5 Most Common Commercial Roofs and Roofing Materials

What’s the forecast for today?

It may be time to check on the health of your commercial roofing system if you can say it’s hot and sunny (or raining!) just by sitting inside your windowless office. When looking for a new roof, an essential factor to consider is the building’s overall condition. Roof longevity, typical weather variations, and energy efficiency are all important considerations.

Each type of commercial roof has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making a decision more difficult than doing it before due to the wide range of options available. A commercial roof system at Alabama roofers would last anywhere from a decade to more than 50 years if properly installed and maintained.
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For years, roofing companies in Alabama has been a buzzword, and many cities have included energy efficiency criteria in their permit process. Of course, as a business owner, you’re worried about energy efficiency as well.

Let’s discuss how could you possibly benefit from a roof.

Common Commercial Roof Types

  • Metal Roofing
  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane
  • Thermoset EPDM Roof Membrane
  • Thermoplastic PVC & TPO Roof Membrane
  • Modified Bitumen


Because of its long lifespan of 40 to 60 years, durable metal roofing is a popular commercial roof choice. Metal roofing systems are used in various styles, including integrated solar or snow removal systems.

Metal commercial roofing materials include the following:

  • Galvanized corrugated steel
  • Tile sheets made of aluminum, zinc, and tin
  • Aluminum Copper
  • Stainless steel or coated steel

Metal roofing can have a polished appearance, high fire resistance ratings, and is more durable and long-lasting than many other alternatives. Modern metal roofs have protective surface layers added to manage damage from exposure, moisture, pollution, and other environmental factors resulting from this problem.

The downside: metal is prone to corrosion.

EPDM Roofing


Built-up roofing, which is made up of alternating layers of tar and gravel, can last long for more than years if properly maintained. The number of layers has an impact on the longevity and (ultimately) cost of the product. It is the most versatile and one of the oldest roof types, and cheap and easy to repair.

This type of seamless roofing can withstand heavy foot traffic, but it relies on a solid understructure to support movement’s weight and vibrations. It’s UV-resistant and can be coated with a heat-reflective coating.

Downside: BUR roofing has one of the shortest lifespans of any roofing material, making it hard to identify the water leak’s main source as the roof became old.

Built up roofing


EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is a long-lasting synthetic rubber roofing membrane that comes in rolls. EPDM roofing, also known as Thermoset roofing, provides excellent UV and pollution resistance. It’s durable, adaptable, and simple to set up.

EPDM is available in white and black rolls. In addition to being resistant to the sun and pollution, this single-ply rubber is also resistant to various common solvents such as alcohol and acids.

Downside: EDPM isn’t always the “prettiest” option available, and it’s prone to puncture (falling debris or people walking on the roof).


Roofing structures made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is resistant to extreme weather. These roof membranes are resistant to UV light, chemicals such as fats and oils, and bacterial growth. They are puncture-resistant, lightweight, and heat-reflective.

Strong air-welded seams, fire resistance, and tolerance of both high temperatures and high winds are among the other advantages.

Downside: Be wary of low-cost, poorly constructed items. Many small manufacturers have attempted to develop their product lines since TPO has become so popular, causing quality to slip through the cracks. Make sure you buy this type of product from a reputable company.

Alabama Modified Bitumen Roof

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen (MB) roofing is an asphalt-based cousin to Built-up roof (BUR) that is intended for low-slope or “flat” roof structures. Engineered modified bitumen roofing membranes were first developed in Europe in the mid-1960s and have been successfully used in the United States and Canada since 1975. Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems are built to withstand harsh exposure to extreme weather conditions. It’s one of the most reliable flat roofing systems in the industry today, with five layers of protection.

Downside: many buildings have wooden structures or components on or near their roofs, the older style of modified bitumen roofing requires heated installation, which can be a fire hazard. Fortunately, roofing technology has progressed in recent years. Manufacturers are increasingly turning to cold-adhesive, self-adhering modified bitumen.

What to Look for in a New Roof

The lifespan of a commercial roof determined by roofers in Alabama is its types and materials used in the construction. EPDM flat roofs will last up to 30 years. TPO commercial roofing could last for 15 to 20 years. A roof’s longevity is also determined by how well it is maintained.

In conclusion, and the most important factor—no matter what type of roofing in Alabama interests you more, but what matters most is that you are satisfied with the system that you are installing—it’s reasonable, durable in the long run, and productive in the process.

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