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Commercial Roof Replacement Options Explained

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Commercial Roofing, Roof Replacement

Deciding on the right material for commercial roof replacement can be a complicated task as there is a heavy reliance on the core understanding of differing roofing systems. Unlike residential roofing that primarily uses materials such as architectural tile, asphalt shingles, and slate, commercial buildings commonly have flat or low-slope roofs, offering a whole new range of commercial roof options.

Recognizing the importance of this choice, we aim to explain and differentiate various roof replacement choices available on the market, providing insights on types of commercial roof replacement. By knowing these options, we can maximize the longevity and efficiency of commercial roofing systems.

Remember, the architecture and environmental demands of your building play a significant part in your final decision. Let’s delve into the varied world of commercial roofing types.

Key Takeaways

  • Commercial and residential roofing systems significantly differ, with commercial buildings typically featuring flat or low-slope roofs.
  • Making informed decisions about the type of roofing to use for commercial properties is pivotal, and it requires an understanding of the structure of the building and the related climatic challenges.
  • The type of roofing system chosen can dramatically impact the lifespan and efficiency of the roof.
  • A variety of commercial roof replacement options are available, and their effectiveness largely depends on the building’s specific requirements.
  • Understanding the available roof replacement choices can help meet the specific needs of a commercial facility.

The Importance of Modern Roofing Materials in Commercial Roof Replacement

When it comes to the best commercial or industrial roof replacement, it’s important to recognize the significance of the roofing materials used. Let’s delve into the current advancements in the commercial roofing sector and understand how the choice of materials impacts the durability and efficiency of a roof.

Advances in Commercial Roofing Technology

Technological advancements in the roofing domain have revolutionized the way we approach commercial roof replacement. These innovations have ushered in a new era of roofing materials that provide better resistance to possible variations in temperature and climate, ensuring durable roofing solutions. Among these emerging trends is the concept of green roofing and the integration of photovoltaic solar panels, promoting sustainability and energy efficiency.

Impact of Material Choices on Durability and Efficiency

The choice of commercial roof replacement materials can have a significant impact on the life expectancy and energy efficiency of the roof. High-quality roofing material not only adds to the longevity of the structure but also optimizes energy use, thereby contributing to cost savings. So, the right use of advanced roofing material is a strategic investment that pays off in the long run by reducing operational costs and ensuring a durable roofing solution.

Understanding Different Commercial Roof Shapes and Their Influences

The architectural design of a commercial building, most especially its roof, plays a vital role in its overall structure and functionality. The shape of commercial roofs greatly impacts the material selection and pattern, as well as the style and technique implemented in the installation process. In the world of commercial roofing, two shapes are most prominent: the low slope roofs and the steep slope roofs.

Commercial Roofing

Contrasts Between Low Slope and Steep Slope Roofs

Often found in warehouses and shopping centers due to their practicality and economic design, low slope roofs are an ideal choice for larger buildings since they maximize the usable space within. Materials such as EPDM, PVC, and TPO are commonly fitted due to their flexibility, durability, and resistance to extreme weather.

Roof TypeCommon LocationsTypical Materials
Low Slope RoofsWarehouses, Shopping CentersEPDM, PVC, TPO
Steep Slope RoofsLodges, Vintage StoresMetal, Shingles, Tiles

Contrarily, steep slope commercial roofing systems, while less common, are utilized in establishments aiming for a more aesthetic appeal like lodges and vintage stores. Materials used for this kind of roofing include metal, shingles, and tiles, chosen for their appealing look and their ability to effectively shed wind and rain due to the steep incline these roof types often have.

Impact on Material and Structural Design

Identifying the slope of the roof is a critical step in selecting the appropriate roofing system for a commercial building. The choice between low slope roofs and steep slope roofs affects not only the aesthetic outcome of the structure but more importantly, its long-term functionality and sustainability. A comprehensive understanding of these factors ensures that you get the maximum benefits from your commercial roofing investment.

Evaluating Commercial Roof Replacement Options for Your Buildings

When it comes to choosing the best commercial roof replacement options for your buildings, it’s essential to consider the unique requirements of your facilities. Different businesses have varying roofing needs, and understanding all available options allows you to make a solid decision that fits the specific needs of your establishment, be it commercial, industrial, office, hospitality, or educational.

