A commercial building’s roof is a lot different than a residential roof. Most commercial buildings utilize a flat roofing system because they’re easier to install and maintain. Commercial flat roofs also provide a variety of solutions for HVAC units and other large-scale machinery like generators to supply power to the building. A flat roof also requires less surface area to cover than a pitched roof does.

If you’re a commercial building owner, investing in a quality roofing material is vital for protecting the value of the building and its contents. Water leaks can cause havoc to expensive items inside the building and put at risk the raw materials or goods that you’re storing. It can also be a nightmare if the building is being leased out by multiple tenants. Things like insurance claims and hiring contractors to fix the problem can be quite expensive and inconvenient for you and your tenants.

The best way to avoid this is to hire a quality commercial roofing contractor and use one of the following commercial roofing applications:

Thermoplastic Roofing

Thermoplastic roofing is also known as TPO roofing. It’s also one of today’s fastest growing and most popular types of commercial roofing material. TPO commercial roofs are mostly white, but modern technology has made it available in various colors. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply membrane and great energy-efficient commercial roofing solution.

This commercial roofing material works well in cold and hot weather climates. It also works well to protect against chemical exposures like ozone and UV rays as well as being fire, puncture, and high-wind resistant.

EPDM Roofing

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a very durable and long-lasting commercial roofing material. EPDM is made from synthetic rubber, and it also protects against projectiles and punctures in high winds. It’s one of the most used types of commercial roofing material, and it can be seen on the vast majority of commercial buildings. Experts in the industry recognize EPDM as a energy-efficient material as it saves money in hot or cold weather.

The reason why so many people use EPDM, it’s easier to install and repair than other commercial roofing products. EPDM is also a great product for rooftop gardens.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is another quality product for some commercial buildings because flat roofs are not necessarily flat. A slight pitch is required for proper water drainage, and a metal roof can last 50 years or more. They’re very durable and have superior protection qualities that exceed most other roofing materials. They offer low-maintenance, and they come in a variety of colors and thickness.

It’s also important to understand that metal roofs can contract and expand with temperature changes; therefore, there are some cons with metal roofing for commercial buildings.

PVC Roofing

PVC roofing material is eco-friendly and sustainable. They remain in good shape even with modifications for roof gardens, solar panels, and other rooftop applications. Modern technology and advancements have made PVC roofing materials very energy efficient, and they’ve also achieved a good Energy Star rating. PVC roofing materials can reflect solar energy, which saves a substantial amount of heating and cooling cost for the structure.

PVC roofing material is one the earliest commercial roofing systems created. The basic ingredients of this product has remained intact; however, manufacturers have found new technologies that boost its performance.

Green Roofs

One of the most exciting and newest commercial roofing applications is green roofing. Green roofing can be either completely or partially covered with vegetation and soil. To ensure the roof is watertight, a waterproof membrane covers the roof before the vegetation layer is applied. The biggest advantage of a green roof is its insulation properties. A properly installed green roofing system will lower cooling and heating cost, and it has the capacity of lasting twice as long as traditional commercial roofing systems.

Additionally, it adds aesthetics, increases resale value, provides cleaner air, uses recycled materials, and provides a relaxing atmosphere.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are currently being recognized by a lot of commercial building owners as they’re now understanding the potential benefits of having a solar paneled roofing system installed. In general, the cost of electricity always goes up and never goes down; therefore, slight increases for a commercial building can mean hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars every time the utility bill arrives.

Solar panels for a commercial roof are usually installed on top of glass, membrane or metal roof. Other advancements in solar panel design is the solar roofing tile; however, they’re not in high-demand yet.

Modified Bitumen and Built Up Roofing

Modified Bitumen and Built Up Roofing (BUR) are traditional types of commercial roofing products. Modified Bitumen has its layers fabricated at the manufacturing facility, and BUR roofing is layered rubber membranes that are fabricated and installed directly on the roof by installers who fuse the seams. These interlocking layers offer decades of longevity and are a weather resistant material for your commercial building.

These commercial roofing applications are both dependable and affordable. They provide low-maintenance with superior puncture protection and ensure a watertight roof.

SPF Roofing

If you’re looking for a watertight, lightweight, and sustainable commercial roofing product, an SPF roof will get the job done. Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is applied by a spray gun by the roofing contractor. SPF, starts out as a liquid and quickly expands into a durable foam that has superior water protection qualities. It also provides excellent insulation and lowers cooling and heating bills.

SPF roofing benefits commercial roofs because it has no seams or joints, which makes SPF a great solution for fixing older roofs with holes and leaks. The outer surface of the SPF roofing system is coated with elastomeric coatings, which protects the SPF surface from the sun’s UV rays that can cause degrading. An SPF roof correctly applied can last between 40 and 70 years.


These are all high-quality commercial roofing products that can be installed on a flat roof, but it’s always a good idea to get suggestions from the roofing contractor as to which one of these applications will work the best for your commercial building and its location.