What are the Different Kinds of Commercial Roofs? | Big Easy Roofers
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What are The Different Kinds of Commercial Roofs?

Have you ever wondered what kind of roof covers commercial buildings? With so many different types of roofs available, it can be hard to decide which one is best for your business. 

From flat roofs to metal roofs, each commercial roof has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the different kinds of commercial roofs and discuss which option would work best for your building.

Types of Roofing Systems

There are several types of commercial roofing systems available. Low-slope roofing is the most common type. It’s a single-ply system that uses a membrane to cover the building, which is usually made of asphalt, rubber, or thermoplastic materials.

Flat roofs are also popular because they’re easy to maintain and can be installed quickly. Built-up roofs are constructed with multiple layers of asphalt and tar paper for protection against weather elements and other hazards. Metal roofs offer durability and longevity, plus they’re lightweight and fire-resistant. 

They come in varieties like aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc. Lastly, green roofs provide insulation benefits while also helping improve air quality by absorbing pollutants from the environment. They have an extra layer of waterproof membrane on top of a soil layer that can be used to grow vegetation or install solar panels for energy efficiency.

Flat Roofs

flat roof a buildingFlat roofs are among the most common types of commercial roofs and offer several advantages for businesses. For starters, they are typically more cost-effective than other types of commercial roofing systems. 

Additionally, because flat roofs tend to be easier to install, they are often quicker to put up than other systems. Maintenance is also relatively easy with this type of roofing system since flat surfaces have fewer areas where water can pool and cause damage or leaks.

Flat roofs can also provide businesses with extra usable space on top of their building itself. This can be beneficial for companies that need additional storage or even outdoor seating areas for patrons.

Furthermore, flat roofs may have a longer lifespan than some other types of commercial roofing systems due to their ability to disperse water more quickly and evenly than angled surfaces can.

Overall, flat roofs offer many advantages for businesses looking for an effective and efficient way to protect their buildings from the elements without breaking the bank. With proper installation and maintenance, these roofing systems can provide long-lasting protection from rain, snow, wind, and more while providing extra usable space on top of the building itself.

Low Slope Roofs

Low-slope roofs are the most common type of commercial roof. They have a shallow pitch, usually less than 3:12. This makes them ideal for flat or gently-sloping roofs, which is why they’re often chosen for commercial buildings. 

  • Low-slope roofs are made from a variety of materials, such as asphalt shingles, metal panels, single-ply membranes, and spray foam roofing systems. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered before making a decision.
  • Asphalt shingles are the most affordable option for low-slope roofs. They come in a variety of colors and styles to complement any building’s aesthetic. The downside is that they don’t last as long as other materials and can be prone to damage from wind and hail storms.
  • Metal panels are more durable than asphalt shingles and come in a range of colors and styles. They’re also fire-resistant and energy-efficient, which helps reduce heating and cooling costs over time. However, they can be more expensive upfront compared to other materials.
  • Single-ply membranes are one of the longest-lasting options for low-slope roofs because they’re waterproof and resistant to ultraviolet rays from the sun. They also come in different thicknesses depending on your needs, so you can choose the right option for your building environment. However, installation requires specialized equipment that may not be available in all areas.
  • Spray foam roofing systems offer superior insulation properties compared to other materials but require professional installation due to their complexity. They also require periodic maintenance to ensure their long lifespan – something that must be taken into account when budgeting for your project.

No matter which material you choose for your low-slope roof, it’s important to do your research first so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your building environment now and in the future.

Steep Slope Roofs

Steep slope roofs are the most common type of commercial roofing and are suitable for buildings with a pitch of more than 14 degrees. They often consist of asphalt shingles, metal panels, tiles, or wood shakes applied to the roof’s surface. 

Asphalt is typically the most cost-effective option, but it requires frequent maintenance to preserve its lifespan. Metal panels provide superior protection against weather conditions but are more expensive upfront. Tiles and wood shakes offer aesthetic appeal but require additional care to maintain their condition.

When installing a steep slope roof, it’s important to select materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions in your area. Additionally, be sure to research any local building codes and ensure that your roof meets all requirements before installation begins.

Green/Living Roofs

Moving on from steep slope roofs, green/living roofs are the next type of commercial roof. A living roof is an alternative to a traditional roof and is composed of vegetation, soil, and other components like waterproof membranes. It provides many benefits such as reduced energy costs, improved air quality, increased insulation value, and improved stormwater management.

The most common type of green roof is extensive systems. These are lightweight and require minimal maintenance. They usually contain low-growing vegetation that doesn’t require a lot of water or fertilizers. 

Extensive systems typically have shallow soil depths that range between two inches to eight inches deep. These types of green roofs can provide great insulation benefits for commercial buildings as they absorb heat during the summer and retain warmth during the winter months.

Intensive systems are heavier than extensive systems but offer more design options and can support larger plants such as trees and shrubs. These intensive systems require more maintenance than extensive systems but can still provide many of the same environmental benefits such as reducing air pollution, providing noise reduction, improving stormwater management, and increasing recreational spaces in urban areas.

Green/living roofs offer many advantages to commercial buildings while also helping to conserve energy and improve the environment. They provide a unique aesthetic appeal that traditional roofs can’t match while also being able to support biodiversity in urban areas.

Factors to Consider Before Installation

When deciding on the right type of commercial roof for your business, there are several factors to consider before installation. First, it’s important to assess the existing structure. Are there any structural issues that would prevent a specific type of roof from being installed? It’s also important to determine the load requirements for the building and the climate in which your business operates. All these factors will help determine what type of roof will be best suited for your business.

Next, consider the cost of installation and maintenance. Different types of commercial roofs have varying levels of cost associated with them. Some may require more frequent maintenance than others, which can add up over time. Also, take into account how long you plan to keep your roof; some types may be better suited for longer-term usage than others.

Finally, think about the aesthetic appeal of your commercial roof; it should complement both the interior and exterior design of your building. After all, it’s one of the first things people notice when they come to visit or pass by your business! Take all these considerations into account when choosing what kind of commercial roof is best for you and your business.


With the right knowledge and services, commercial roofing questions can be answered quickly and easily with experienced contractors. There are many benefits to maintaining a commercial roof but there are also key points to consider in the processes. 

Asking the top 5 customer commercial roofing questions revealed in this article can leave you feeling more confident about beginning or updating your project. Keep these tips in mind and visit Big Easy Roofers for comprehensive assistance with all of your needs.  

We’re here to help you make informed decisions as you plan for your unique needs without any unwelcome surprises down the line. Our goal is to provide everything you need for your job – big or small – so that you don’t have to stress over unexpected expenses or disruption. Reach out today and find out how we’ll make sure all of your commercial roofing goals are achieved!

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