To help you navigate through the choices, we’ve compiled a list of the top commercial roof replacement options widely used across different industries:

  • EPDM Roofing: Recognized for its durability and cost-effectiveness. Primarily suited for low-slope buildings.
  • Thermoplastic (TPO & PVC) Roofing: Known for their superior strength and temperature resistance. They are flexible, making them a great fit for many commercial applications.
  • Metal Roofing: An aesthetically pleasing option known for its longevity and fire resistance.
  • Green Roofing: A sustainable choice that contributes towards reducing the urban heat island effect, stormwater runoff, and power usage.
  • Photovoltaic Solar Panels: Combine with roofing materials to yield power and energy cost savings over time.

Let’s look into a detailed comparison of these options in the table below:

Roof TypeDurabilityCostSustainabilitySuitability
EPDM RoofingHighLow to MediumLowLow-slope commercial buildings
Thermoplastic (TPO & PVC) RoofingHighMedium to HighModerateWide range of commercial applications
Metal RoofingVery HighHighModerateWide range of commercial applications
Green RoofingModerately HighVery HighHighSuitable for all commercial buildings where local codes allow
Photovoltaic Solar PanelsHighHighVery HighSuitable for all commercial buildings with adequate sunlight

Making the best choice involves analyzing your organization’s particular needs, budget, and long-term goals. You might find that the best commercial roof replacement options for your buildings could be a combination of these options. An experienced commercial roofing professional can guide you through this process to ensure the right choice for your building.

Insights into Single Ply Roofing Systems

Among the most popular choices for commercial roofs, single ply roofing systems are renowned for their strength and adaptability. These solutions offer significant resistance to natural wear and tear, making them a high-value investment for any business. One key feature of these systems is that they encompass several types of materials, each with their unique benefits: TPO, PVC, and EPDM.

Benefits of TPO Roofing for Commercial Structures

TPO, or Thermoplastic Olefin, is a favored solution in the industry. Known for its heat-reflective properties, TPO roofing promotes energy efficiency by resisting UV radiation and helping to keep buildings cool during hot weather. With a lifespan upwards of 20 years, TPO is a reliable and sustainable choice for businesses considering longevity and environmental impact.

Best Commercial Roofer

The Durability and Versatility of PVC Roofing

Similarly, PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride, offers excellent resistance to fire and high durability. Its robust nature and long lifespan make it an excellent investment for commercial structures. The material’s adaptability adds to its appeal, as it can be suitably adjusted to various roof designs, providing flexibility in architectural formats.

Why EPDM Roofing Stands Out in Commercial Applications

EPDM, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is another leading choice in single ply roofing systems. Known for its superb durability and high resistance to UV light, EPDM is particularly suited to large commercial buildings. Installation is flexible, with options including fully adhered, mechanically attached, or ballasted techniques, allowing for versatility in different climates and meeting varying architectural requirements.

Each of these materials presents a viable solution within the single ply roofing system, providing robustness and flexibility to meet diverse needs. Whether it’s TPO’s heat-reflective properties, PVC’s longevity and fire resistance, or EPDM’s durability and UV resistance, rest assured knowing your commercial roofing needs can be comprehensively met.

All About Modified Bitumen Roofing and Its Commercial Benefits

When it comes to commercial roof options, few are as versatile and effective as Modified Bitumen roofing systems. Combining asphalt, a time-tested roofing material, with modern chemical polymers, Modified Bitumen roofs offer unmatched flexibility and temperature resistance.

So, what makes it a standout choice? Its multi-layered structure, which ensures it lasts long and stands strong against extreme weather, leakage and wear-and-tear. This makes it an excellent choice for low-slope commercial roofs. Now, let’s delve deeper to understand the benefits of these roofing systems and why they are a preference for many commercially.

  • Durability: Built to withstand harsh weather conditions, Modified Bitumen roofs are resistant to wind, fire, and hail, making them amazingly durable.
  • Application Ease: With Modified Bitumen, you have the flexibility of multiple application methods. This versatility makes it suitable for different building needs and requirements.
  • Low-Maintenance: Thanks in part to its robust structure and resistance to damage, Modified Bitumen roofs are low-maintenance, saving you time and money on regular upkeep tasks.
  • Cost-effective: Last but not least, Modified Bitumen is an economical choice. Despite its superior quality and resilience, it’s relatively cost-effective, particularly for low-slope commercial roofs.

In essence, Modified Bitumen is a practical, durable, and budget-friendly choice for many businesses when considering commercial roof options. Its strength, simplicity, and affordability make it a preferred choice for commercial buildings today.

