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The 3 Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Roofings That You Should Know

It doesn’t matter if it’s a residential or commercial building, a roof’s main purpose to protect the people and objects underneath it stays the same.

However, when it comes to having a roof installed, it’s important to let your roofing contractor know if the roof you’ll be needing would be for a new house or a commercial building. Although the purpose of having a roof over your new house or building remains the same, the purpose of a particular building changes the type of roof that has to be installed.

Still can’t see how it would affect anything? Here are three key differences to help you differentiate residential roofing from a commercial one.

Design and functionality

When building a new home, future homeowners have endless possibilities on how they would want their roof to look like. Depending on a homeowner’s budget, residential roofing can have a steep-sloped roof structure garnished with their choice of shingles or they can even go for a flat roof.

But the moment you drive around the city, you would notice how most of the buildings have flat roofing or a slightly sloped roof with little to no design.

This is because commercial building owners have to think of functionality over aesthetics. If a commercial building owner wants to maximize the budget of roofing materials, having a flat roof would be a better choice than a slightly sloped one. A flat roof covers more space, especially for big, wide structures, faster than a sloped one, and it also means having extra space for storage and other utility needs.

You might ask, “what about apartments and condominiums, aren’t they considered as residential areas?” Technically, yes. However, with the volume of people living in one space, having a commercial type of roofing would be beneficial compared to installing a residential type of roofing.
The materials that homeowners can use for their new home can range from the most affordable types of material to more costly ones. Listed below are materials that most homeowners use and their qualities:

  • Asphalt Roof Shingles—the most common type of roof shingles
  • Composite Roof Shingles—or also known as synthetic roof shingles
  • Solar Roof Shingles—one of the most used sustainable roofing materials
  • Cool Roof Shingles—popular in tropical areas
  • Clay Roof Shingles—great cooling material and long-lasting
  • Rubber Roof Shingles—recycled material but durable
  • Plastic Roof Shingles—the most affordable but wears out fast
  • Metal Roof Shingles—perfect for homes situated in areas with heavy snowfall or prone to wildfires
  • Concrete Roof Shingles—very durable but also heavy material
  • Cedar Roof Shingles—mostly used as accents to boost up the value of a house
  • Copper Roof Shingles—the most expensive but valuable type of metal roofing material

Commercial buildings owners, on the other hand, would choose materials that are:

  • Less costly
  • Lighter
  • Efficient
  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain

Small commercial buildings can still opt for asphalt, ceramic or tile shingles, but for bigger and more complex commercial buildings, metal roofing or built-up roofing alongside solar shingles would be a better option for easier maintenance and installation.
Installation and maintenance
When it comes to installation, residential roofings are easier to install and maintain compared to commercial roofings. Here are some factors that affect costing and time in order to install and maintain a commercial building’s roof:
In order to maximize costs, commercial building owners would find it more viable to have flat roofings since it would cover the area of a building better and efficiently. Having gabled or steep-sloped roofings to cover a commercial area means more time, materials, cost and higher maintenance.

Commercial building owners also have to think about the weight of the material being used for the building. A bigger area means more roofing materials, more roofing materials means more weight, and if the roof’s structure can’t handle the weight in the long run, there’s a huge risk of it collapsing.
Nature of establishment
A residential home’s sole purpose is to be a place that people can live in.

A commercial building, on the other hand, can range from being a residential area, a retail area, office spaces or a factory producing chemicals. Buildings that are expected to accommodate a higher volume of people would need proper ventilation, a better balance of temperature and a more advanced drainage system.

Unlike residential houses, roofing contractors hired to install commercial building roofings should be well-versed in the building’s specific needs.
Contrary to popular belief, having a flat roof is actually harder to maintain. If installed poorly, buildings with flat roofings can experience pooling of water, which if not attended to right away, can wear out the materials used on the roof. Minor repairs overlooked can also lead to a complete re-roofing.
Residential? Commercial? Get Expert Roofing Help Now
If you’re looking forward to having a roof installed in your new home or new building, it’s best to partner up with a company who knows what they’re doing and whose expertise lie in quality roof installation and maintenance.

Fortunately, Roofing Journey has a list of expert roofing contracts who are thorough in each and every type of roofing needs. For quality roof installation and preventive maintenance, click here or email us at [email protected]

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Last modified: July 22, 2019