5 Types Of Commercial Roofing

When we meet with future clients, they are usually comparing several types of roofing systems. We are always asked: What are the most popular types of commercial roofing? Which is better? Which is more reasonably priced? In this article, we will cover 5 types of commercial roofing. At West Roofing Systems, we have been helping customers for decades choose the right roof for their building and their budget. We want everyone to feel empowered when they start getting quotes from their contractors. In this article, we break down the five most common types of commercial roofing along with their average costs* and advantages. Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is an eco-friendly roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities.   Spray Polyurethane Foam, more commonly referred to as SPF, is a material that is sprayed as a liquid so it can expand into a foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof.While SPF roofing is not the most known type of roofing material, the technology has been around since the early 1960s for industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. An SPF roofing system can be used in any climate, and when correctly installed and maintained, can last over 50 years.For an average 20,000 sq. foot commercial roof, it will usually cost between $4.00 and $7.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical SPF roofing system. This price range is for an SPF roof of average thickness and building structure. Spray Polyurethane Roofing Advantage There are quite a few benefits of SPF roofing systems: Energy Efficient – SPF delivers thermal, air, and moisture barriers to provide the highest R-value per inch.Durable – The foam material can expand and contract with the building, decreasing the likelihood of cracks and splitting.Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.Environmentally Friendly – In most cases, there is minimal stripping of the original roof – eliminating the need for costly roof tear-offs and waste. The materials that are used for SPF roofing systems are also environmentally friendly: Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), Low in the Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Learn Spray Foam Quickly. Download “The Spray Foam Roofing Cheat Sheet” Single-Ply Membrane Roofing Single-Ply Membrane is a time-tested roofing option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities.   Single-Ply Membranes are sheets of rubber and other synthetics that can be ballasted, mechanically fastened or chemically adhered to insulation creating a layer of protection on your commercial facility. While Single-Ply Membrane Roofing is one of the most well-known types of commercial roofing material, there are several types to fit your budget and facility needs. Single-Ply Membrane Advantages If properly installed and maintained, a commercial single-ply membrane roof can last 30 years. There are quite a few other benefits of single-ply membrane roofing systems: Proven Track Record – EPDM roofing has been used for commercial flat roofing for over years. This amount of time on the market has allowed various laboratory and field studies to be performed and tracked.Customer Choice of Insulation – Since single-ply membrane roofing does not include the insulation factor, as a customer you have more options to choose from to insulate your facility’s roof.Class A Fire-Rated – TPO membranes and EPDM can achieve Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Class A fire resistance listings by adding fire retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process.Reflective or Retentive – TPO is generally white and highly reflective. On the other side of the spectrum, EPDM is often described as “Black Roofs,” due to the natural dark color of the membrane. Metal Roofing Metal Roofing is one of the oldest commercial roofing systems on the market. Most metal roofing systems use corrugated galvanized steel, although other materials such as aluminum or tin can also be used.Since metal roofing material is rather light in weight, it can be installed right on top of the existing roof. After a metal roofing system is installed, a coating can be added for waterproofing, rust protection, and UV protection.For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $5.00 and $10.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical metal roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the metal panels you choose. Metal Roofing Advantages If properly installed and maintained, a commercial metal roof can last 40 years. There are quite a few other benefits of metal roofing systems:Design – Variety of material and color choices.Stability – Ability to hold up to high winds and snow.Energy Efficient – Sheet metal can be made from recycled material.Fire Resistance – Metal panels are less prone to fire damage and do not promulgate fire events. Shingle Roofing Shingle roofing is mostly known for homes and residential roofing, but shingles are very often used for steep slope commercial roofing applications.   Shingles can be made out of a few different materials, including wood, slate, metal, plastic, ceramic and composite material such as asphalt. There are two main types of shingles: Asphalt and Architectural. Asphalt Shingles: most common, cost-effective shingle on the market used for applications. These roof systems often come with 15 – 30-year warranties on average. Architectural Shingles: multi-layered and heavier to add durability and weatherproofing to the building. Often comes with “lifetime” warranties. For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical shingle roofing system. This price range can change depending on the type and style of the shingles you choose. Shingle Roofing Advantages Some benefits of commercial shingle roofing include: Design – Wide variety of colors and designsDurable – Some types of shingles are class IV hail ratedEasy Repair – Easy to spot and repair small areas of damage Built-Up Roofing Built-Up Roofing Systems have been in use in the U.S. for over 100 years.   These roof systems are commonly referred to as “tar and gravel” roofs. Built-up systems are installed by alternating layers of asphalt or tar and supporting fabrics directly onto the roof.   You can choose the number of layers (or plies) that are installed. The final layer of a built-up roofing system consists of stone or gravel. For an average commercial roof, it will usually cost between per $5.50 – $8.50 square foot* in materials and labor to install a typical built-up roofing system. This price range can change depending on the materials you choose. Built-Up Roofing Advantages If properly installed and maintained, a commercial built-up roof can last 40 years. There are a few other benefits of built-up roofing systems: Seamless and Waterproof – The continuous solid surface does not require joints or seams, removing the most vulnerable area for leaking.UV Rays – provides ultra-violet protection.Low- maintenance – Minimal upkeep needed after installation. As you can see, there are a lot of choices when looking into a new commercial roof. Each of the 5 types of commercial roofing has their benefits and drawbacks, choosing which one is best comes down to a customer-by-customer basis.