“Modified Bitumen roofing systems are a testament to how modern technology can enhance traditional materials. Blending toughness with flexibility, these roofs are proving to be a reliable solution for any commercial roofing needs.”

At the end of the day, your choice of roofing system will largely depend on your unique needs and circumstances. But, as we venture into a world of advanced, more durable roofing options, Modified Bitumen unquestionably earns its place among the top contenders for wise investments in commercial roofing systems.

Longevity and Protection with Built-Up Roofing Systems

When it comes to commercial roof replacement solutions, you’d be hard-pressed to find a system that has stood the test of time quite like Built-Up Roofing Systems (BUR roofs). With a history spanning over a century, BUR roofs have stood as a stalwart roof replacement option, offering robust protection against the elements while promising impressive longevity.

Commercial Roof

What sets built-up roofing systems apart is their unique structure. Comprising 3-5 layers of asphalt and reinforcing fabric, this multi-layered design presents a formidable defense against variable weather conditions. This sturdy composition allows BUR roofs remarkable resistance to temperature shifts, delivering reliable protection to commercial properties located in regions undergoing harsh, extreme weather conditions.

The multiple-layer structure further translates to excellent waterproofing and insulating qualities. Resultantly, not only does a built-up roof display formidable protective capacities, but it can also contribute to energy savings by reducing heat transfer.

A common misconception is that given its long-standing history, BUR might be somewhat outdated. This couldn’t be further from the truth. BUR systems dovetail the reliability of traditional roofing materials with new fabrication methods—providing roofs that consistently meet the changing demands of today’s commercial buildings. By way of example, new built-up roofing versions such as Modified BUR round out its traditional strengths by offering heightened flexibility and tear resistance.

In summary, when you’re seeking a commercial roof replacement solution that combines industry-tested durability, energy efficiency, and certain weather resistance capacity, built-up roofing systems are worth a strong consideration.

Metal Roofs: Combining Aesthetics with Durability

Among the variety of commercial roofing options, metal roofs have a standout reputation for bringing together aesthetics and durability. There is a certain inherent charm that metal roofing brings to any commercial building, enhancing its visual appeal while ensuring solid protection.

Metal roofing offers broader flexibility in terms of roof slopes, making it an ideal choice for different shapes of commercial structures. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, metal roofs are also known for their superior life span and increased sturdiness when compared to traditional shingle roofs.

A common preference among commercial building owners, metal roofs consolidate the desire for visual appeal with the need for a durable roofing solution. Enduring weather elements, the sturdy structure of metal roofs showcases outstanding resistance against corrosion and degradation.

“Metal roofing is a popular choice for those looking for longevity in their roofing solutions. It can withstand harsh weather conditions better than many other roofing materials, and with proper maintenance, metal roofs can last for several decades.”

Considering their many advantages and the immense value they bring, metal roofs are a worthy consideration for any commercial building looking for durable, aesthetic roofing solutions.

Liquid Applied Roofing: The Seamless Solution for Commercial Buildings

Commercial Roof repair cost

For diverse challenges in commercial roof replacement, liquid applied roofing emerges as an innovative solution. With its distinct application technique, it addresses the tricky spots of a roof that conventional materials often struggle to cover. Essentially, liquid applied roofing is applied using sprays or rollers, making it a seamless and user-friendly choice.

In the vein of seamless solutions, one of their hallmarks is the minimal disturbance during the application process. Businesses can proceed as usual, unhindered by the work happening above. That’s an added advantage when it comes to commercial roof replacements, considering how disruptive such processes can often be.

With liquid applied roofing, businesses need not bear the usual downtime that accompanies roof replacements. The installation process is smooth, causing minimal disturbance to the regular operations.

Energy-EfficientLiquid applied roofing holds impressive insulating properties, contributing to energy savings.
Long-LastingThe seamless nature of this roofing means fewer joints, leading to less wear and tear. Its remarkable durability ensures a significant lifespan.
Environmentally FriendlyFree of volatile organic compounds, liquid applied roofing contributes positively to the environment by minimizing pollution.

Weighing these compelling benefits, it’s clear that liquid applied roofing presents an efficient, durable, and eco-friendly choice for seamless commercial roof replacement. The potential for less disruption during installation adds to its appeal, making it a worthy consideration for businesses eyeing roof replacements.

