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Exploring Commercial Flat Roofs

Flat building roof, blue sky

When you rent or own a business, there’s a lot you need to learn about managing a commercial property. Knowing what kind of roof works best for your business can give you a great head start. Spend some time exploring commercial flat roofs, and you’ll be prepared for whatever maintenance needs arise.

Exploring Commercial Flat Roofs

If you’re a homeowner that maintains your roof, you might think you already know everything you need to know about roofing. However, you may need to think twice if you’re also a business owner. There are significant differences between commercial and residential roofing, and understanding the ins and outs of commercial roofing is essential to managing any business property. You can get a good start on the process by exploring commercial flat roofs.

Why Are Commercial Roofs Flat?

Have you ever noticed that most commercial buildings have flat roofs? That might not strike you as strange until you compare them to residential roofs, which are usually pitched. Believe it or not, there are some good reasons that most commercial buildings have flat roofs:

  • Unlike residential buildings, commercial buildings often need to have equipment on top of them, like HVAC and filtration systems. A flat roof makes installing and maintaining these systems much more manageable.
  • While most homes are shaped like squares and rectangles, many commercial buildings have different shapes that depend on their functions. A flat roof can cover an irregularly sized space more efficiently and economically than a pitched one.
  • Commercial buildings are typically much larger than residential ones, making a pitched roof challenging or even dangerous to install.

While a low-slope roof might be an option worth considering for some business owners, the majority will find themselves happier with a flat roof option. So, what are your options, and how do you know which is best for you?

The Five Types of Commercial Flat Roofing

If you’ve never worked with flat roofing before, you may be concerned about taking it on. But don’t worry: commercial flat roofing has existed for hundreds of years, and qualified roofers will have all the expertise you need. All you need to know is what type of roof you’ll be working with:

  • Built-Up Roof (BUR) systems are the oldest type of commercial roofing. They get their name from the “build-up,” or layers of material, that make this roofing system work. In the past, BUR roofs were made of gravel and tar, but these days they’re usually made of layers of asphalt and fiberglass. BUR systems are inexpensive, but since asphalt can be somewhat easily damaged, it may not be appropriate for every environment.
  • PVC roofing is composed of large sheets of waterproof membrane affixed directly to the top of the roof. This is a cost-friendly and ecologically conscious option, as this is one of the few commercial flat roofing systems that are completely recyclable at the end of their lifespan.
  • Thermoplastic olefin (TPO) roofing is similar in composition to PVC roofing. However, this material offers many additional benefits, such as being UV-resistant and heat-resistant in a way that PVC roofing is not.
  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing is also known as “rubber roofing.” It offers many of the same benefits as PVC or TPO. The main difference is that, unlike the other materials listed here, rubber roofing comes in various colors and styles.
  • Modified Bitumen roofing is similar to rubber roofing, but it is made with chemically-modified asphalt instead of rubber. It’s a highly durable roofing material but requires regular maintenance.


Is exploring commercial flat roofing making your head spin? Call up the experts at Taylor-Made Roofing. We’ll walk you through your options, and help you make the right choice for your business.

If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help. Our experts can help you sort through commercial roof systems, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, complete tear-offs and recovers, and perform remodeling services. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing materials, please call us at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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