While metal roofing has been around for years, the idea of a metal roof is rather new to many homeowners. And, contrary to what many may think, it’s actually a nice alternative to typical shingles. If you’re new to the metal roofing and considering the material for your home, here’s what you need to know. What are the advantages of a metal roof? Metal roofs are a much better overall investment. Metal roofs not only last longer than shingles, but also are more durable and weather resistant, as metal roofing does not rot, warp, crack, split, burn, or peel. It’s also impervious to termites and pests. And, metal roofing also offers lots of options with numerous colors and panels to choose from. How well do metal roofing systems stand up to the elements? When properly installed, metal roofing will withstand inclement weather like high winds, hail, snow, and rain better than any other type of roofing material. In fact, metal roofing easily sheds snow and ice and does not absorb water, which can lead to cracking and rotting with other types of roofing materials. In testing, metal roofing has withstood winds up to 200 miles per hour. Historically, metal roofing has survived hurricanes and wind storms when other materials have failed. In addition, metal roofing does not rot, warp, crack, split, burn, or peel and is impervious to termites and pests. What does metal roofing weigh compared to other roofing materials?On average, metal roofing weights anywhere from .7 to 1.3 pounds per square foot, depending on the gauge and configuration. Typical shingles average about 2 to 2.5 pounds per square foot. Clay tiles weigh approximately 10 pounds per square foot. How is metal roofing applied and do I need to be experienced at working with sheet metal to install it? Manufacturers recommend metal roofing should be applied over a flat deck and felt paper with woodscrews. A basic knowledge of sheet metal work is necessary for trimming panels, cutting valleys, hips and penetrations, fitting of trim and proper application of fasteners. What is the cost of metal roofing compared to other roofing materials? Although the initial cost of metal roofing may be higher than typical shingles, the cost/benefit ratio over the life of the metal roof is much greater than shake, slate, or tile. Material cost alone (retail) for metal ranges from about $40 to $200 per square, depending on the gauge, configuration, and finish. Installation costs range from about $75 to $300 per square. The material cost of shingles varies from about $20 to $75 per square, with installation costs ranging from approximately $40 to $115 per square. Installation costs for shake average approximately $190 per square. Clay/concrete tile and slate are usually more expensive than shake. Will the look of a metal roof fit into my neighborhood? Metal roofing is available in colors and styles that blend in with typical shingle colors. Yet, local building code and neighborhood bylaws should always be addressed when considering metal roofing. How is metal roofing ordered? Metal roofing is custom cut to the inch based on an individual project’s measurements. Panels can be provided up to 40 feet in length, and color-matching trim is available.


EMPTY HEADING PART ONE IN A FOUR-PART SERIES ON HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ROOFING PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR HOME Finding a reliable contractor is the most important part of a roofing project. Being confident that you have selected the right roofing contractor will help ensure that you have a quality roof overhead and that your hard-earned money has been wisely spent. Here are five easy steps that will help you compile a list of potential roofing contractors. 1. Post a call for referrals — Referrals are the best place to start when commencing a search for reputable contractors. With the proliferation of social media, you no longer have to limit your research to neighbors and close friends. Alert the local audience on your social media platform of choice that you are looking to replace your roof and ask if they have a contractor who they would recommend. When you receive a referral, be sure to follow up by asking these five questions: Would you hire this contractor again or recommend them to a family member?Were you satisfied with the quality of the work?Was the contractor responsive to questions and provide regular updates as the job progressed?Was the job completed on time (barring weather delays) and at the estimated price? 2. Search online — Most businesses now have a presence on social media so check out sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to peruse reviews and photos of a contractor’s latest work. Be cautious if a site is not regularly maintained or the photos seem dated – it may indicate a lack of interest in maintaining a professional image. Location and reviews for roofing contractors also can be found on sites such as Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor.   3. Investigate professional organizations — Local roofing trade associations – whose members are actual contractors – can be excellent sources of information. Take a look at organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association and its affiliates, and regional roofing contractor associations like the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (http://www.wsrca.com). 4. Locate manufacturer referral services — Established manufacturers typically have their own base of preferred contractors, such as CertainTeed’s Find a Pro. Here you can find contractors and builders who can skillfully install CertainTeed roofing products. Find a Pro searches for contractors within the United States and Canada by region and provides you with a comprehensive list that includes their location, customer ratings, and service/credential updates. 5. Visit your local distributor/dealer — The first stop, in this case, is not the large home center or retail store chain, but instead the professional building material distributors that work with reputable contractors on a regular basis. These local distributors often can recommend contractors with whom they have good working relationships, do quality work, and pay their bills on time.