Commercial Construction Roofing Options

Commercial Construction Roofing Options

Four Styles of Roofing Systems

Commercial Construction Roofing OptionsBuilding owners now have more options than ever before when choosing a roof. However, with so many commercial construction roofing options available, there are tons of factors to consider.

At Headwaters Construction Inc., our commercial builders know one or two things about commercial roofing. We’re here to let you know what particular roofing materials are best for your project. Learn more about some different forms of commercial roofing materials below:

1. Single-Ply Membranes


PVC roofing is well known for its toughness. Thus, it consists of two layers of PVC material with a polyester reinforcement layer inserted in the center. The seams are heat welded, forming a permanent bond between each board, contributing to the strength and durability of this form of material.

This particular material is extremely resistant to environmental conditions. They react well to possible hazards such as standing water, plant growth, or dampness.


EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (you can see why it is abbreviated!) which is more generally known as rubber roofing.

This form of synthetic roofing material is also one of the most cost-effective roofing choices, if suitable for roofing design. (It is suitable for roofs with no slope or a very low slope.)

The downside of this style is its longevity. Temperatures can impact the adhesives used to connect the seams, whereas debris or major storms can puncture the material. Although damage is reasonably easy to restore, there may be no damage to the water resulting from tears, cracks, and holes.


TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is similar to the EPDM roof in a variety of respects. Like the EPDM roof, ethylene-propylene rubber goes into TPO, but it is often mixed with polypropylene rubber to improve its longevity.

Usually, the product is mounted in a fully bonded or mechanically bonded system and, since the seams are heat-welded.  TPO is less vulnerable to leakage of the seam, which is a big advantage.

TPO reflects UV radiation and is a significant benefit for lowering utility costs in colder climates. It is the fastest-growing commercial roofing membrane on the market today and has increased its share of the commercial roofing market by 18% in just seven years.

The downside of the TPO? Some manufacturers make a better product than others (meaning that you can rely on the experience of your Sacramento general contractor to understand the quality (or lack) of each brand).

2. Metals

Metal is popular in low-profile roof designs. Additionally, the panels are clearly an excellent water barrier. Individual panels themselves can support a person’s weight and, when properly mounted, metal roofing systems can last 50+ years.

Metal roofing solutions will improve energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and are available in a variety of colors. In reality, some manufacturers are so confident in their product that they boast up to 90% savings in roof maintenance costs.

A sealant is used in overlapping joints to avoid water penetration, and neoprene washers are attached to the bolts that connect the panels to the rafts. Depending on the design of the roof, a number of looks are available, including standing seam, batten seam, tile, and curved options.

3. Asphalt

Composed of the same material used to make asphalt shingles, asphalt roofing is usually seen on low-slope roofs. This type of roofing system is also one of the most cost-effective and provides multi-layer security.

It may also be easier to find skilled commercial roofing contractors to install this specific material. This is because it is readily available and has been used for decades.

Downsides to asphalt roofing? Our friends at Tureks Plumbing, a bathroom remodeling company in Fox Valley, say that asphalt does not last as long as some of the other products in the industry. Furthermore, problems can occur with the seams, and asphalt is not energy efficient.

4. Bitumen

Modified bitumen is a perfect choice for your roofing because it is durable and contains a combination of asphalt, rubber-like material, and other compounds.

Although this kind of roofing material looks like asphalt, don’t let it fool you. It is much more resilient than asphalt, thanks to the rubber technology that gives elastic properties on both sides.

Some types of modified bitumen are completely torched to the fiber base while others use cold or hot mopping tar or asphalt adhesives. The surface may be smooth, mineral, or foil laminate and coated with a ceramic material to protect against sun damage.

Since TPO, PVC, and EPDM have become more common, contractors are now using less of this form of material, but bitumen could be a cheaper choice to consider compared to the available single-ply membranes.

Roofing Styles & Commercial Buildings

Now that you know what types of roofing system materials are out there, you should be more able to take the next step towards replacing them. Soon, you’ll be sure that you have the best roofing option for your budget and needs!

Interested in a commercial construction project or tilt-up construction? Contact our experienced Sacramento commercial builders today. We’d love to help you with your next project!