What Is The Best Commercial Roofing Material?

Dec 30, 2022

When selecting the roofing for your commercial property, there are several things to consider. From energy efficiency to sound concerns and more, there are many differences between the different types of roofing materials for commercial applications. But, which of these materials reigns supreme above the rest? In this post from the Cloud Roofing blog, we’ll discuss what is the best commercial roofing material. 

Commercial Roofing Considerations 

There are 3 primary things to consider when selecting a new roofing material for any property, and commercial roofing is no exception. These 3 facets are durability, energy efficiency, and the cost of the material. 

When properly installed and maintained, it’s common for a commercial roof system to last anywhere from ten to fifty years, with timelines drastically changing based on the climate as well as the material that is chosen. 

Regarding energy efficiency, most cities have regulations put in place which dictate how energy efficient roofs must be. While your local municipality may force you to install an energy-efficient roof, you should look for a roof that is as energy-efficient as possible. Cost savings from lowered energy bills can be substantial with an energy-efficient roof. 

The final primary consideration you should make is of course the cost of the roofing material. Some roofing systems will have a lower cost, but they won’t be as energy-efficient or durable as more expensive roofing systems. This is a trade-off you have to make if you want to roof your commercial property on the cheap. 

There are multiple other minor roofing considerations that you should make. One of these is noise - for instance, metal roofing tends to be quite loud during a rain or hail storm. Another more minor consideration to make is the ease of repair on your roof. Some more expensive materials will result in more expensive repairs if it is needed. Before roofing your commercial property, make sure to discuss in detail with your roofer some of the pros and cons of the material you’ve selected. 

Commonly Used Types of Commercial Roofing Materials 

Metal Roofing 

One of the most popular types of commercial roofing is metal roofing, as it commonly lasts for anywhere from 4 to 6 decades. There are multiple metal roof systems out there, many of which have built-in solar or even snow removal systems. 

Some of the metal that is commonly used for roofing includes: 

  • Aluminum, tin, and zinc
  • Galvanized steel 
  • Copper
  • Stainless Steel 
  • Tile sheets

Many property owners choose metal roofing for its visual versatility, strong fire resistance ability, as well as the fact that it’s one of the sturdiest roofing materials out there. But, one downside is that it is possible for metal roofing to corrode. This isn’t a huge issue as metal roofing is typically on the cheaper side to repair. For metal roofing in San Antonio, trust the experts at Cloud Roofing.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane 

Built-Up roofing membrane, commonly referred to as BUR in the roofing industry has a typical life span of 2 plus decades with proper care and maintenance. BUR is made of alternating layers of gravel and tar. How many layers of roofing affect the overall durability, and ultimately, the cost of the roofing. It’s easy and inexpensive to repair BUR and is one of the oldest and easiest to work with roof types. Unfortunately, BUR is one of the shortest life span roofing materials, and it can also be difficult to locate a leak on a built-up roofing system. 

Green Roofing 

Green roofing is a more “out there” roofing option but has standard durability of 30 to 50 years. Composed of a tough waterproof membrane, and then covered entirely with green plants and foliage, these types of roofing can improve air quality and add a green area for relaxation if roof access is permitted. But, one of the biggest downsides of green roofs is how much maintenance, monitoring, and upkeep is required to make them look good. 

Spray-On Silicone Roofing 

Spray Polyurethane Foam, or SPF, is a roofing material that begins as a liquid spray and instantly expands into a foam, which then hardens into one solid layer. SPF is typically applied on top of an existing roof and is an eco-friendly roofing option. Roofing systems composed of SPF can last up to 50 years if properly installed and maintained; they’re also waterproof and add additional insulation. But, the major downside is that installation cannot be performed in any sort of inclement weather. Additionally, SPF roofing must be inspected at least once a year, with most roofing providers recommending biannual SPF roofing inspections. 

Shingle Roofing

Shingle roofing is much more commonly seen on residential buildings as opposed to commercial, but it can be used on commercial properties. There are many materials that shingles can be made of, from plastic to ceramic, asphalt, and more. Most shingle roofing systems are backed by a 30-year manufacturer warranty, and the durability of the material is in line with that length of time. One of the major downsides of shingle roofing is that they are susceptible to mold, mildew, and moss growth when located in a shaded area, which can be unsightly. 

So What Is The Best Commercial Roofing Material? 

There is no definitive answer to what is the very best commercial roofing material. When selecting a roofing material for your home, one of the most important things to consider is the needs of you and your employees. If it’s a particularly large building, you should have energy efficiency and cost at the forefront of your mind. For smaller buildings, property owners can “splurge” a little more since there is physically less roofing that needs to be installed. It’s all up to what you need as a commercial property owner, and what the commercial property is going to be used for. Discuss with your roofer to see what they think is the best roofing material for your needs, and make your decision from there. 

Looking For Commercial Roofing in San Antonio? Choose Cloud Roofing

At Cloud Roofing, we’re proud to be the top provider of commercial roofing in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. Our roofing experts have 40+ years of experience working in the roofing industry in the San Antonio area and are ready to help improve your commercial property with a new roofing system. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call today. 

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