Commercial roofing shingles play a vital role in protecting and enhancing the appearance of commercial buildings. With a wide range of options, commercial roofing provides durability, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal for various architectural styles and roof designs. Whether you’re constructing a new commercial building or looking to replace the roof of an existing one, understanding the different types of commercial roofing is essential to make an informed decision.
Types of Commercial Roof Construction
There are three main types of roofing construction for commercial buildings.
- Flat roof commercial construction
- Low-slope commercial construction
- Steep slope commercial construction
Commercial flat roof construction is standard because it allows the engineer and architect more options—mounting rooftop equipment when there is no space around the property. With the newer roof systems today, this type of construction requires your local commercial contractor to slope the roof. This is done with insulation to prevent ponding water. Tapered insulation creates positive water drainage and gives the building a better R-value. However, adding tapered insulation will also impact the cost of the project.
Low slope commercial roofing shingles is when the roof has a positive slope to drain the water from the rooftop. The downside of low-slope construction is that it’s not always suitable for the materials. For example, installing a low-slope roof with metal is not the best option. It’ll result in leakage and maintenance issues that another system would not have on a low-slope roof.
A steep slope roof on a commercial property is identical to or similar to residential construction. The most common construction types on steep slope commercial roofs are gable or hip roofs. These are constructed with metal or wood trusses or can be custom framed with wood 2x framing material.
Commercial Roof Types
- Single-ply roofing (TPO, PVC & EPDM roofing)
- Modified Bitumen (rubber roofing)
- Built-up roof (hot tar roofing)
- Asphalt shingles (commercial roofing shingles)
Single-ply Roofing (TPO, PVC & EPDM roofing roofing)
Single-ply roofing is one of the most popular roofing materials used on commercial and residential flat roofs. They come in different thicknesses, or your local roofing contractor might ask, “Do you want a 45 mil or 60-mil roof?”
The higher the number, the thicker the product. The wider the product, the longer the manufacturer warranties the flat roof material.
Single-ply or TPO and PVC roofing is made up of 3 layers. A base layer, the scrim layer(reinforced woven fiber layer), and thickness over the scrim layer, the top layer. This top layer protects the scrim layer from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
An EPDM roof comes in a 45 or 60-mil thick membrane. The difference is the laps and flashings on EPDM are glued or seam taped together instead of hot air welded like the TPO or PVC roof systems.
Modified Bitumen (rubber roofing)
We want to say a Modified bitumen roof is the second generation of commercial flat roofing. Built-up or hot tar is the OG of the flat roofing world, and we will discuss that next. Mod-bit became popular because, unlike the hot tar roof, that requires setting up a hot tar kettle. That job, heating asphalt onsite to over 500 degrees, is full-time and dangerous. The roofing industry has slowly been moving away from hot tar roofing. You can install modified bitumen roofs with hot tar, but the most popular installation methods are without hot tar.
Built-Up Roof (hot tar roofing)
Layering the materials is how it got called a built-up roof. The roof is built-up by layering plies of fiberglass roofing rolls and hot tar between each layer. And this is only a short explanation of how it gets installed.
The basics of a hot tar roof. It’s asphalt heated up to 500 degrees, and then we mop that directly on the roof deck or insulation. Yep, just like you would mop a kitchen floor. And in-between mopping, we roll out roofing layers while it’s still hot. Many built-up roofs are done with 4, 5, or 6 roofing layers.
The top layer is the most essential layer when it comes to maintenance. It’ll be what determines if it can be repaired and maintained successfully. Often the top layer is a flood coat of hot asphalt (tar) with rocks put in the tar while it is still 450 to 500 degrees. A hot tar roof with a rock finish makes for a challenging repair for a very experienced roofer. But it can be done if useful life is left in the flat roof system.
If it has a granule surface cap sheet as a finish layer or an asphalt flood coat, it is much more manageable to maintain and repair. The top layer that must be held must have useful life left to make any repairs that’ll last any time.
Keep your roof in top shape by calling us at 727-390-0717
Asphalt Shingles (upgraded shingles)
Yes, even though shingles are widely used on residential homes, probably on your home and mine. Well, commercial roofing shingles are commonly used on commercial buildings too.
The shingles installed on commercial buildings are not builder-grade shingles. Builder-grade shingles are popular in new construction homes. The reason is that builder-grade shingles provide the least wind protection and need replacing every 10 to 12 years.
Upgraded shingles or commercial roofing shingles are more prevalent in commercial building construction. They give you excellent wind protection, provide better curb appeal, and upgraded shingles can last 25-35 years.
The shingles installed on commercial buildings are not basic builder-grade shingles. The reason is that builder-grade shingles provide the least wind protection and require replacing as early as 10-12 years. Contractors usually use builder-grade shingles on new construction houses.
Upgraded shingles or designer shingles are more prevalent in commercial buildings. They provide your structure with excellent wind protection. They’ll offer better curb appeal. And upgraded shingles can last 25-35 years. The disadvantage of shingles, they don’t last as long as metal roofing. It can be a messy project when it is time to replace the roof. Not so good for commercial properties.
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Upgrade your commercial roof with the exceptional quality and performance of Old Time Roofing‘s commercial roofing shingles. Contact us to schedule a consultation or request a quote. Visit our website to learn more about our commercial roofing solutions and discover how we can enhance the protection and aesthetics of your building.
Choose Old Time Roofing for reliable, durable, and attractive commercial roofing shingles. Contact us today and experience the difference in quality and craftsmanship for your commercial roofing needs!
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Roofing materials that we work with:
Refrain from entrusting your roofing needs to just anyone. With Old Time Roofing, you can rest easy knowing that your roof is in capable hands. Contact us today!