upkeep needed after installation.

 

 

As you can see, there are a lot of choices when looking into a new commercial roof. Each of the 5 types of commercial roofing has their benefits and drawbacks, choosing which one is best comes down to a customer-by-customer basis.

West Roofing Systems, Inc. installs sustainable and efficient roofing systems for commercial, industrial, manufacturing and municipal buildings. In over 37 years, we have installed over 57,000,000 square feet of commercial roofing, and our expert team is ready to help you.

If you are looking for maintenance, repair or replacement of your facilities roof, fill out our quote form for your free no-obligation commercial roof quote from our team of experts.

 

*Reported costs are not quotes, they are approximate costs. Please contact West Roofing Systems to request a quote and proposal for your roof.

 


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Author: Rufus West

Rufus West is a commercial roofing expert! You may see him on the West Roofing website and also on the West Roofing social media pages, giving fun facts and tips about the company and roofing industry.

Just like West Roofing System’s roof solutions, he isn’t bothered by water—it simply rolls off of his back!

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