Exploring the Advantages of Roof Coating Systems

As we navigate through the vast world of commercial roofing, we come across a revolutionary technology known as roof coating systems. This innovation presents a fluid-applied membrane that demonstrates a remarkable feature – it can stretch and return to its original shape. This unique characteristic has marked its high suitability for metal roofs and has gained popularity for its contributions to overall building maintenance, energy efficiency, and sustainability.

How exactly do roof coating systems help us? The first and foremost is the provision of cost-effective roofing solutions. A layer of roof coating is an economically savvy way to extend the life of a commercial roof. Instead of stripping the old roof and installing a new one, a roof coating will restore the current roof and protect it against future damage, thus reducing the cost of roof replacement.

“Roof coating systems serve as a cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative that can prolong a roof’s service life.”

The benefits of roof coating systems do not stop at cost reduction. They are also known for their significant contribution to energy-efficient roofing. In an era where the word ‘sustainability’ is becoming increasingly prominent, energy efficiency has become a popular demand in all sectors, including commercial roofing. Roof coatings often reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than a traditional dark roof, leading to a cooler building environment. This helps reduce the amount of air conditioning needed, thus saving energy and reducing utility bills.

  • Prevent Leaks: Roof coatings can be applied across the roof surface, including areas that are traditionally hard to reach with other roofing methods. This seamless application helps to offer outstanding waterproofing capabilities, making them a durable solution for rainy and winter seasons.
  • Extend Roof Life: When applied correctly, roof coatings can add years to the life of almost any roof. By protecting the roof from adverse weather and reducing the roof’s temperature, the coating minimizes the stress on the material, thus contributing to the long-term durability of the roof.

Overall, roof coating systems not only offer a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution but also work towards the longevity and durability of the roof structure. It is unquestionably a technology worth considering for those aiming for sustainable and economical roofing solutions.

Roof Coating TypesBenefits
Acrylic CoatingsCost effective, excellent weathering properties, and UV resistant
Silicone CoatingsGreat durability, extremely weatherproof, and capable of withstanding ponding water
Polyurethane CoatingsHighly resistant to foot traffic and mechanical damage, excellent waterproofing properties

Green Roofs and Photovoltaic Panels: The Sustainable Commercial Roof Replacement Options

While traditional roofing systems have their benefits, there is a surge in the adoption of sustainable roofing solutions that promote environmental health without compromising functionality. Among these innovative options, two standout – green roofs and photovoltaic solar panels.

Environmental and Economic Benefits of Green Roofs

Green roofs are equipped with vegetation and a waterproof layer placed over a root-resistant barrier. This is not the conventional image of a rooftop, however, the results are undeniably beneficial. Although they are not suited to all types of buildings due to weight and maintenance considerations, they hold immense potential for the right structures. They serve to absorb rainwater, reducing stormwater runoff and the risk of flooding. They also provide a habitat for wildlife, encouraging biodiversity.

Further, a strategically designed green roof can deliver unique aesthetic appeal and offer insulation for the building. This isolation promotes reduced energy costs as it mitigates the need for excessive heating or cooling. Moreover, green roofs contribute to healthier air quality by trapping dust and smog particles and produce oxygen, reducing the effect of urban heat islands.

commercial roof replacement options

The Integration and Advantages of Solar Technology in Roofing

Solar panels, or more specifically photovoltaic solar panels, are also emerging as sustainable commercial roof replacements. By producing electricity directly from sunlight, they enable cost savings in the long run, despite the initial investment involved.

A photovoltaic system can be easily installed on the existing rooftop, as long as the roof’s condition, orientation, and angle allow it. Capturing sunlight, the photovoltaic solar panels convert it into direct current (DC). The DC is then converted into usable alternating current (AC) via an inverter. This electrical energy can power the building, enabling significant reductions in electricity bills.

Furthermore, the potential of sending excess electricity back to the grid offers an opportunity for further gains. As an added advantage, photovoltaic solar panels, like green roofs, can also contribute to reducing the urban heat island effect.

FeaturesGreen RoofsPhotovoltaic Solar Panels
Economic BenefitsReduced energy costsLower electricity bills
Environmental ImpactImproved air quality, reduced stormwater runoff, biodiversity supportRenewable energy production, lesser greenhouse emissions
MaintenanceRegular upkeep requiredPeriodic cleaning recommended
LongevityCan last up to several decades with proper careTypically, 20-30 years with usual wear and tear

To conclude, these options – green roofs and photovoltaic solar panels, offer brilliant solutions for an environmentally conscious, sustainable approach to commercial roof replacements. This is an excellent gradual step towards eco-purposeful business operations while still ensuring energy efficiency and cost savings.


