home improvement

What Types Of Commercial Roofing Systems Are Currently Available?


What Types Of Commercial Roofing Systems Are Currently Available?


Commercial roofing systems are of several different types, with each one built according to the owner’s budget and the needs of the building. The type of roofing system your commercial property has plays a critical role in the building’s overall health as well as the longevity of the roof itself. Here are the 7 most common types of commercial roofing systems:

  1. Built-Up or Asphalt Roofing System

It is the most traditional of the commercial roofing systems. It is made up of hot asphalt that’s typically covered with gravel. However, other advanced forms of this roof don’t require a gravel coating. If it isn’t applied properly, it can be hard to create proper seals at all connection points and seams. Poor installation can cause this roofing system to leak early on thus requiring more repairs and maintenance.

Asphalt used to be a fairly inexpensive choice of material in the past, but it has been steadily increasing in cost over the years due to increases in the price of oil. A built-up or asphalt roofing system typically lasts between 10 and 25 years or even longer if properly maintained. However, its longevity can be affected by multiple factors including application, sun exposure, weather, traffic on the roof, etc.

  1. Modified Bitumen Roofing System

Modified bitumen is a type of commercial roofing system that’s a modification of asphalt roofing. It is made from asphalt with a variety of solvents and modifiers as well as a mineral-based wear surface. Modified bitumen reflects UV rays and resists contraction and expansion.

Modified bitumen tends to be slightly more expensive compared to other materials available. The roofing system typically lasts between 10 and 25 years or even longer with proper maintenance, but it depends on several factors including sun exposure, roof slope. Decking, application, weather, etc.

  1. EPDM or Rubber Roofing System

Ethylene Propolyne Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) is made mostly of flat synthetic rubber pieces welded together at the seams to create a continuous membrane. It reflects UV rays and resists contraction and expansion. It might be a thin and light material, but it is attached directly to the roof decking thus eliminating the need for weight or gravel to hold it down.

EPDM or rubber roofing systems typically last between 10 and 25 years or even longer with proper maintenance, but it depends on several different factors including but not limited to sun exposure, traffic on the roof, roof slope, decking, application, weather, among others.

  1. Thermoplastic Membranes Roofing System

Thermoplastic membrane roofing has gained recognition and secured a niche quickly in the roofing industry. TPO is the most common material used for this roofing system. However, other materials such as PVC can still be used. TPO sheets are usually made with flame retardants and are white in color, which helps them reflect UV rays. Thermoplastic membrane roofs can be fully adhered to the roof decking, ballasted, or mechanically fastened.


Depending on the amount and application of flashing detail on the roof a TPO roof is usually the most cost-effective option. A thermoplastic membrane roof lasts typically between 10 and 25 years or even longer with proper maintenance, but it depends on several different factors including the amount of traffic on the roof, roof slope, decking, application, sun exposure, and weather.

  1. Metal Roofing System

A metal roof can be made of various materials including stainless steel, galvanized steel, tin, lead, aluminum, copper, among others. This type of roofing system is more durable in colder areas and today the material is typically recycled.

The application of insulation is an important consideration since metal is a good conductor of heat. Maintenance of this roofing system is essential because metal is susceptible to rust and vandalism due to the rising costs of metal.

Several types of coating can help extend the life of a metal roof such as heat reflective, waterproofing, and anti-rust coatings. Metal roofs typically vary in costs depending on the material but have a similar life expectancy to other roofing systems if properly maintained.

  1. Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Energy bills are on the rise and both residential and commercial building owners alike are opting for alternative energy sources. A perfect solution lies in the conversion of solar energy to light. Photovoltaic solar panels eliminate the need for the installation of solar panels.

The roofing system performs all functions, which makes it a very economical option. A photovoltaic solar panel roofing system is also an excellent option for businesses operating in off-grid geographical locations.

Solar panels might not have any maintenance costs but can be sometimes unreliable because they depend on sunlight to produce energy and may have intermittency issues particularly in rainy or cloudy weather.

  1. Green Roofing System

The green roofing system is quickly growing in term of popularity and is perhaps the most versatile type of commercial roofing system currently available. Commercial building owners have come to appreciate this type of roofing system not only for its structural nature but also the benefits associated with it.

Durability and environmental friendliness are some of the key advantages of green roofs. A green roofing system protects commercial buildings from the elements while also improving energy efficiency and managing water and drainage.

A green roof is beautiful to look at and a huge step towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly commercial properties.


Asphalt, modified bitumen, EPDM, thermoplastic membrane, metal, photovoltaic solar panel, and green roofing systems are all great options when it comes to commercial roofing systems. It is important for the building owner to understand the differences between each option to better identify the key benefits and drawbacks that can be encountered.

The type of roofing system from Armor Services commercial roofing that a commercial building owner ultimately chooses can make a considerable difference in the amount of money they are able to save on the initial investment and maintenance costs. Commercial building owners also need to keep in mind the cost savings over the years if they choose a roofing system likely to reduce problems such as the urban heat island effect.

Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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