Decoding the Pros and Cons of Commercial Roofing Designs

Last updated on March 7, 2024

Commercial roofing designs have evolved significantly over the years, offering a range of options for businesses looking to protect their buildings from harsh weather conditions. With advancements in technology and materials, commercial roofs are no longer just functional but can also enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of a building.

However, with so many design options available, it can be overwhelming for business owners to decide which one is best suited for their needs.

In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of various commercial roofing designs to help you make an informed decision for your business. Let’s get started.

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Built-up Roofing

Built-up Roofing

Built-up roofing, also known as BUR, is a traditional commercial roofing design that involves multiple layers of tar and gravel reinforced with felt or fiberglass. As seen in this commercial roofing systems guide, it is among the designs used for decades and is still a popular choice for many businesses. One of the main advantages of BUR is its durability – it can withstand heavy foot traffic and extreme weather conditions.

It also offers good insulation and is relatively easy to maintain. However, BUR can be expensive to install and repair, and it is not the most visually appealing option compared to other modern designs.

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Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has gained popularity over the years due to its strength, longevity, and versatility. It comes in various materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc, giving businesses the option to choose a design that suits their budget and aesthetic preferences. Metal roofing is also lightweight, making it easy to install and less strain on the building’s structure.

It is fire-resistant and can withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and snow. However, metal roofs can be noisy during rainfall, prone to denting from hail or debris impact, and may require specialized professionals for installation and maintenance.

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EPDM Roofing

EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing is a synthetic rubber material that is commonly used for flat or low-sloped commercial roofs. It offers excellent resistance to UV rays, ozone, and extreme temperatures. EPDM is relatively easy to install, repair, and maintain compared to other commercial roofing designs. It is also highly durable and has a long lifespan of up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

However, EPDM may not be the best choice for areas prone to high foot traffic as it can easily get punctured or torn. It is also not the most visually appealing option, and its dark color can absorb heat, increasing cooling costs in warmer climates.

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PVC Roofing

PVC or polyvinyl chloride roofing is a single-ply membrane that offers excellent resistance to chemicals, UV rays, and punctures. It is also relatively easy to install and maintain, making it a popular choice for commercial buildings. PVC roofs are lightweight, reducing strain on the building’s structure, and are highly durable with a lifespan of up to 20 years.

However, PVC roofing can be expensive compared to other options and may not be suitable for buildings with heavy foot traffic or extreme weather conditions. It is also not the most environmentally friendly option as PVC production involves toxic chemicals.

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TPO Roofing

TPO or thermoplastic polyolefin roofing is a single-ply membrane that offers similar benefits to PVC roofing but at a lower cost. It is highly resistant to UV rays, chemicals, punctures, and tears. TPO roofs are also energy-efficient as they reflect heat, reducing cooling costs in warmer climates.

They are relatively lightweight and easy to install and maintain. However, TPO may not have the same level of durability as PVC roofing and can be prone to shrinkage, especially in extreme temperatures. It is also not the most visually appealing option and may require frequent repairs or replacements.

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Green Roofing

Green roofing, also known as living roofs, involves covering a commercial roof with plants and vegetation. It offers numerous benefits such as improving air quality, reducing energy costs, and increasing the lifespan of the roof by protecting it from UV rays. It also adds aesthetic value to a building and can even attract potential customers.

However, green roofing can be expensive to install and maintain, and not all buildings are suitable for this design due to weight restrictions. It also requires specialized knowledge and maintenance compared to other commercial roofing options.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to commercial roofing designs. Each option has its own set of pros and cons that must be carefully considered based on a business’s specific needs and budget. It is essential to consult with a professional roofing contractor to assess the condition of your current roof and recommend the best design for your building.

Whether you choose a traditional BUR or opt for a more modern green roof, investing in the right commercial roofing design can provide long-term benefits for your business. So, make sure to weigh all factors carefully and make an informed decision for the protection and overall appearance of your building.

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