As we navigate the complex landscape of roofs, it’s clear that understanding the various commercial roof replacement options and their benefits is crucial. The value they bring to our commercial property- whether it’s durability, energy efficiency or aesthetic appeal- cannot be understated. The choice we make can significantly influence the efficiency and impact of our business operations.

The Future of Commercial Roofing Options

The relentless march of progress ensures that the future of commercial roofing offers even more innovations in materials and systems that deliver heightened efficiency and sustainability. In fact, these advances are vital parts of our quest for affordable commercial roof replacement options that blend economy with enduring quality. We look forward to the continued evolution of this field and the advantages it will bring to our enterprises.

Why Partner with Expert Roofing Professionals

Choosing the right option from the abundance of choices is no small task. Partnering with expert roofing professionals gives us access to knowledge and skills honed over years of experience. Their commercial roof replacement expertise not only guides us in exploring all possible options but is also instrumental in ensuring quality installation and maintenance. In essence, they safeguard the longevity and integrity of our commercial roof, key aspects in enhancing the value of our property.


What are some common commercial roof replacement options?

Some common options for commercial roof replacement include Single-Ply Systems like TPO, PVC, and EPDM, Modified Bitumen Roofing, Built-Up Roofing (BUR) systems, Metal roofing, and liquid applied membranes. You can also choose from Roof Coatings and environmentally friendly options such as Green roofs and Photovoltaic (solar) Panels.

How do the advancements in roofing technology influence commercial roof replacement?

Advancements in roofing technology have introduced a new generation of roofing materials that offer better resistance to extreme temperatures and optimize environmental efficiency. Options that reduce stormwater runoff and control heating and cooling expenses help in lowering energy costs. The choice of materials can significantly impact the lifespan and energy efficiency of commercial roofs.

How do different commercial roof shapes influence the choice of materials?

The shape and slope of commercial roofs heavily influence the material choice. For instance, low slope roofs found in warehouses and shopping centers can be fitted with materials like EPDM, PVC, and TPO. On the other hand, steep slope roofs use materials such as metal, shingles, and tiles.

What factors should I consider when evaluating commercial roof replacement options for my buildings?

The profit, industry, and specific needs of your business should guide your choice. Factors such as the local climate, budget, maintenance requirements, life expectancy of the roofing option, and the aesthetics of the roofing material should also be considered.

What are the benefits of single ply roofing systems for commercial structures?

Single ply roofing, which includes TPO, PVC, and EPDM materials, offers flexibility and robustness. They resist peeling, cracking, and weathering. They can be installed in various methods and suit a range of climatic conditions, making them versatile for commercial structures.

What makes Modified Bitumen a good choice for commercial roofing?

Modified Bitumen roofing systems blend asphalt with chemical polymers to create a flexible and temperature-resistant surface. It provides defence against leaks and extreme weather, making it an affordable option for low-slope commercial roofs.

Are metal roofs a good choice for commercial buildings?

Yes, metal roofing brings together visual appeal and durability. It has high longevity compared to traditional shingle roofs and is suitable for various roof slopes. It is often a preferred choice for commercial building owners.

Why opt for liquid applied roofing for commercial buildings?

Liquid applied roofing provides an excellent waterproofing solution and can reach areas tough to cover with conventional materials. They offer an energy-efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly roofing solution and require minimal disturbance during the application process.

How environmentally friendly are green roofs and photovoltaic panels?

Green roofs offer insulation benefits that reduce energy costs, absorb stormwater, improve air quality, and help curb urban heat islands. Photovoltaic solar panels add to a building’s sustainability by converting sunlight into energy. Both options promote energy efficiency and cost savings in the long run.

What is the future of commercial roofing options?

The future of commercial roofing promises continued innovation in materials and systems that offer increased efficiency and sustainability. It emphasizes expert roofing professionals’ role to ensure quality installation and maintenance due to the vast array of available roof replacement options.

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About Patrick Scheidler
I'm an Army veteran and a second-generation roofer with two decades of dedication to this industry under my belt. As a proud father, I steer my company with unwavering integrity and a deep-seated ethical code. My mission is clear: to transform the roofing market by standing firm against the insurance roofers compromising our standards.