You’re busy running a business, and you’ve got millions of things on your calendar. The last thing you should have to worry about is the roof protecting your business.

Sadly, storms, wear and tear, and time will all take a toll on your roof and lead to the need for replacing it.

Thankfully you won’t have to go it alone. Mars Restoration is ready to come alongside you and find the solution for your roof that fits both your business and your budget.

Commercial Roof Installation vs. Residential Roofing: What’s the Difference?

One of the big hiccups that happen when business owners choose commercial roofing for their business is that they fail to realize that commercial roofing is quite different from residential roofing.

Residential roofs are designed to cover less space and provide a more aesthetically appealing final product. The materials themselves are long-lasting, but the cost per square foot is higher than commercial roofing products.

  • Long-lasting
  • Better curb appeal
  • Higher price per square foot

worker completing a residential roof installation

Commercial roofing is a different story; commercial buildings have a lot more wear and tear from the elements because they’re often larger than residential properties and are more exposed to the elements than homes. Commercial roofs rarely need to have good curb appeal and can be hidden from the view of those that are on the ground level around the building. Since commercial roofs are flat or low pitch, they require different materials as well..

  • Flat and hidden from view
  • More exposed to harsh weather and sunlight
  • Requires more frequent care and reroofing

view of commercial roof installation job

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

You’ll notice that a few of the different roofing materials on our list have both residential and commercial uses. When installing these materials in commercial settings, they’re almost always a higher quality, more durable material.

For Flat or Low-Sloped Roofs

Built-Up Roofing or BUR Membrane:

If you have a flat roof or low-sloped roof, then BUR membranes are perfect for your commercial roofing project. This roof material has been around for centuries and uses tar and gravel to create multiple layers over your roof. These layers provide enhanced protection for your roof.

Along with offering superb durability, BUR roofs are very affordable.

✅ Pros:

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Fast installation
  • Easy Maintenance

❌ Cons:

  • Shorter lifespan than other products
  • Requires regular maintenance

top view of the bur commercial roof installation structure

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen or mod-bit roofing is an excellent commercial roofing choice for flat or low sloped roofs. This system is an alternative to BUR roofing and provides an updated approach to the age-old roofing system.

These two-ply systems are made from reinforced roof fabrics and bitumen layers and then fastened to rooftops. These roofs are easier to maintain and require less maintenance than BUR roofs

✅ Pros:

  • Long lifespan
  • Durable in extreme weather conditions
  • Good for roofs that have foot traffic

❌ Cons:

  • Absorbs heat in the summer
  • More expensive than other flat roofing material

Flat commercial roof installation with roofing felt and flame torch

Thermoset or EPDM Roof Membrane

A Thermoset or EPDM roof membrane is a versatile, long-lasting, and easy-to-maintain commercial roofing type. Made from a single-ply rubber material, these roofs are very quick and easy to install.

One of their big benefits is their resistance to ozone and ultraviolet light. This material is also more flexible in cold temperatures and has reflective properties.

✅ Pros:

  • Great for cold climates
  • Fast install
  • An affordable option for flat roofs

❌ Cons:

  • Full replacement is needed more often than repairs
  • Not as durable as other material options

Thermoplastic or PVC & TPO Roof Membrane

A lightweight membrane that’s extremely durable and resistant to degradation in many forms. PVC and TPO roofing membranes are perfect for commercial applications that are faced with harsh weather or exposure to harsh chemicals.

✅ Pros:

  • Great for buildings that release oils through ventilation systems
  • Highly resistant to UV rays, punctures, and chemicals

❌ Cons:

  • More expensive than most other flat roofing options

tpo commercial roof installation progress

Green Roofing Systems

Many commercial buildings are opting for green roofs because of their environmentally friendly nature. These specially designed, eco-friendly rooftops use vegetation to provide insulation and reduce energy costs.

A flat roof is required to install a green roof system. Green roofs combine rubber membranes with soil and plants to offer a longer-lasting and more durable roofing solution.

✅ Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Great curb appeal

❌ Cons:

  • Expensive to install and maintain
  • Certain structural requirements are needed

green commercial roof installation on apartment complex buildings

Options For Sloped Roofs

Metal Roofing

Commercial buildings that don’t have low or no slopes are great candidates for metal roofing. Metal roofs are often one of the most durable roofing materials and can last for 50 years or more with proper care.

They’re also a great choice because they can reflect the sun’s heat, keeping your building cooler in the summer months.

✅ Pros:

  • Durable
  • Lasts up to 50 years or more
  • Little to no maintenance is required

❌ Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Longer install time
  • Great curb appeal
  • More sustainable than other materials

worker drilling metal commercial roof installation

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular residential and commercial roofing materials both because of their price and durability. This material won’t last nearly as long as metal roofing, but you’ll still spot it on many sloped commercial roofs.

