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What are the Common Types of Industrial Roofing Systems?

Aug 25

What is the weather like today? It's possible to tell if it's hot, sunny, or raining. Looking out of your windowless office, you can tell if it's hot and sunny. The overall health of the building is what you should be focusing on when shopping for a roof. It is essential to consider factors such as the roof's longevity, weather conditions, and energy efficiency.


Every commercial roof type has its advantages and disadvantages. It is now more challenging to decide due to the number of options. Continue reading to find out about the seven most popular options and which environments are best suited.

Durability, Energy Efficiency, and Cost

A commercial roof replacement is a three-in-one deal: cost, durability, and energy efficiency. A commercial roof system can last from ten to more than 50 years if properly installed and maintained. These estimates may be affected by climate and sub-roof conditions.


For years, efficiency has been a hot topic. Many cities have included energy efficiency parameters in their permit process. You, the business owner, are also concerned about energy efficiency as it can help you save a lot of money over time.


Lastly, remember to consider the cost of replacement or new roofing. While some systems are cheaper to install, you should not sacrifice durability or efficiency to save money.

1. Built-up Roofing Membrane

With proper care, built-up roofing can last for 20 years. It is made with alternating layers of gravel and tar. The number of layers can affect durability and, ultimately, cost. It is a flexible and cost-effective roof that is also easy to maintain. This seamless roofing is durable enough to withstand foot traffic, but it relies on the stability of its understructure to withstand the weight and vibrations. It can be coated with heat reflectors and is UV-resistant.


The downside: BUR roofing has a very short lifespan and can become difficult to spot leaks as it ages.

2. Green Roof

Green roofs can last between 30 and 50 years. The green roof comprises a waterproof membrane entirely covered by green plants. These green masterpieces are a sustainable improvement to the air quality.


These advantages include enhanced aesthetics, environmental protection, and possible utility and government incentives. They often have sophisticated water and drainage management, climate control, and sensor capabilities.


The downside: Green roofs require monitoring and maintenance.

3. Spray-On Roofing

Spray Polyurethane Foam, also known as Spray Polyurethane Foam, is a material that starts as a liquid spray and instantly expands to a foam that hardens into an even layer. This eco-friendly roofing can be applied over an existing roof. SPF roofing systems are waterproof and provide insulation. It can be used in all climates and lasts up to 50 years if properly installed and maintained.

The downside: This type of roofing is only suitable for favorable weather conditions (no snow or ice and no water). Once installed, SPF roofing should still be inspected at least once a year.

4. Membrane Thermoset EPDM Membrane

Ethylene Propylene Terpolymer (EPDM), a durable, roll-based synthetic rubber roofing membrane, is available in various colors. An EPDM roof system, also known as Thermoset roofing, is strongly resistant to sun and pollution. It is versatile, long-lasting, and easy to put in. EPDM is available in both white and black rolls. This single-ply rubber can withstand many common solvents such as alcohol and acids.


The downside: EDPM may not be the most expensive option and can puncture easily (think falling objects or people walking on top of the roof).

5. Thermoplastic PVC & TPO Roof Membranes

Thermoplastic Polyolefin and Poly Vinyl Chloride roofing systems are resistant to adverse conditions. These roof membranes resist UV light, chemicals, fats, oils, and bacterial growth. They are lightweight, puncture resistant, and heat-reflective.

Other benefits include strong air-welded seams, fire resistance, and tolerance to high temperatures and wind.

The downside: Avoid cheap and poorly made products. Many small manufacturers have attempted to develop their product lines since TPO has become so popular. This allows for poor quality. This product should only be purchased from a trusted manufacturer.

6. Shingle

Shingles are most commonly used on residential properties (probably your own home), but they can also be used on commercial properties, especially those with steep rooflines. Shingles are available in many materials, including asphalt, ceramic, slate, plastic, and ceramic. It is easy to install and affordable.


The downside: Shingles can last less than other commercial roofing types, depending on their brand. Shingles are more susceptible to mildew or moss if your building is in a shaded area.

What's the Right Roof for You?

You might need a commercial roof replacement or consider different commercial roofing materials for your new building. Is your roof:

  • Visible
  • walked-on
  • Exposed to grease, acid, or other chemicals
  • Face the sun
  • High winds exposed
  • Temperature extremes


Your choices should be influenced by different climates and types of building use.

It would be best if you considered the cost of annual maintenance and the lifespan of your roof. Consider the energy costs for different types and colors of roofing materials. For cold climates, a dark roof may reduce their heating bills. However, offices in warmer climates might prefer a white roof to lessen the strain on their air conditioners. Hire professional Woodbridge Roofing Company for industrial, commercial, or any residential roofing system.