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How Do Commercial and Residential Roofs Differ?

For most people, a roof is a roof. It protects people and possession from the elements and each one is pretty much like the other. Even if you’ve built a home and put some thought into choosing the best materials and styles, you may not know much about commercial roofs. If you’re now considering a commercial building project, you need to know that there are key differences between commercial and residential roofs. All roofs have things in common but there are areas in which they diverse. Roofs vary in materials, design, and installation methods. While your roofing contractor in Greenville, SC will advise you accordingly, it’s still helpful to know some of the basics.

Roofing Style and Material

Ask a child to draw a house and they’ll probably draw a building with a sloped roof. That’s because most residential roofs have steep slopes. They’re typically made with slate, cedar shake, or asphalt shingles although other materials can be used.

In contrast, commercial roofs are usually flat. They can be made from a wide range of materials including built-up roofing membrane, metal, modified bitumen, thermoplastic membrane, and ethylene propylene diene monomer. Since there are so many options for commercial roofs, you need to do your research to ensure you make the best choice. Metal, asphalt, and single-ply membranes are used on both residential and commercial roofs.

Another thing to consider is that commercial roofs are typically larger, and they often support equipment, solar panels, or even gardens. This means the roofing material needs to be able to bear lots of weight. Furthermore, while residential roof installation is quite straightforward, there are several considerations associated with commercial roofs.

These include air flow systems and external piping. It is important that you choose a roofing contractor whose workers have knowledge and experience relating to commercial roofing. Commercial roofs tend to be more expensive not just because of their size but because specialized tools and equipment are necessary for safe, reliable installation.


One of the significant differences between commercial and residential roofing is the length of time it takes to install the materials. The roof of your home can easily go on in a day or two. However, commercial roofs can take as long as a month depending on the size of the project and the complexity involved. These roofing systems often include products that need to cure or settle before anything else can be done. This takes time.

Inspection and Maintenance

All roofs need to be routinely inspected by a professional and every building needs maintenance from time to time. Every building owner needs to ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves, twigs and other debris. They also need to make sure that the exits of downspouts are clear so the water can flow away as needed. In addition, there are critters to consider. Animals will look for areas where they can get under the roof layers and into the home.

However, one important thing to remember is that commercial roofs need more frequent inspection and maintenance. Fortunately, its usually quite easy for owners of commercial buildings to walk on the roof and look for problems before calling a roofing professional. On the other hand, homeowners should never go on their roofs if they don’t have the skills and equipment to do so safely. Since sloped roofs can be dangerous, it’s best for them to inspect from the ground especially after bad weather.

Commercial roofs need lots of preventative maintenance. You will need experienced Greenville, SC contractors to identify problems in the early and address them. Since there are likely to be HVAC technicians and other people traversing the roof, you also need to make sure they don’t damage it.

Reach out to Greenville Roofing for Expert Advice and Top-Notch Workmanship

No matter what type of building you have, you need to hire an experienced contractor. Despite what you may have previously thought, not all roofs are alike. If you have a commercial building, your roof is a significant investment. It will protect both life and property so you shouldn’t cut corners or hire just anyone.

Call Greenville Roofing to arrange an inspection of your property. Whether you’re constructing a new roof or looking for Greenville, SC companies that do repairs and maintenance, we can help. We have a team of knowledgeable and experienced roofers who will work with you to ensure your roof meets your needs. Call us today!

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