If you are planning on upgrading your commercial roof, you have a few different materials and systems to choose from. Each of these commercial roofs is ideal for flat roofs, which are more common with commercial buildings.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
One of the more common types of flat roofs for commercial buildings is the built-up roofing (BUR) option. BUR use multiple layers of reinforcing fabric and bitumen and are sometimes referred to as tar and gravel roofs. The bitumen part of the roof is made of either coal tar, cold-applied adhesive or asphalt. It may also include mixtures of different aggregates, elastomeric coatings and aluminum coatings.
Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, or EPDM, is a type of rubber roof that is most often used with flat or low-sloped commercial buildings. It may seem like these are cheap, flimsy roofs, but the rubber includes multiple layers of materials that hold up quite well. The only real disadvantage to this option is that there is a chance of shrinkage. On the other hand, it is very resistant to chemicals and weather conditions, meaning it can last a good amount of time after being installed.
Thermoplastic (TPO) Roofing
This type of commercial roofing system is quickly gaining popularity. It is an excellent way to protect your building from chemical exposure and ultraviolet rays. They last longer than some roofing systems and are very resistant to weather damage, fire and damage from physical objects. The thermoplastic roof is made with a highly-durable material that can handle a lot of different temperatures due to its flexibility.
When you have a commercial building, you also have the option of having a metal roof installed. This can be used for many different slopes as well, including flat or low slopes that are common with commercial structures. Multiple types of metal are used with metal roofs, such as silicon-coated steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum and zinc. Some also use lead, tin, copper or aluminum. The materials might come in metal shingles or tile sheets. The metal has coatings that protect the materials from UV rays, water and rust. They are also excellent at withstanding severe weather conditions and natural disasters.
Your last option is to choose a living roof, also known as a green roof. This allows you to have a strong roofing surface, then have actual living plants on top. It not only makes your roof and commercial building more enjoyable to look at, but the plant life helps to improve the oxygen around your building. It creates an environmentally-friendly option that is great with flat roofing systems. You will start with roofing supplies such as a waterproofing membrane, then have soil, plants and vegetation on top of it. If the roof is strong enough, you can even allow people to walk around on the roof, adding flowers and benches.