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Everything You Need to Know about Commercial Roofing


The systems available to commercial building owners, the way these systems are installed vary from residential roofing applications. The problems that commercial building owners face and the solutions to their commercial roofing problems also vary from residential roofing applications. Many people don’t realize the differences in residential and commercial roofing applications, but it is important to realize these two industries are not the same, there are differences between them, and they should be handled differently.

Commercial Roofing vs. Residential Roofing

One of the most glaring differences between commercial and residential building owners lies in the roofing systems available to them. Residential roofing systems are typically asphalt shingle, occasionally concrete tile, depending on the climate, and some other less popular materials. Asphalt shingle is far and away the most popular roofing option for residential roofing systems.

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Decision makers have substantially more options for the roofing system if they own or manage a commercial building. Commercial roofing systems consist of sprayed polyurethane foam, restoration coatings, single-ply (TPO, PVC, EPDM), modified bitumen, concrete, built-up, tar and gravel, and many others. The bottom line, there are significantly more commercial roofing systems available than there are residential, which means you as a commercial building owner need to do more research before making purchase or repair decisions regarding your roof.

Commercial Roofing Installation

The installation of commercial roofing systems also varies greatly from that of residential roofs. The most significant difference is length of installation. Commercial roofs can take over a month to install, while most residential roofs can be done in a day or two. The increase in time for commercial roofs is partly due to the size of the building, as commercial roofs tend to be larger than residential. Another contributing factor to the time increase during installation is that commercial roofing systems are often more complex and difficult to install. They often require multiple days of waiting for product to cure, settle, be glued, or other time consuming activities.

Commercial Roofing Solutions

Finally, commercial roofing systems differ from residential systems in how common problems with the roof are solved. If you have a leak on a residential roof, it typically means only one thing: you need to patch that area of your roof. However, if your commercial roof has a leak, you may need to patch the area, or you may need to apply coating to the entire roof. The leak may be indicative of bigger problems requiring roof replacement, or you may simply need new flashings.

Basically, just remember that commercial roofing solutions to roofing problems are not the same as residential problems. Commercial roofs are susceptible to different types of problems, and the problems they face that are the same often require different solutions.


If you are researching for your commercial roof, throw out most of what you know about the roof on your home. While some of the knowledge may carry over, most of it will not. The way you maintain, repair and service a commercial roof is much different. The commercial roofing systems available to you differ from those on a residential roof, and how you install the roofs vary greatly. If you have more questions, contact a salesman, we’d love to chat!

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