Why the Kind of Roof Your Commercial Building Has Matters

Commercial RoofingJust as there are multiple types of roofs available for residential buildings, there are different types of roofing available for commercial buildings as well—and we’re not just referring to flat roofs versus angled roofs either. The roofing materials used for commercial buildings hold up differently in various situations. Here’s how the many types of commercial roofs differ, and why those differences matter for your company’s building.

Types of Commercial Roofs

First, here’s a quick look at the three different types of commercial roofs:

  • EPDM – Also known as thermoset roof membrane, or more commonly as rubber roofing, EPDM comes in black or darker colors and is made from a single-ply rubber material.
  • TPO – TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin; it is a single-ply plastic membrane that typically comes in white or other very light colors.
  • PVC – PVC is very similar to TPO in material and color and can be more durable in some circumstances.

Now that you understand these three basic roofing types, it’s time to talk about why the type you choose matters.


Obviously, budget is an important factor in selecting the type of roof for your building. However, be sure you’re looking at more than the price tag. EPDM roofs will typically be the cheapest, but they’re less durable and require more maintenance, so you may end up paying more in the long run. So make sure you consider all of these other factors, in addition to your budget, to determine the right roof for your building.

Mechanical Units

Will your roof have mechanical units that require regular maintenance? If so, you’ll want to ensure your roofing material is one that is made to withstand the traffic of maintenance crews on a regular basis as well as being able to support the weight of your mechanical units. You can also utilize roof walk pads to help your roof hold up to maintenance traffic.

Chemicals and Oils

Does your business produce any chemicals or oils that are released through exhaust fans on the roof? One type of business that might see this is restaurants; the oils produced through cooking are frequently vented through the ceiling above the kitchen. If you have a restaurant or other business that produces chemicals or oils, you need to ensure your roofing material isn’t going to break down when exposed to those elements.

Commercial RoofClimate

Climate is also important to consider when selecting your roof. Here in San Antonio, you’ll obviously deal with a lot of heat and direct sunlight. This is why you’ll frequently see light-colored commercial roofing in San Antonio, TX. Dark roofs get extremely hot and can draw that heat into your building, which drives up your utility costs. Additionally, it makes working conditions really uncomfortable for any maintenance workers who have to go up on your roof.

Foot Traffic

In addition to maintenance access, you need to consider how much other foot traffic your roof might receive on a daily basis. Do people access other areas of the building via the roof? Or will your roof only be accessible for maintenance purposes? If you get a decent amount of daily foot traffic on your building’s roof, you’ll want to ensure it’s highly durable (and heat repellant) to stand up to that traffic. You may also consider installing rooftop catwalks—metal walkways on top of the roofing material—to reduce the amount of wear and tear on your roof.

The material you select for your roof matters, and it’s important to choose the right material for your building and your business. If you’re unsure what roofing type is right for you, contact Stevan Buren Roofing at (817) 558-6997 for roofing services in San Antonio, TX.