Commercial Roofing Materials: Exploring Your Options

While a commercial roof will serve the same basic purpose as the roof that is installed on your home, there are some significant differences between residential and commercial roofing systems. For instance, while residential roofs will typically offer a steep slope that allows for ample attic or crawl space, commercial roofs will typically be flat. Since these flat roofing surfaces do not have the benefit of gravity helping to drain precipitation off the roof's surface, the use of different roofing materials and techniques will be necessary to help protect the commercial building from damage. Below you will learn more about a few of the most popular commercial roofing materials and the pros and cons that come along with each of these options.


Asphalt is commonly used in both residential and commercial roofing applications. However, while residential roofs will typically make use of asphalt shingles, commercial roofs will have the asphalt applied directly to the roof's surface in a similar manner to the process used to pour an asphalt driveway. This type of asphalt roof is commonly referred to as a built-up roof.

The reason that asphalt roofs are so popular among commercial property owners is that these roofing materials are both affordable and easy to install. In fact, asphalt roofing will typically be the most affordable option the commercial roofing industry has to offer.

The most notable disadvantage of choosing an asphalt roof is the frequency with which these roofs needs to be replaced. While the average lifespan of approximately 30 years may seem impressive at first, this life expectancy will quickly become far less impressive when compared to the many more durable options the market has to offer.


Metal roofing shingles are also used for both residential and commercial applications. Metal roofs offer many benefits, such as the ability to reflect heat during the hot summer months. This feature can help to keep your commercial building cooler and ultimately allow you to enjoy lower energy bills each month. Metal roofs also require very little maintenance. Consequently, metal roofs are typically ideal for large commercial properties where frequent roof maintenance simply is not realistic.

The primary disadvantage of choosing a metal roof is the cost that comes along with it. The cost of a metal roof will vary greatly depending upon the quality of the materials used, however, with an average cost of anywhere from $3-$15 per square foot installed, these roofs will easily cost considerably more than an asphalt roof.

A Final Thought

While many commercial properties will make use of either an asphalt or a metal roof, these roofing materials represent only a small fraction of the materials that the market has to offer. To learn more about either of these options or to explore the other options that are available for you to choose from, be sure to contact a reputable commercial roofing contractor, such as Osmus Roofing.