There are a few types of roofing available. Some, such as asphalt shingles, metal panels, and clay tiles, are common on homes. Membranes, spray foam, and built-up roofing are common on commercial buildings with flat roofs. Commercial and residential roofs often have different needs. Here's a look at how these types of roofing materials may differ.
Commercial Roofs Need To Be Watertight
If a commercial building is built similar to a house with a sloped roof and is used for professional offices or retail shops, then the contractor has a wider choice of materials since they could use commercial or residential roofing supplies. However, shingles and tiles won't work on a flat roof. Many commercial buildings have a flat roof so HVAC equipment can be stored on it.
Since it's possible water will be slow to drain from the roof or back up on the roof, the roofing material has to be watertight. That's why membranes and foam are popular choices. Water rolls right under tiles and shingles, so those need to go on a sloped roof.
Residential Roofs Need To Have Curb Appeal
Residential materials usually have a more attractive look than commercial roofing. Membranes and foam are often plain white, and that can be a boring look for a home. Plus, membranes and foam have a flat look that isn't seen with most residential materials. However, metal panels are often suitable for both commercial and residential use. They're attractive and come in bright colors. They also provide excellent protection against leaks, even on roofs with very low slopes.
Some Materials Are More Suited For A Commercial Environment
Membrane sheets are made from plastic or rubber. These are durable and can last a long time in a tough commercial environment that might have pollutants in the air. If your building is a restaurant, grease may float out the vent stack on top of the roof. This can damage certain other materials. Your building might emit other types of gas or acids that are hard on a roof over the years.
When it's time for a new roof, a commercial roofer assesses the environment around your building and on top of your roof to determine the right roofing for you. Metal is an excellent choice for all types of roofs when it comes to durability and protection from storms and fires. Even though membranes are durable, they can be damaged by hail, just like most other types of materials. Still, they are an excellent and popular choice for commercial use, and they can even be used on homes with flat roofs too.
Contact a local company to learn more, like Danny Odom & Son Roofing.