Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System


When it comes to commercial roofing, there are a lot of questions about how to get it just right.

  • What material is puncture and shrink resistant?
  • What is the right thickness?
  • Do you need strong seams to keep the weather out?
  • Black or White roof system?
  • Is single-ply roofing effective?

Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System

Let’s take a closer look at each of these so you will know how to get the right commercial roofing for your building.

Material that is puncture and shrink-resistant

Damage to your roof will allow for a lot of heat loss during colder months. The more water gets into your roof system, the more it will damage insulation and roof protection. Depending on the type of insulation you install, this can happen quickly or slowly. For example, fiberboard insulation soaks up water easily making it more prone to damage. Polyisocyanurate insulation resists water much better, so it will take longer for roof leaks to damage the insulation. You want to have a weathertight system that does not leak during wet weather. TPO and EPDM are both reliable and puncture-resistant. These materials will withstand debris damage during bad weather and both are easy to repair.

Thickness matters

The thicker the material, the better it will be at keeping in the heat. It will also help the HVAC keep the building cool during the hotter summer. EPDM and PVC have thickness up to .90 where TPO reaches .80. It may not be a significant difference, but over the lifetime of the roof, this can add up. Most PVC roof systems are known to crack and shrink under cold weather conditions so it will not be the best choice for areas prone to extreme cold.

Strong seams will keep the weather out

A roofing system is only as secure as the seams that hold it together. A good, sturdy weld on a TPO or PVC roof system will last and won’t cause any problems by splitting under pressure. On EPDM roofing, seam tape is most typically used. This is much better and more reliable than adhesives that have been used in the past. Properly welded TO or EPDM systems will be the best and most secure roofing systems.

Black or White Roof System

There are often many questions surrounding the benefits of a white TPO or PVC roof system versus the benefits of a black EPDM roof system. It is thought that a white roof system is more effective during the warmer months when the building is being cooled. Black roof systems are better during the colder months when the building needs to stay warm inside. Also, by having proper insulation, the color of the roof system doesn’t matter. The same insulation that keeps heating and cooling inside your building also keeps heating and cooling outside your building. Investing in additional insulation is the best way to approach energy savings rather than focusing on the color of the roofing.

Single-Ply Roofing Systems

Single-ply roofing systems are the most common but not your only option. They are affordably priced and highly durable. They are typically made from TPO, PVC or EPDM. These products are much cleaner to apply than raw asphalt-based products. TPO in particular is rated as one of the best for holding up against water pooling. While TPO and PVC are primarily available in white which is great for reflecting the sun’s light and heat, you can get other colors too.

Final thoughts

No single system fits every building. Reach out to use to provide an inspection and evaluation so as to best determine the system that will work for you. Each facility will need its own roofing system, and we will help you get what works best for you and your investment.


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