Membrane vs. Metal Commercial Roofing: Benefits and Features

Membrane and metal are two of today’s most popular commercial roofing systems and are compatible with most properties that require low-slope roofing. If you’re trying to decide which one is best for your commercial property, here’s a quick overview of the benefits of each roofing system.

Membrane Roofing

Also known as single-ply roofing, membrane roofing is typically made of sheets of plastic or rubber. Popular types include EPDM, TPO and PVC. Unlike traditional commercial roofing systems like BUR (built-up roofing) – which is made of alternating layers of asphalt and roofing felts – membrane roofing is installed as a single layer. Membrane roofing is typically added to the substrate using heat or adhesives, or is simply ballasted (weighted).

One of the main advantages of membrane roofing is the quick installation time, making it the ideal roofing material for out-of-season installations or if prolonged installation can cause unwanted business disruption. Commercial roof repair is likewise quickly done since punctures can be simply patched on. Membrane roofing is available in a variety of cool roof coatings that help reduce the heat absorbed through the roof.

Metal Roofing

Metal panels are more often considered for residential applications thanks to their ability to shed snow and rainwater. But metal roofing is nevertheless an excellent option for low-slope commercial roofing. The durable exterior is a great option for areas that tend to be hit by storms and airborne debris. Like their residential counterparts, commercial metal roofs quickly shed rainwater.

Metal roofing has an extremely long life span, typically lasting for up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. A reflective coating can be applied to galvanized steel roofs to achieve cool roofing properties. Certain materials like copper have added aesthetic value, which develops a beautiful green patina over time. Note that installation quality is important, as the smallest open seam or improperly installed flashing can allow water intrusion.

If you need more information on both roofing systems or if you want to learn more about our commercial roof installation services, call Rapid Roofing today at (734) 234-5900. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free estimate. We serve many areas in and near Ann Arbor, MI.