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Understanding the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Roofs

If you own a business and you ever have problems with your roof, it is essential that you make sure you get in touch with a company that specializes specifically in commercial roofs. Just as residential roofs have several different individual styles, commercial roofs have unique designs of their own. Following are a few key differences between residential and commercial roofs.

General Roofing Design

Since commercial roofs are often fully flat or have a low slope, you will want to make sure you have yours inspected more than you would your home’s roof. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow or water, make sure your roof is able to handle the added weight. You should also ask a commercial roof expert if there are any flat areas of your roof that you should cover up.

Roofing Materials

Just like with residential roofs, roofing materials for commercial roofs vary in overall life expectancy, application and cost. One major difference when it comes to roofing materials is that you will have more material options when it comes to residential roofs. Commercial roofs often have a membrane roof that is flat, metal or nearly flat. Common commercial roofing materials include single-ply membranes, metal panel roofing and asphalt shingles.

Specialized Knowledge

Another reason it is essential that you make sure the roof of your business is worked on by a professional who specializes in commercial roofs is that these roofs require specialized knowledge for materials, installation, demands and situations.


Because a commercial roof is often larger than a residential roof, it usually costs more to repair, install and maintain. In addition to size, commercial roofs require special tools and protection equipment, which also impacts overall cost. Be sure you factor in smoke stacks, piping and air flow systems, none of which residential roofs require.

Now that you know a bit more about the differences between commercial and residential roofs, you have a better idea of what it takes to get the most out of your roof. Even if you do not currently need work done on your roof, it is a good idea to start looking for a trustworthy commercial roofing expert to take care of you and your roof.


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