Blog Post: Commercial Roofing Systems Explained

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Choosing Your Commercial Roofing System

Published 4/14/2022

Understanding roofing systems is important when choosing what is best for your commercial building. Once you know the pros and cons of each system and understand the information, you can choose the roofing system that is right for your commercial business.

If you want more information, feel free to keep reading or just give us a call today at 845-549-2069!

Types of Roofing Systems

These are some of the most known roofing systems around:


TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is a single-ply roofing. This is usually used on commercial buildings that need to have reinforced scrim. It’s used in a single layer instead of multiple layers.

Here are some facts about TPO roofing:

  •         Keeps out the sun’s UV rays.
  •         Costs less than other types of roofing materials.
  •         Has a fast application.
  •         Saves on labor costs.
  •         Costs less to manufacture.
  •         Has improved over time.
  •         Comes in different thicknesses of 45, 60 and 90-mil.
  •         Can last up to 25 years.


PVC, or polyvinyl, is also a single-ply roofing. It’s great material and can make your roof last longer. It can also restore roofing that’s worn or needs reinforced. Here are more facts about PVC roofing:

  •         Keeps out the sun’s UV rays.
  •         Has stood over time and is one of the oldest kinds of materials.
  •         Can be costlier than TPO.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer)

EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, is a single-ply roofing. It’s made from companies that make tires such as Firestone. Here are some more facts about EPDM roofing:

  •         It’s made from materials that have been around for years.
  •         Comes in black and white but white is unusual.
  •         Has 45 or 60-mil thickness.
  •         Works well for colder climates.
  •         Can help to heat a building that stays cold.
  •         It’s made of rubber, so it’s very flexible.
  •         Lasts up to 25 years or more.
  •         Has seams and they sometimes do not hold up.
  •         Requires thicker material for roofing that holds heavy machinery.
  •         Comes in rolls of 50 feet.
  •         Uses tape or glue to install.


BUR, or built-up roofing, is a very strong material. It’s one of the oldest types of roofing. Here are some more facts about BUR roofing:

  •         Uses layers of asphalt.
  •         Comes in 4 layers and is called 4-ply.
  •         Lasts up to 50 years.
  •         Works in all climates.
  •         It’s durable but not flexible.
  •         The sun can cause cracks or ruin the roofing.
  •         Uses 400 degrees of heat to install.

Modified Bitumen (Mod Bit)

Modified bitumen, or mod bit, is made out of plastic or rubber polymers. Here are some more facts about using Mod Bit roofing:

  •         Constructed of rubber and plastic polymers.
  •         It’s considered a conventional roof.
  •         Can be granulated or smoothed on top.
  •         Protects from UV rays.
  •         Is a strong and durable material.
  •         Works well for foot traffic.
  •         It’s easy to fix if there is damage.
  •         Lasts around 20 years.
  •         Applied with three methods: hot-mopped, torch-applied or cold adhesive.
  •         Expensive to manufacture.

Metal Roofing

There are two types of metal roofing: R-panels and standing seam. Here are more facts about metal roofing:


  •         It’s a common type of metal roofing.
  •         Costs less than other types of metal roofing.
  •         Has fasteners that are exposed and can become loose over time.
  •         Lasts up to 50 years or more.

Standing Seam

  •         Has a taller rib than other metal roofing.
  •         It’s seen on churches and other high-end buildings.
  •         It’s more expensive than other types of roofing.
  •         Has hidden fasteners.
  •         Can last up to 50 years or more.

If you need a new roof for your commercial building or want to find out more, our experts can help when you call 845-549-2069 today!


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