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Commercial Roofing Options:
Benefits & Drawbacks

While both residential and commercial roofing obviously serves the same purpose, commercial buildings are designed and built differently than their residential counterparts. So, it would only makes sense that there are different types of roofs and roofing materials used in commercial construction. Perhaps the most noticeable distinction between them is the slope of the roof. More often than not, a commercial building will have flat roof or one with very little pitch. This is mostly because commercial buildings don’t need attic space. With a flatter roof, comes different materials and methods to keep it safe from weathering and leakage.

Tile Roofing

When you think of a tile roof, chances are, the image of classic orange clay tiles comes to mind. With commericial tile roofing though, rubber or concrete are often used.

Benefits: The first thing to point out is the extremely durability tile roof offers. This type of roof will last 50 to 100 years if installed properly. Not to mention that tiles come in an assortment of colors and designs.

Drawbacks: The main drawback of tile roofing though is that it is very heavy, and the building may need to be designed with extra roof support. If the building is already in place, support to the tile roof might need to be added, but this is costly and time consuming.

Metal Roofing

Metal is a very popular choice in commercial roofing, and some of the specific kinds include aluminum, copper and steel roofing.

Benefits: Like tile, metal is a very durable commercial roofing option, with a life expectancy of about 30 to 50 years. In addition, commercial metal roofing is one of the great roofing materials if there a huge industrial building square footage that needs to be covered. Metal roofs do not require a lot of maintenance and have lower installation cost comparing to slate or asphalt roofs for instance.

Drawbacks: Depending on the type of metal roof, some metals fade and peel. Still, many modern metals are designed with new treatments to overcome this deficiency. Metal roofs also produce noise during heavy rain or hail.

Slate Roofing

Some commercial structures are designed with slate roofs although they are more commonly found on residences.

Benefits: Slate is somewhat maintenance free, and can last up to 100 years if properly installed. Additionally, commercial slate roofs can have a very classy and elegant look to it, as well.

Drawbacks: Slate is one of the more expensive roofing materials and if you decide to go with slate, make sure you clarify the pricing with your current roofing contractor. Moreover, it tends to be very heavy and brittle, which can make installation very tedious.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt is probably the most commonly used roofing material for both residential and commercial structures.

Benefits: This type of roofing tends to be easy to install, and very cost effective. Depending on the specific type of asphalt roofing system, they can last from about 20 to 50 years.

Drawbacks: Asphalt shingles are made with petroleum, which means that they contribute to the negative environmental impacts of recovering and processing petroleum. Nevertheless, if you purchase high quality shingles that will last a long time, your contribution will be far from significant. When your shingles fall off or have deteriorated, find a place that will recycle them. They are out there!

Vinyl Roofing

More and more people are choosing vinyl roofing these days for it’s extreme versatility.

Benefits: prefabricated vinyl roofing membranes are resistant to fires, chemicals, grease, punctures, heavy wind, and severe temperatures. Many popular vinyl roof brands are also ENERGY STAR efficient, which is obviously great for the environment, but also your wallet.

Drawbacks: Depending on the specific brand, it doesn’t always come in a wide assortment of styles and colors, but chances are, you’ll be able to find a vinyl roof that fits your functional and design needs.

If you need help deciding what type of commercial roofing is best for you, don’t hesitate to contact M. Walter Roofing, your premier Chicago roofing contractors! Providing high quality installation of commercial roofs, be it metal, tile, slate, asphalt or vinyl roofs, we put our name on your roof and guarantee you the best-quality roofing you can get in Chicago, IL.