A Complete Guide to Understanding the Different Types of Commercial Roofing

19 January 2024
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the common types of commercial roofing, their key features, and the pros and cons of each. Whether you’re a business owner, a commercial property manager, or a facilities manager, you’ll find this guide informative and helpful in making an informed decision for your commercial roofing needs.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM roofing is a popular roofing choice used in commercial buildings. It is a rubber roofing material and is widely known as a relatively cost-effective roofing solution. EPDM is lightweight, durable, flexible, and can easily adapt to the shape of any roof.


  • Cost-effective solution
  • Resistant to hail damage
  • Durable and flexible


  • Poor resistance to UV light
  • Over time, it could become brittle

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing, also known as a tar and gravel roof, is prevalent in commercial applications and consists of multiple layers of bitumen alternated with plies of reinforcing fabric. It is an excellent roofing choice for low-slope applications and can withstand high traffic.


  • Excellent waterproofing properties
  • Durable and fire-retardant
  • Moderate cost compared to other commercial roofing


  • The installation process can be messy and challenging
  • Heavy and requires significant structural support

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a popular commercial roofing option that provides higher reflectivity and energy efficiency, contributing to overall cost savings. It can be made from different metals such as aluminum, copper, and steel, and the choice of metal depends on your budget and architectural style.


  • Energy efficiency
  • Highly durable
  • Fire-retardant
  • Resistant to harsh weather


  • Expensive to install, depending on the type of metal used
  • Issues with expansion and contraction due to temperature changes

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)

SPF roofing is a liquid-applied roofing system that is sprayed onto the roof. As the foam expands and hardens, it creates a seamless layer that adheres to the roof and provides excellent insulation. SPF roofing can be applied to various types of roofs, including flat roofs, slopes, and curbs.


  • Excellent insulation and air-sealing properties
  • Energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run
  • Thermal shock-resistant and waterproof


  • Not as durable as other commercial roofing types
  • Requires a specialized contractor for installation and maintenance

Choosing the right commercial roofing type can be a daunting task, but with the right information, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget, building design, and environmental factors. From metal roofing to TPO to built-up roofing, these types have their exclusive benefits and limitations. Always hire a professional roofing contractor for installation, maintenance, and repairs. By considering these options, you'll be well on your way to choosing the right commercial roofing for your property.

For more information, contact a professional commercial roofing service in your area.