When it comes to your commercial building, the choice of roofing material is a critical decision. The roof not only protects your investment but also plays a significant role in the overall energy efficiency and aesthetics of the structure. With various options available, it’s essential to make an informed choice. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the key factors to consider when selecting the right commercial roofing material for your needs.

What is the Best Roofing for Commercial Buildings?

The best roofing material for your commercial building depends on several factors, including your budget, location, building type, and specific requirements. Here are some of the top choices commonly used in commercial construction:

1. Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-ply membranes, such as TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), are popular choices for commercial roofs. They are lightweight, easy to install, and offer excellent UV resistance. TPO, in particular, is known for its energy-efficient properties, making it a popular choice for commercial flat roofs.

2. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is renowned for its durability and longevity. It can last for decades with minimal maintenance. Metal roofs are also highly reflective, helping to reduce energy costs by keeping your building cooler in hot climates. Additionally, they are available in various styles and colors, allowing for aesthetic flexibility.

3. Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing, also known as tar and gravel roofing, consists of multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics. BUR roofs are known for their exceptional waterproofing properties and are often chosen for low-slope and flat commercial roofs.

4. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a hybrid roofing system that combines the durability of a BUR system with the ease of installation of a single-ply membrane. It’s suitable for both flat and sloped roofs and offers excellent resistance to extreme weather conditions.

What Type of Roof is Typically Used on Commercial Buildings?

The type of roof typically used on commercial buildings varies depending on the building’s design and purpose. However, flat roofs are a common choice for many commercial structures due to their cost-efficiency and suitability for housing HVAC systems and other equipment. Here are some examples:

1. Flat Roof

Flat roofs are a popular choice for commercial buildings because they provide additional space for equipment and can be more cost-effective to install and maintain. As mentioned earlier, single-ply membranes like TPO and PVC are often used for flat roofs due to their excellent performance in this application.

2. Low-Slope Roof

Low-slope roofs are commonly found on commercial buildings with minimal pitch. Roofing materials like BUR and modified bitumen are suitable for low-slope applications, offering effective waterproofing and durability.

3. Steep-Slope Roof

While less common in commercial settings, steep-slope roofs can still be found on certain buildings. Metal roofing is a practical choice for steep-slope roofs due to its longevity and aesthetic appeal.

What is Best for a Commercial Flat Roof?

Choosing the best roofing material for a commercial flat roof requires careful consideration of factors such as climate, budget, and maintenance requirements. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Climate Considerations

The climate in your area plays a significant role in choosing the right material. If you’re in an area with extreme heat or cold, a reflective roofing material like TPO or a well-insulated metal roof may be ideal. For areas with heavy rainfall, focus on waterproofing properties.


Consider your budget constraints when selecting a roofing material. While some materials may have a higher upfront cost, they might offer long-term savings through energy efficiency and durability.

Maintenance Needs

Different roofing materials have varying maintenance requirements. Single-ply membranes are generally low maintenance, while metal roofs may require periodic inspections and coatings to maintain their performance.

What Determines the Choice of a Roof?

Several factors influence the choice of a roof for a commercial building. These include:

Budget and Cost-Efficiency

Budget considerations often drive the choice of roofing material. It’s essential to strike a balance between upfront costs and long-term savings.

Climate and Weather

Local climate and weather conditions play a significant role in selecting a material that can withstand extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall, snow, or high winds.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient roofing materials can help reduce heating and cooling costs, making them an attractive option for environmentally conscious businesses.

Durability and Longevity

The expected lifespan of the roofing material is crucial. Businesses prefer roofing solutions that require minimal repairs and replacements over the years.


The appearance of the roof can impact the overall aesthetics of the building. Some materials offer more design flexibility than others, allowing for customization.

In conclusion, choosing the right commercial roofing material is a critical decision that should be based on careful consideration of your building’s needs and your long-term goals. By assessing factors such as budget, climate, and maintenance requirements, you can make an informed choice that ensures the protection, energy efficiency, and aesthetics of your commercial property for years to come.

For expert guidance and assistance with your commercial roofing project, contact PWC Roofing today. We’re here to help you make the best choice for your specific needs.