Residential vs Commercial roofing

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Deciding on whether your roofing needs are residential or commercial is relatively simple. However, understanding the difference between the two types of roofing is harder. Both types of roofing use specific materials, design and installation techniques in order to be most suitable for the purpose of the building. 

If you are choosing a company to do commercial roofing, make sure you find good commercial roofing contractors to do the job.

Materials

Both types of roof are made of extremely durable materials, designed to protect the building and its foundations.

These can include:

  • Slate or ceramic shingles/tiles
  • Metal roofing
  • Wood shakes
  • Solar shingles

Flat commercial roofing is also usually covered in roofing felt and then overlaid with roof pieces made from corrugated sheets of materials such as steel and aluminium. The materials used for this type of roofing have to support commercial aspects such as air conditioning and ventilation. It is important that the roof works harmoniously with the function of the building and does not hinder the purpose of the commercial property. 

Residential roofing is made so that it is easy to maintain by the homeowners if possible. The general idea is that you get a high quality roof with a lifelong guarantee, that only requires interference from tradespeople in exceptional circumstances or should the homeowners want to extend or redesign their house.

Design

Residential roofing is usually always a pitched roof with a higher slope design. This is to ensure that maintenance is as easy as possible – only requiring a homeowner to do regular check-ups in order to remove debris and assess whether water is being drained correctly. In most cases this will be extremely straightforward and no assistance will be needed.

Due to the nature of the building, commercial roofing tends to be larger in square feet than their residential counterparts. Because the roof has to match and support the larger aspect of the building, they usually have a low slope or can be entirely flat. Commercial roofing will usually need far more regular maintenance relating to elements that have been combined into the roof. This work will need to be conducted by a professional who has experience in commercial roofing.

Installation

Residential roofing is relatively easy for tradespeople to install, usually the only thing required to account for is a chimney. It is often a lot cheaper than commercial roof installation due to the smaller scale and less specialty training needed to install.

Commercial roofing is slightly more difficult to install as it depends on the function of the commercial building. For example, some roofs may need to allow space for large airflow systems and external piping to carry materials out from inside the building. They are generally more expensive to install due to the materials/equipment needed and the size of the project.

While similar in function, the differences in types of roofing allow for more cohesive designs that complement the property. Understanding the difference between these two types of roofing will allow you to make an informed decision about which type of roof is best for your own building.