Key Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofs

Commercial and residential roof systems perform the same basic function, but both have key differences that make them two entirely different systems that, if you happen to own both, you will need a roofing company that knows how to install, repair and maintain them. Here are the key differences between both roofing systems.

Key Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofs

Gentle vs. Steep Slopes

There are several reasons commercial roofs typically have flat roofs while residential roofs have steep ones, and that reason has to do with the building size. If size is not an issue, steep-sloped roofs are ideal since they effectively shed rain and snow. Residential structures have relatively small floor areas and rooflines that are visible from the curb, and they are not as vulnerable to high winds, making them the perfect structures for steep-sloped roofs.

Commercial structures, on the other hand, are much different. Since these buildings tend to be several times as tall and as wide as typical homes, steep slopes would be impractical. The roof would end up comically big, difficult to clean and maintain, and generally would cost several times more in terms of commercial roofing services. This is why flat or gently-sloped roofs are typically used in commercial structures. Plus, the low slope is better suited for such elevations because of high winds.

Roofing Materials

The roofing slope plays a factor when choosing the appropriate roofing materials for the building. Materials like asphalt shingles, metal and slate are suited for residential structures. On the other hand, single-ply membranes, such as EPDM or TPO, are fast becoming the most popular commercial roofing material. Traditional systems like asphalt-and-gravel and modified bitumen still find use in roofs with high foot traffic as in buildings with rooftop cafes.

External Pieces

Many commercial property owners use the roof for siting rooftop air conditioners, intake vents and rotating chimneys. It keeps the units safe from vandals, saves indoor floor space and makes it convenient for maintenance staff since all units are in one place. Residential buildings wouldn’t have enough space for such large pieces so they are therefore located elsewhere, with the exception of carefully-designed chimney pipes.

If you want a contractor that can provide both commercial and residential roof service, contact Rapid Roofing today by filling out our contact form. We serve Canton, MI, and nearby areas.