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Commercial Buildings: Flat Roofing Systems Are Ideal Choice

The construction of residential buildings is different when compared with commercial buildings. A wide range of roofing systems is used for residential buildings, but flat roofing system is common for commercial structures. These roofs are flat or have very low slopes. Residential buildings have steep slops and are not kept flat. There are various reasons behind the flat roofs of commercial buildings.

The contraction cost of sloped roofs is high

Construction of sloped roofs is very expensive as support assembly is very costly. It seems affordable for small houses, but the price will be very high for large buildings. It will take a lot of construction material, and the height of the building will be difficult to manage. Moreover, if the design of the building is already complicated, it will be more expensive and difficult to construct. So, sloped roofs are avoided for commercial structures.

Placement of HVAC Systems

HVAC systems are often installed on the roofs of commercial buildings. These heating and cooling systems are an important necessity for any building, and they cannot be kept at a distance. So, the best place for their installation is the rooftop. However, they cannot be installed on sloped roofs. Flat roofs provide the necessary space for their placement.

Solar panel installation

If you want to install a solar system for your home business, the solar panel can be easily placed on flat roofs. Roofs of large buildings are useless, but you can generate your energy and save your energy bills if you invest in solar panels. It is important to understand that a flat roof is not completely flat, but it has an angle that is important for water drainage. So, solar panels can be placed according to the angle for maximum reception of sunlight.

Different types of roofing systems for commercial buildings

Commercial buildings have low slops, and various designs are available for such roofs. Here we are discussing some options which owners of buildings can choose.

Built-up Roofing system

Built-up roofing is commonly known as BUR. It gets its name as it is not manufactured rather contract built during the construction of the building. Two layers, one of felt and the other is of synthetic fabric, are fixed together. Coat tar or hot asphalt is used to attach them. Then these layers are covered with gravel or other stone to protect the layers’ from sunlight and other environmental factors. These roofs are fire-resistant, as gravel is used as cover. This is an old technology but very useful even in this modern age. If good quality materials ate used for these roofs and installed properly, it is the most durable roofing system.

Modified Bitumen Membranes

These membranes are another form of built-up roofing. However, they are not constructed on-site; rather, they are manufactured in asphalt sheets. Fiberglass is the base material for these sheets. They are manufactured as rolls and used as single layers or multi-layers according to the requirements of the building. Different contractors use different installation methods. Modified Bitumen products are categorized as a single-ply commercial roofing systems. These sheets are manufactured from various materials like bitumen, polymer, stabilizers and several other elements. Other types of membranes in this category are thermoset membranes and thermoplastic membranes.

Thermoset membranes

These membranes are also called EPDM on a commercial scale, which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer. It is a vulcanized rubber material ad its elastic feature is vital. Once the sheet is set, they cannot be bonded together. To attach these sheets, special adhesives are used. These sheets are available in white and black colors only. Some contractors avoid the use of adhesives and attach them mechanically. For such kind of installation, screws and plates are used.

Thermoplastic membrane

These membranes were used in Europe in the 1960s. They can easily get heated, unlike thermoset membranes. So hot air is used to weld different sheets together. The color of these sheets is white, so they are reflective and very light in terms of weight. They are reflective, so they reflect the sunlight and are considered as energy-saving options as they do not absorb sunlight and keep the building cool.

PVC Membranes

These membranes have been used in the United States for 40 years. Manufactured with polyvinyl chloride, these sheets are fire and oil-resistant. Moreover, they are resistant to weathering as well. They are also reflective and can be used any time of the year. Thermoset and thermoplastic sheets cannot be installed in winters.

TPO membrane

Thermoplastic Polyolefin membrane is the combination of various sheets. They have the flexibility and durability of EPDM, and they are reflective and chemical resistant like PVC. They are widely used in the United States due to these qualities and now a day one of the most popular choices.

Commercial roof coatings

If you want to extend the life of your low-slope roof, commercial roofing coating can be an option. These coatings can be installed on the roof surface to reflect sunlight and save energy bills. They also protect the roof and save it from weathering. These coatings are either silicone or Acrylic. Both are different, having different pros and cons. You can choose any one of them according to your budget, whether during installation or the durability of the coating.


If you want to repair or replace a commercial roof, try to find contractors who work on it on a commercial scale. They have complete information about all the available materials and roof designs. They can also guide you about the pros and cons of each type of roof and help you choose the best option within your budget. Residential contractors have very little or no idea about commercial roofing systems. But as both types of roofs are different with different designs and requirements, hiring a commercial expert is the right choice. Find a reliable contractor with a good track record. He will inspect the roof and will guide you about the best available choices based on his inspection.


About Gold Key Roofing

Our highly trained, certified roofing professionals inspect, test, evaluate and calculate all the necessary data from your project to provide your home with the ultimate protection – providing you with time-tested peace of mind.

In an industry where many roofers are in business today and out-of-business tomorrow, it is unusual to find a company like Gold Key Roofing with our experience and proven record of quality and reliability since 1975.
Orlando Roofing Company

Roofing Services Offered in Orlando and surrounding Central Florida Areas:

Residential Roof Repair Roof Cleaning
Residential Roof Replacement Roof Claims Assistance
Commercial Roof Repair Blown-In Insulation
Commercial Roof Replacement