Commercial Roofing guide- Pros and Cons

Posted by Susan California on May 28th, 2019


There are different commercial roofing system you can choose from.  The following are the types of roofing systems and their pros and cons provided by an experienced Commercial Roofing Company.


TPO commercial roof is a flexible, smooth single ply membrane either glued down or mechanically attached.

The pros

  • It is heat-reflective keeping your building cooler - decrease your energy use and carbon emission.
  • flexibility allows it to shape and fit around any part of your roof surface.
  • it's easy to install.
  • Non-toxic.
  • Sustainable as the membrane is recycled and refused.
  • It's durable.


Being a single-ply membrane, TPO is vulnerable to puncture and damage from rooftop activity. So newer products like thicker membrane and specialized pads can solve a lot of the issues.



10 to 35 Years


EPDM is a highly resilient system mostly used for low-slope roofs. They are made of durable synthetic rubber that usually has two main ingredients-ethylene and propylene. it's available in black or white color with different thickness level and a length ranging from 10 to 50 feet.


  • Longer lasting- it can last up to 30 years
  • It's available in ultra wide sheets
  • Resistant to hail damage and thermal shock in almost all climates
  • Can withstand UB radiation
  • Recyclable 


  • leaks if the seams are not sealed in a dry and clean conditions
  • Absorb heat if EPDM is black
  • Not compatible with asphalt products


10 to 30 years


It's heat-welded single-ply roofing systems either fully adhered or mechanically fastened


  • excellent at resisting oil, grease, chemicals and industrial by-products( ideal for restaurants  with  grease accumulation on the  roof.)
  • Durable
  • It's fire resistant
  • fungi and bacteria resistant
  • color can be customized
  • highly heat reflective and its cleaning is easy.


  • PVC  shrinks over time like TPO system
  • It doesn't fare as well in the heat aging test as does TPO.
  • Not compatible with asphalt


30 years

Metal  Roof

It's made of different metals with a coating to protect against the sun and weather.

The Pros

  • Longer lasting
  • Can come with insulation and comply with the energy code
  • Lower maintenance cost
  • Minimum carbon footprint.

The cons

  • Can leak  if  fastener system is exposed
  • Difficult to walk on it as it can be slippery
  • Not ideal if you need equipment and penetration like vents and Skylights.


5 to 30 years

Asphalt Roofs

Asphalt roof consists of several layers- a weatherproofing layer, reinforcement layer- one or more - and a protective layer

The Pros

  • Provide multi-layer protection
  • Protect against UV and Fire
  • Uplift protection
  • Easy maintenance
  • Many options to choose from

The cons

  • The tricky installation process( may not be suitable for all types of a building)
  • Asphalt should stay at 400 degrees or above and shouldn't cool down before installation.
  • Safety measures have to be in place as the flame will be used to make the bitumen-asphalt hot.


10 to 25 years

Slate and tile roofs

It comes in two types- natural and synthetic and has been very popular for centuries.

The Pros

  • High-Performance
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Energy saving
  • Fire Resistant
  • it can be cleaned and reused.
  • Recyclable


The Cons

  • High initial installation cost
  • Need specialist help for  installing and repairing
  • Repairing and replacing is time-consuming
  • Can break if walk upon during repairing without specialized rigging.




Summing up, the details above different popular commercial roofing system should help you decide the best one that will suit your needs after considering the pros and the cons.

Susan California

About the Author

Susan California
Joined: August 12th, 2018
Articles Posted: 112

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