These three-tab shingles are available in a variety of colors and styles to match the look of your building, and different designs are available to offer great customizability.

✅ Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in many styles and colors

 ❌ Cons:

  • Lack of durability
  • 2-3 day install time

commercial roof installation worker putting the asphalt shingles on roof

Commercial Roofing Process: New Builds

New builds will have a more straightforward roofing process than reroofing because there won’t be any material on the roof to start, thus making the project a bit easier and faster.

Steps to commercial roofing for new builds:

  • Inspection of the building envelope
  • Determine the best approach and material for the roof
  • Present the roofing plan and bid
  • Sign with the contractor to complete the work
  • Begin roofing your commercial building

commercial roof installation on a new build

Finding a Contractor You Trust

For commercial new construction, you likely won’t have a lot of say in who handles the different aspects of the construction project after you sign with a building company. Thus it becomes very important that you choose the right contractor when you begin your building project.

If you do want to have input into who roofs your new building, be sure to tell the project manager you’re working with. Here’s what to look for in a good roofing contractor:

  1. More than 5 years in business
  2. Positive online reviews
  3. A professional website
  4. Willingness to show you previous work

commercial roof installation contractor

Choosing the Right Materials

The right commercial roofing material for your business and building makes all the difference. The climate where your building is located, the cost of materials, installation time, and the type of business you have are all important considerations.

As we’ve mentioned, there are pros and cons to every roofing material, whether it’s being used for commercial or residential roofing.

The best way to choose the right material for your roof is to consult and talk through your options with a roofing contractor.

Commercial Roofing Process: Reroofing

Reroofing is an extremely important part of owning a commercial building. Keeping your roof well maintained and replacing it when the time comes is essential to the health of your business.

The process of commercial roofing for reroofing is a bit more complicated than installing a new roof. You’ll have to take into account:

  • The current state of the roof
  • What material do you want to use
  • Removing the old material
  • How the installation will be carried out

As the building owner or manager, you won’t be controlling or performing many of these tasks. Instead, you’ll need to find and schedule a roofing team to help you with the project.

Regularly Schedule Roof Inspections

Even if you’re not reroofing your commercial building, it’s important to have regular roof inspections at least one to two times a year. Inspections will catch any damage or potential problems with the roof before they turn into a bigger issue.

Scheduling a commercial roof inspection should happen after any major weather events as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to roofing inspections. If you’re unable to catch the damage, it can lead to huge problems.

Find a Contractor to Help with Maintenance

If you’re not comfortable performing commercial roofing maintenance tasks or don’t have the time, it’s important to find a contractor that can help. Some building managers or maintenance crews will be able to handle more than others. But don’t stretch yourself too thin.

Get the help you need so that you’re confident your roof is performing as it should.

commercial roof installation worker climbing on roof to perform maintenance

Schedule Your Reroofing Project for the Right Time

Like with anything else in life, there’s a right time and wrong time to do things. The same goes for commercial roofing.

It’s best to wait for the commercial roof replacement season, which is typically from late spring into early fall in most of the country. However, this doesn’t include situations where getting the roof done is essential.

How to Ensure Your Roof is in Good Condition

As the commercial building owner or manager, it’s your job to ensure that the roof is in good condition. This involves regular checks for damage and potential problems and scheduling commercial roofing maintenance as needed.

Here’s a list of tasks that you should regularly perform to keep your roof in good shape. Check for:

  • Clean and good performing gutters
  • Penetrations or missing materials
  • Areas with high watersheds facing degradation
  • The surface area of the roof is not performing correctly
  • Debris on the roof from storms or wind

If you’re able to get a good visual on your roof, then you’ll be able to perform the majority of an inspection without having to walk all over. Some roof inspectors even employ the use of drones to help perform inspections.

commercial roof installation still in good condition

Finding a Trustworthy Roofing Contractor

When it comes time to find a roofing contractor, you want to make sure that you’re getting someone you can trust. This is especially important for commercial roofing projects.

There are many factors that go into choosing the right contractor for you, but as a general rule, here are some qualifications:

  • Licensed and insured
  • 5+ Years in business
  • Real online reviews
  • A professional website
  • Referrals from other business owners
  • Responsiveness and customer care

As a company, the team at Mars Restoration wants to see the very best for your business. Whether you’re in need of roof maintenance or something bigger than that, we’d love to step in. Don’t settle for anything less than the best, choose Mars!

Reach out to our qualified team for a fast response and free roof inspection!