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The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofing

Nov 22nd, 2019 // Roof Installation

Many people may not know the difference between commercial and residential roofing but from materials to the skill level required to install it, there are several key differences between the two. However, both require the use of quality materials and proper installation by professional roofing businesses in the industry.


Commercial and residential roofs vary widely in design. A commercial roof will usually have a flat slope while a residential roof tends to be steeper. The typical design of a commercial roof has a few factors to consider such as the weight of equipment that is housed on the roof and the need to cover a larger area. Residential homes tend to have less worry where their design is concerned and tend to be easier to maintain, repair and replace.


A big difference between commercial and residential roofing is the choice of material. Roofing materials for residential and commercial roofs tend to vary depending on the type of roof, weather conditions, and cost. For residential roofing jobs, materials are limited to asphalt or wood shingles, tiles, concrete, and will occasionally include the use of solar shingles. Commercial buildings require tougher building materials such as polyurethane foam, single-ply, tar and gravel, bitumen, concrete, and a number of other options to name a few.


Ultimately, the slope and materials decide the installation process. A residential roof can be built within 2-3 days with the only obstacles for the roofers installing them being the chimney. A commercial roof, however, can take weeks to be constructed and assembled. This is because the roof is much bigger, the materials are more complex, and they will end up requiring more time and days in order to cure, glue, reinforce and so on. Commercial roofing is installed in layers of metal and insulation. Membrane roofing is installed using a combination of nails, heat welding and adhesives. A slight, calculated slope is necessary to avoid pooling water and allow rainwater to flow straight onto the gutters. 

Skill level

Although all roof repairs require skilled and licensed professionals, they each come with their own unique sets of challenges. Residential roofing jobs can be difficult and dangerous due to the steep angle of the roof. Commercial roofs require roofers that are familiar with building around smoke stacks, air-flow systems, and external piping. Experienced and competent roofing companies are able to meet the demands for commercial and residential roofing requirements.


When it comes to repairs, residential roofs are easier to repair because you just have to deal with the problem area on the roof, however, with commercial roofs, there are stricter guidelines to be followed, and usually, the entire roof ends up requiring repairs or a coat of protective sealant and so on.

Although commercial and residential roofs have their differences, it takes a qualified and professional roofing company to meet the demands for both and offer sound advice about the materials that work best for each kind of roof. If you have questions concerning your roof, feel free to reach out to your local  qualified professionals today!

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