The Complete Guide To The Different Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

Industrial Roofing

Has your commercial roof run its course? Looking to install commercial roofing for the first time? If so, you have a number of systems to choose from.

These commercial roof systems differ not only in terms of durability but in terms of maintenance, insulation, and a variety of other characteristics as well. Looking to learn more about them? Then read on.

This is a complete guide to the different types of commercial roofing systems. Let’s dive right in!

Silicone Roof Coatings

At the top of our list for a reason, silicone roof coating is a fluid-applied roofing system. Whether you are installing a brand new roof or renewing a weathered one, silicone roof coating is a proven way to extend the life of your commercial roof. The material is very strong and durable and creates a layer of protection between your roof and the elements.

Silicone coating applications can often last between 20 to 30 years, saving you money on future roof repairs and replacements. It also provides protection against ponding on flat roofs. Metal roofs are commonly restored using Silicone roofing systems as well. Not only that but Silicone Coatings are considered cool roofs by the cool roof rating council (CRRC)Which are energy-saving products that can reduce your energy cost and are also environmentally friendly. 

Additional benefits of a silicone roof system include quick cure time, low odor, and no need for prior tear off as it can go directly over existing surfaces. Additionally, commercial roof coatings can applied to almost all the roofing membranes available, meaning you combine a single-ply roofing system with a cool roof coating for even more benefits. These roofing systems are also CRRC compliant, which helps save on energy as well.

Acrylic Roof Coatings

Another fluid-applied roofing system and a cool roof option, Elastomeric Acrylic roof coatings are formulated to increase the seamless protection of your commercial roof. It’s a lighter material and very durable to withstand bad weather, leaks, and sunlight wear and tear and ultimately restores your commercial roof to its full potential.

It is a watertight seal that covers everything including flashings, vents, and protrusions. Even better, it does not contain any VOCs. Elastomeric Acrylic Roof Coating Systems have a general life span of 10 to 20 years.  Also if you want to check out the differences between silicone commercial cool roof coatings and acrylic commercial cool roof coatings, I highly encourage you to check out this video. 

Built-up Roofing

Sometimes called BUR, built-up roofing is a form of roofing that consists of layers of tar, gravel, and ply sheet. The more layers that are added, the more durable (and insulative) the roofing becomes. Easy to fix and maintain, it offers a great deal of versatility throughout the years.

BUR has been used for years and is one of the most common flat roofing materials around. Fire-resistant, crack-resistant, and waterproof, it’s both protective and tough. It’s also one of the cheapest commercial roofing materials in existence, making it perfect for those on a budget.

The downside to built-up roofing? It’s heavy. As such, it can put quite a bit of stress on a roofing structure.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is similar to built-up roofing in that it’s layered. However, whereas built-up roofing consists of 5 or more layers, modified bitumen consists of two. Plus, whereas built-up roofing is systematically installed one layer at a time, modified bitumen comes in ready-to-install strips.

Performance-wise, the materials are similar as well. Both designed for low-slope commercial roofs, they’re resistant to water damage, sun damage, and cracking.

Note, however, that modified bitumen possesses greater tensile strength than built-up roofing. As such, it’s more appropriate for situations in which it’s experiencing regular stress (ie. people walking on it). Plus, it holds up better through severe temperature changes.Commercial Roofing Los Angeles, Ca

Cost-wise, modified bitumen exceeds built-up roofing (though not by much). That said, it also tends to last longer. Therefore, it generally provides more bang for its buck in the long run.

TPO Roofing

Also known as a thermoplastic roof membrane, TPO roofing is a single-ply roll-on material that can be installed quickly and efficiently. Possessing strong seams, it’s durable and easy to maintain.

TPO roofing is resistant to essentially everything that comes toward it, including but not limited to sunlight, water, fire, chemicals, animal-based oils and fats, heat, and cold. Its resistance to animal oils and fats, in particular, makes it ideal for use on the tops of restaurants.

In addition to its superb resistance capabilities, TPO roofing is also highly reflective of sunlight. As such, it offers excellent insulation in warm climates.

The biggest issue with TPO roofing is that it’s on the expensive side. That said, it’s not much more expensive than EPDM roofing.

EDPM Roofing

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) membrane provides long-term strength and durability. Its black surface can assist with snowmelt and heat gain in colder climates. Its elasticity is great for freeze/thaw conditions and hail-prone areas. EPDM can be easily installed without electric-powered tools. But its black surface doesn’t help with energy efficiency but as mentioned earlier you could combine EDPM with a cool roof coating to make your building more energy-efficient. 

PVC Roofing

PVC Roofing is another single-ply roofing system. The engineers of PVC roofing created PVC roofing with durability in mind, with that being said, PVC is very durable and is able to withstand a great breaking point making it able to withstand harsh winds and many other weather elements mother nature may throw it at. Out of all the systems mentioned this is probably the most expensive option out of them all. But it is a strong durable roof that should last you for many years. 


And there they are, the different commercial roof systems that you have available to you. I hope this guide helps you understand the many different commercial roofing system options on the market today. Thanks for reading!

In Need of a New Commercial Roof Contractor in Los Angeles?

In need of a new commercial roofing contractor in Los Angeles? We here at Central Roofing Company specialize in commercial roofing and have served Los Angeles and Orange County with their commercial roofing need for decades!

Our commercial roofing contractors will walk you through all your options and give you our best assessment for FREE. So

Contact us now to get the process started!

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