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Types of Commercial Flat Roofing Materials

When considering replacing a commercial flat roof, there are many decisions to be made. One of the most important decisions is what type of flat roofing material to use for a roof replacement. There are many options to choose from; some may be more advantageous than others for certain buildings. Consider these common types of flat roofing materials.


Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a popular roofing material because of its durability and long-lasting lifespan. Metal roofs can last upwards of 40 to 60 years. Some common types of metal roofing materials include aluminum, tin, corrugated galvanized steel, copper, or stainless steel. This strong material can also have a polished, finished look that gives it added curb appeal. It is also fire resistant. While metal roofing can be susceptible to corrosion, added layers of protection can minimize corrosion to metal roofing

Green Roof

A green roof is a waterproof membrane that is completely covered by green plants. This sustainable option is often chosen for both its improvement to air quality as well as the added enjoyment it can bring to any roof to create a relaxation space. There are government incentives to install a green roof, but they can require more maintenance and upkeep than other roofing materials.

Built-Up Roofing Membrane

A built-up roofing membrane is made by alternating layers of tar and gravel. The number of layers applied can affect both durability and sustainability. On average, this type of roofing material will last approximately 20 years, maybe more, if well maintained. An added benefit is that it is inexpensive and easy to repair. A BUR roofing structure is UV resistant, flexible, and holds up well under foot traffic. As one of the oldest roofing materials around, It does have one of the shortest lifespans.



Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, known as EPDM or Thermoset roofing, is a synthetic roofing membrane that is roll-based and durable. This type of roofing material is very easy to install and provides lots of versatility. It can also stand up well to pollution and sun exposure. This singly ply membrane is offered in either black or white rolls and can also hold up well to common solvents like acids or alcohol. However, it can puncture easily and may not be the most aesthetically appealing option on the market.


Spray-On Roofing

As the name suggests, this type of roofing material begins as a liquid spray that turns into foam and hardens. It is eco-friendly and easy to apply on top of an already existing roof. The SPF roofing material is both waterproof and insulating. It is a great option for any climate but doesn’t hold up as well to snow and ice, and it can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.


Thermoplastic PVC and TPO Roofing

These types of roofing materials are becoming more and more common. Both are heat reflective, lightweight, and puncture-proof. They are also resistant to damage from UV rays, bacteria growth, or chemicals. Additionally, these roofing materials are fire-resistant and stand up well under any temperature or wind conditions. But because these roofing materials are being made more and more, consumers must be aware of the quality of roofing materials. Stay away from poorly made materials that sacrifice quality. For more information about what roofing material may be best for your commercial building or to receive a free quote for roofing replacement, contact us at Certified Commercial Roofing.

Read about the pros and cons of concrete flat roofs.

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