When choosing commercial roofing materials, it is important to subject them to the following litmus test:
-What is the unit weight of your material and what are the structural implications of this weight?
-Are these commercial roofing materials available in the motifs and styles that best compliment your building?
-Is your material up to fire and hazard code for your region?
-Will this material stand up to the weather conditions most commonly associated with your area?
-What warranties, costs, and use spans associated with this particular material?
We do feel like we should just tell you though — most commercial roofing materials have weaknesses. Looking at replacement roof products isn’t about finding a miracle material. It’s about balancing strengths and weaknesses and confronting trade-offs. Below are a few popular commercial roofing materials and their key features for your perusal:
Asphalt roof material is extremely popular in the U.S.
Asphalt Pros: Asphalt gives you the most bang for your buck and is not overly-complicated to install. They’re also versatile in terms of coloring and motif, and can be augmented with strengthening options such as fiberglass. Best of all, you won’t be hunting it down at snotty bespoke roof supply stores; it’s available nearly everywhere.
Asphalt Cons: The lifespan of asphalt is not great, clocking in at between 12 and 20 years. It’s also not very insulating (hence our recommendation to reinforce with fiberglass). Finally, it’s easy to cut corners in asphalt production, meaning you’ll have to be on the lookout for good quality stuff.
2. Concrete and Clay
Clay or concrete tiling is a sure-fire way to add class and elegance to any roof.
Clay/Concrete Pros: Well first of all, it’s simply gorgeous. But more than that, this type of tiling will make any fire marshal sing with joy as it is totally non-flammable. Furthermore, clay/concrete tiling is very durable and has a lifespan of around 50 years! It’s also energy efficient.
Clay/Concrete Cons: You get what you pay for, but boy do you pay a lot. Clay/concrete tiling can go for as much as $500 a square. What’s more, they’re so heavy they’ll probably require extra buttressing, which can add complications and costs. If you’re considering this type of tile, definitely get a professional involved for safety reasons.
Metal is your go-to roofing option for extreme weather conditions.
Metal Pros: This is probably your most durable option (there’s a reason they make army bunkers out of the stuff). It also last a bit longer than asphalt and will reflect the sun to prevent over-heating in the summer (though whatever you do don’t sit on a metal roof in shorts. Yeouch!).
Metal Cons: Metal is versatile. Almost too versatile, so choose carefully. Depending on the type of metal, prices can range from $100 to $800 per unit. Accordingly, lifespan varies between 50 and 70 years.
Remember… The average person spends 1% to 4% of a building’s value on repairs per year. That’s a lot of money no matter how you swing it, so make it count! Get more on this here.