Differences in Commercial and Residential Roofing

Differences in Commercial and Residential RoofingNot all roofs are created equal and almost every roof will have its own specifications or requirements. Commercial and residential roofing systems have multiple specific needs. It’s very important to understand the key differences between a commercial roof and a residential roof. Here are some of the main differences in commercial and residential roofing!


Depending on the size of the structure that you have, a commercial roof can take a bit longer to install. Some commercial roofs can take weeks to install and most residential roofs can go together in a day. The installation process for commercial roofs can also be a bit more costly because there is a requirement for specialized tools, safety equipment and materials to work on the job site. Your contractor may also be required to tear off a larger area for repairs and to eliminate older roofing materials before repairs can take place.

The Slope

The slope of a residential roof can often be steeper as well. In most cases this is about improving curb appeal. The covered areas of the roof are also much smaller and this puts less pressure on the structure of a residential roof. Depending on the overall materials that are used, a residential roof can also be much easier to maintain than a commercial roof. Commercial rooms often come with a flat slope and the design is to accommodate for structural changes. The goal will be to make sure that many of the aspects of a commercial roof are not visible from the curb. Commercial roofs also typically require much greater amounts of maintenance because they cover such a large surface area.


The roofing materials for commercial and residential roofing will differ for the longevity and costs. There’s also a series of peak performance evaluations for tiles, shingle and slate for commercial use as well as for residential use. The products used in residential roofing can often shed moisture quickly due to the slope of the roof whereas commercial roofing materials will have to be designed with proper drainage in mind and to accommodate for various structural changes. The added water pooling and more can often contribute to a larger maintenance cost with commercial roofing materials.

Ongoing Maintenance

Both commercial and residential roofs will require ongoing maintenance but it’s often in differing amounts. Building owners that are close to wooded areas may see that their commercial roof requires an extensive amount of attention with tree debris. It’s also important to make sure that the gutters are clear and that downspouts are left open. Regular maintenance on both types of commercial and residential systems needs to take place using specialized tools and equipment. Most commercial roofs may require an expert and a series of specialized equipment to take on maintenance tasks. There are many companies that choose to hire ongoing maintenance support to help them manage their costs and the proper maintenance of their property.

Multi Use Functions

It’s often much more common for a commercial roof to have multi use functions such as housing items like HVAC systems, rooftop solar systems and more. A residential roof may not have to house as many of these systems. As there may not be a need for items to be stored or accessed on the roof, a residential roof may not need to be structurally reinforced in such a format that products could be used on the roofing system.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between commercial and residential roofs, contact us today!