Best Commercial Roofing Products

January 19th, 2023

commercial roofing vancouver

In general, commercial and industrial building feature flat roofs, but that’s not to say all flat roofs are the same.  There are a number of flat roof options for commercial and industrial buildings and each have their pros and cons.  Perhaps one of the best commercial roofing products today is the sprayed polyurethane foam roof, though it is not commonly installed.  Built-up roofs, modified bitumen roofs, PVC roofing, and single ply EPDM roofing structures tend to be more popular.  Let’s take a look at each of these roofing products and some of their benefits and disadvantages.

Built-up Roof

Built-up roofs dominate commercial and industrial roofing because they are inexpensive and provide a nice aesthetic.  You would recognize a built-up roof as it is typically covered in gravel.  These roofs feature multiple layers and provide great insulation, but they tend to be quite heavy.  Because of the relative weight of built-up roofs, they are not always an appropriate option for a commercial or industrial facility; in fact, these roofs usually require reinforced joists which often results in increased construction costs and time.

Modified Bitumen Roof

Modified bitumen roofs are a popular single-ply roofing system that require highly specialized installation skills.  Nevertheless, modified bitumen roofing systems are one of the eco-friendliest flat roofing options because they can help reduce energy costs.  Indeed, these roofing systems reflect heat from the sun so help to reduce the cost associated with cooling the building. 

PVC Roofs

Durable and easy to install, PVC roofing resists water pooling making them a popular choice for wet climates.  However, PVC installation involves applying the roofing system from rolls so there will be seams throughout the roof surface.  Each of these seams can potentially fail and result in leaks.  So, while PVC roofing systems are durable, they are not as effective as polyurethane foam roofs.

Single-ply EPDM

EPDM systems are constructed from a rubber compound making them quite durable – in fact, they are commonly regarded as one of the most long-lasting flat roofing products available.  However, like PVC roofs, EPDM systems also have seams so if they are not installed properly they can be very vulnerable to leaks.  Maintenance at seams can be costly, and these roofs are known to be require more maintenance than other flat roofing systems.

Spray-Applied Roof Coating

Polyurethane spray-applied foam roofing systems are possibly the best commercial roofing products on the market today.  Featuring seamless application, these roofs incorporate most of the benefits of the other roofing systems discussed and few of the drawbacks.  These roofs resist water pooling for better durability but also have reflective properties to reduce heating and cooling costs.  Most importantly, spray-applied roofing systems are among the most sustainable.  Though they tend to cost more to install, their durability and easy maintenance will save building owners over the lifespan of the roof.