Commercial Roofing vs Residential Roofing: What’s the Difference?

Are you wondering if you can use commercial roofing for your home? Discover the differences between commercial and residential roofs here.

According to the latest cost-vs-value report, a new metal roof can bring an ROI of around 54%.

This attractive roofing material is versatile and durable, and it’s also suited to both residential and commercial roofing applications.

Despite these benefits, most business owners shy away from commercial metal roofing due to cost factors associated with the size of their roofs.

Size isn’t the only difference between residential and commercial roofing though. 

Residential vs Commercial Roofing Pitch

Most commercial enterprises have low-slope roofs, also known as flat roofs, while residences have pitched roofs. That’s because it’s impractical to install a pitched roof on larger buildings. 

This difference in gradient is a major factor when it comes to comparing residential vs commercial roof types.

Roof Construction

Although some modern-style homes feature low-slope roofs, most have a system of rafters and a plywood roof deck that hold the tile, shakes, or shingles to the roof. Commercial roofs feature a concrete deck with one of many commercial roofing systems installed on top.

These roofing systems are usually fluid applications that can easily accommodate heavy items like industrial pipes and HVAC blowers, as well as various smokestacks, skylights, and outlets.

Workers often need to access these roofs to service and maintain these things. 

Residential roofs rarely have any openings except for vent stacks, skylights, or chimneys. As such, you don’t need to walk on top of a residential roof. 

Roofing Materials

The most popular commercial roofing materials are tar and gravel, while asphalt shingles dominate the skyline when it comes to residential roof types. 

Other types of commercial roofing systems include:

  • Modified bitumen
  • Single-ply coverings (PVC, TPO, EPDM)
  • Sprayed polyurethane foam

Commercial roofers apply these roof systems in layers comprising decking, insulation, a protective layer, and reflective coating. There are a huge variety of ways they must adapt the roof to suit each situation.

Installing Commercial vs Residential Roofs

It’s simpler to install a residential roof than a commercial one. That’s why it’s vital to work with qualified commercial roofers for these kinds of installations. 

Most roofers can install a residential roof in a few days. Due to the many layers and square footage involved, it can take up to a month to complete a commercial roofing installation. 

Likewise, commercial roof repairs can take days of work. If water gets through a leak in the top layer of these roofs, a roofer must assess the entire system before remedying the situation.

Most residential roof leaks occur in areas with loose flashing or shingles. It’s easier to pinpoint these leaks and repair them quickly, usually within a few hours. 

Discovering What Works For You 

Commercial roofing systems aren’t entirely out of the question for some homes. Any home with a flat roof might need a commercial roofing system for maximum efficiency. 

These designs are rare in home construction, though. Whatever type of roof you have on your home, working with a reputable roofer is the best way to find a suitable roofing solution for you. 

Would you like some more advice on how to make your home the best it can be? Browse our site for all the top tips and information. 

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