Different Types of Commercial Roofing

Commercial Roofing Pikesville MD covers non-residential properties like restaurants, shops, and warehouses. It protects businesses and their investments from the elements and optimizes energy efficiency.


There are many different types of commercial roofs. They vary in cost, material, and style. Some of the most popular include seamless elastomeric coatings, TPO, and EPDM.

Flat roofs aren’t usually thought of as aesthetically pleasing, but they have numerous perks for commercial buildings that make them a practical choice. These advantages include being cost-efficient, adding space, and allowing for different roofing materials that fit the unique requirements of business owners.

In many cases, businesses need every square foot they can get in a building. The level surface of a flat roof allows them to maximize space without having to sacrifice indoor storage or utilities. The versatility of a flat roof also makes it possible to create rooftop areas for recreational activities or green spaces, helping to provide more dynamic and functional commercial environments.

A flat roof’s accessibility makes it easier to perform regular inspections and maintenance tasks compared to a pitched roof. This can help minimize the impact on daily operations and limit any disruptions.

Most modern flat roofs are constructed using a variety of high-quality roofing materials that provide excellent weatherproofing and durability. These materials are also designed to withstand heavy loads and harsh environmental conditions. This can reduce the need for expensive repairs in the future and save on energy bills.

Many commercial roofs also feature a solar energy system, which uses the sun’s rays to help keep the building cool and lower energy costs. The use of solar panels on a flat roof can also increase the value of the property and help businesses meet their sustainability goals.

Another way to save money and increase the efficiency of a flat roof is by diverting rainwater from the gutters. This can be used for decorative fountains, watering plants, or even to flush toilets. This can help cut down on your energy expenses and reduce the amount of water your building consumes.

Low-Sloped Roofs

As their name suggests, low-sloped roofs have a very shallow pitch. This can present some unique challenges, particularly in terms of water drainage. Because the steeper the slope, the faster and more easily water sheds from a roof, it’s important that commercial low-sloped roofs have systems in place to handle the flow of water. One common solution is through drains, which can be placed at the lowest points of a roof (known as valleys) or incorporated into small areas called crickets and saddles. These drains can then be connected to either interior or exterior drainage systems that help prevent standing water on a roof for long periods of time.

In addition to helping with water flow, these drains also allow for better insulation and can reduce the potential risk of leaks. However, it’s important to note that the drainage system can only work as well as the underlying structure supports it. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have any roofing system designed and constructed by a professional.

Whether you need a new roof, a roof replacement or repair services for a flat or low-sloped reflective, vegetative or photovoltaic metal roof system, a reputable contractor like Apple Roofing can provide a range of quality commercial roofing solutions that will protect your building and its occupants. When it comes to maintenance, it’s also a good idea to leave the task of working on a commercial flat roof to professionals, as doing it yourself can be dangerous and may even void certain warranties. It’s best to have a safety harness, work with a partner and keep ladders away from the edge of the roof.

Single-Ply Membranes

Single-ply membranes are flexible, plastic-derived roofing materials that cover and protect flat or low-sloped roofs. They’re durable, waterproof and resist chemicals and fungi. They also feature reflective surfaces, which cut energy costs by combating sunlight and UV rays, as well as reducing interior temperature. In addition, they’re highly resistant to fire and have seamless seams that eliminate leaky areas where mold could grow.

EPDM, TPO, and PVC are the three leading types of single-ply membranes. While each offers superior performance, they have varying chemical compositions that result in unique properties. Each can be either thermoset or thermoplastic, and they all offer a number of advantages, including:

The most common material used in single-ply roofs is thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). This membrane has a tough exterior that’s resistant to tearing and punctures. It also features a reflective appearance, which cuts down on solar heat and cooling costs, and its seams are hot air-welded together to eliminate leaks. It is durable, easy to maintain and comes in a wide range of colors.

Another popular option is EPDM rubber, which has a strong construction that resists weathering and UV radiation. It’s a durable option that can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

Both of these membranes can be adhered to the roof substrate or mechanically fastened using screws and plates. Adhered systems tend to have higher wind uplift ratings and do not experience fluttering during high winds, making them an excellent choice for coastal locations or high-wind zones.

The most significant drawback to single-ply membranes is their thin design. This makes them susceptible to puncture and damage from external sources, such as falling debris or tree branches. Additionally, since these systems have no built-in redundancy, a single puncture or faulty seam can lead to water ingress, which quickly degrades the roof and compromises the integrity of the building underneath.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are a commercial roofing option that offers unparalleled durability. They are resistant to wind, fire, termites and other pests, as well as water damage from storms. They also come with a number of warranties to protect your investment.

Steel is the most popular choice for metal roofs, but other options are available. Each type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when making a decision, such as cost, maintenance requirements, and estimated lifespan. The best option is to consult with professional roofing contractors who can help you choose the right metal for your needs.

Standing seam metal roofs are a good choice for commercial buildings that require structural strength, especially those in areas prone to high winds and heavy snow loads. These durable roofs feature concealed fasteners that prevent leaks, and their raised seams offer added protection against metal fatigue over time. The panels can also be curved or tapered, which allows for a more visually appealing aesthetic.

Corrugated metal roofs are another commercial roofing option that offers a versatile appearance. These roofs are often used on industrial structures, but they can also be found on large retail stores and warehouses. They are often less expensive than other roofing types, and their wavy or rippled appearance adds an architectural element to the building.

Metal roofs are a great option for businesses that want to minimize energy consumption and costs. They can reflect heat and sunlight away from the building, which reduces the need for HVAC systems to regulate indoor temperatures. In addition, metal is non-combustible, so it can help shield the interior from lightning strikes and other fire hazards.

Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing is a time-tested and durable roofing system that’s been used for more than a century. This system uses multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcing materials to protect low-sloped and flat roofs in commercial, industrial, and high-traffic environments. Its weatherproofing capabilities make it an excellent choice for buildings in tropical and arctic climates.

BUR systems typically start with a base sheet of rigid insulation and a waterproofing membrane. Then, a layer of asphalt is applied with hot or cold adhesives. A layer of felt or plyboard is then added over the asphalt to create more waterproofing. Alternating layers of asphalt and felt are added until the desired number of layers is reached. Then the system is topped with a mineral-surfaced cap sheet to finish off the built-up roof.

While the multiple layers of a built-up roof offer incredible durability, they also provide some challenges. For example, BUR systems can be difficult to repair if the damage is not caught early. This is because repairing a BUR roof requires cutting through the multiple layers of material. Additionally, odors and fumes are emitted during installation, which can pose a health hazard for building occupants.

While a built-up roof may be more expensive to install than a single-ply membrane, it offers many benefits. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, this type of roof offers exceptional resistance to heat conduction between a building’s interior and exterior. In addition, the layer of rigid roof insulation that is commonly installed on these types of roofs can help reduce energy costs. Regular maintenance, such as clearing debris and regularly inspecting for signs of wear and tear, can prolong the lifespan of a built-up roof.