Your Go-To Commercial Roofing Company in Maryland
For years Southern Maryland Roofing has been installing, maintaining, and repairing commercial roofs for the Southern Maryland area. We offer premium quality materials for all your roofing needs. Our roofing teams are certified, fast, friendly, and provide quality service.
See below for the commercial roofing materials we use and that can save you money!
Commercial Roofing Materials
Know What Will Save You Time And Money With Your Commercial Roof
There are five major types of commercial roofing materials. Below we provide a breakdown of each type and explain the pros and cons of each. Understanding the benefits of each type of commercial roofing material will save you time and possibly thousands of dollars.
- Built-Up Roofing Membrane
- Metal Roofing
- Thermoset Roof Membrane (EPDM)
- Thermoplastic Roof Membrane
- Green Roofs
Built-Up Roofing Membrane
Built-Up roofing membrane, or more commonly known as BUR, is basically a tar and gravel roofing option for commercial buildings. The most common type of built-up roofing incorporates three layers; bitumen material, ply sheets, and one or more surfacing materials, and most commonly used is gravel.
The bitumen material is layered on the bottom to provide your building with protection and insulation. Bitumen is applied either hot or cold and is also the adhesive for the ply sheets to the roof.
Ply sheets are added on top of the bitumen. Ply sheets are typically used to provide a layer of protection for the bitumen and to level out the roof at a slight lean for draining water. On top of the ply sheets, surfacing materials are added. Finally, surfacing materials are typically made up of small stones and gravel.
The surfacing material protects the other two layers from the weather, debris, and sunlight damage. Surfacing material is also used to make the roof easier and safer to walk on, as well as provides a nice uniformed look to the roof.
- Built-Up roofing provides excellent protection against UV, heat, cold, and is waterproof. Built-Up roofing is one of the oldest types of roofing in America and has been around for more than 100 years. The reason it is still used today is because of how well it protects your building from weather and elements.
- Built-up roofing is generally low maintenance and has a 30-40 year lifespan if maintained properly. As with all roofs, you should repair any problem immediately, but with built-up roofs, maintenance and repairs are typically few and far between as well as cheaper than other types of roofing.
- The one real downfall to built-up roofing is the investment in installing the roof. There are cheaper types of roofs to install and built-up roofing can take a bit longer to install since you are layering different materials.
- If your roof does not have a wall around it and is open to wind then built-up roofing may deteriorate quicker or be susceptible to water damage.
- Overall, a built-up roof on the right building is a solid investment that can give you peace of mind for many years. Built-up roofing can save you money because of its energy-efficient properties and is easy to maintain.
Metal Roofing can consist of several different materials. The most common types of metal roofing are: Cooper, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, and Tin.
When installing metal roofing you typically need a solid insulating layer of materials for the metal to be installed on.
Then the metal is installed and most roofing companies will finish a metal roof with a protective layer to prevent rust and corrosion.
- The two biggest reasons to get a metal roof are the beautiful look and how durable the roof is. Cosmetically, metal roofs are considered the best looking roofs for businesses. A well-installed metal roof can transfer your business’s curb appeal and give you a signature look.
- Metal roofs are not just pretty however, they also last a long time. With ceramic finishes and low maintenance costs, metal roofs typically last 50 years or more. That means less money out of your businesses pocket over time if you choose to have a metal roof installed.
- Metal roofs are also better rated for fires and the new versatile ceramic coating makes metal roofs energy efficient as well. Unlike built-up roofs and wood, roofing metal roofs can help contain and control fires. They also are less likely to cave in during a heavy fire because they are lighter in weight and heat resistant.
- Metal roofs are one of the most expensive roofing installations for commercial buildings. While it could be argued that, over time, the low maintenance and long life of the roof make it a smart investment, those looking to save money upfront should probably stay away from metal roofs.
- Metal roofs are also more likely to have rust or corrosion than other types of roofs. There are more effective protective layers for metal roofs, but the fact is metal rusts when left out in the elements and you always run that risk.
- Metal roofs can also be loud during rain, hail, and windy days. Metal makes noise and no matter how well you insulate the roof, noise will happen.
- Metal roofs in cold climates can pose a snow risk for your business. When snow builds up on a metal roof it can sometimes slide off and be a hazard for anyone standing below when the snow slides off.
Overall, metal roofs are a great option that can look amazing on your building. The upfront investment might be more than what you are planning on, but the low maintenance and longevity of the roof make up for the costly materials.
Thermoset Roof Membrane (EPDM)
Thermoset Roof Membrane is commonly referred to as EPDM because of the material it is made out. This type of roofing is a single ply roofing that is made up of recycled rubbers, sawdust, and slate dust. It normally comes in a roll and is rolled across the roof. EPDM is the cheapest type of roofing material and in many cases, costing 1/10th the cost of other roofing options.
The installation is relatively straight forward. The roofing is rolled out and then secured to the roof with either the adhesive or fasteners. There are few seems in the roofing and they can be sealed with either the adhesive or ballasted with stone.
- The biggest pro to EPDM is the price. At .80 per square feet on average, it’s a tenth of the cost of a built-up roof and almost a quarter of the cost of most metal roofs. Since the installation requires fewer steps the installation, it is also cheaper and faster to instal.
- An EPDM roof does a decent job at keeping out the elements and even though it is black, it absorbs UV and sunlight well. EPDM roofs are also fairly easy to repair and repairs are cheap.
- EPDM roofs only last 20 years on average which is one of the shortest commercial roof lifespans. EPDM roofs are also susceptible to tears and since no heat can be used during installation. Seams constantly need to be monitored for leaks.
- While EPDM roofs do a good job of absorbing UV and sunlight, it does have a tendency to trap and hold heat. This can mean higher electrical bills during the summer months and on warmer days.
Overall, EPDM roofs is a great low-cost option for commercial roof materials. With a fast and easy installation process, EPDM roofs meet a lot of business owners needs for their businesses.
Thermoplastic Roof Membrane
Thermoplastic Roof Membrane is more commonly known as TPO and PCV. TPO is Thermoplastic Polyolefin and PCV is Poly Vinyl Chloride and the difference in the two is what the roof materials are made out of. TPO combines the benefits of EPDM and PCV but cost less than PCV which is why TPO is more popular currently.
TPO roofs are similar to EPDM roofs with two major differences, the first is the materials that TPO roofs are made out of. The process of making thermoplastic polyolefin is taking rubber, ethylene, and propylene to create an environmentally friendly material.
The second difference is that TPO is then installed on roofs using the same process as EPDM however the seems can be welded making the material seamless. Being able to use heat on the materials to install TPO is a huge benefit to EPDM since there are no seems and less likely to leak.
- TPO roofs are relatively new to the market so it is hard to talk about the life expectancy currently but TPO roofs require far less maintenance than EPDM roofs. Since there are no seams and installers are able to hot weld around tricky areas, there are no real weaknesses in the roof.
- TPO roofs also are designed to be energy efficient, repel UV and heat, and be resistant to dirt, mold, corrosion, and stop bacteria and algae build up.
- TPO roofs are also one of the most energy efficient which helps save money in both warm and cold months.
- One real drawback to TPO is that it is still relatively new to the roofing industry. Since it is still in its infancy stages, there are fewer guidelines and manufacturers are still tweaking formulas for optimal performance.
- The immaturity of the product means it is harder to ensure quality control on some of the TPO products. Make sure you find a reputable roofing company with good material warranties.
Last but not least, is the green roof. A green roof is becoming more popular in urban areas as a great blend of roofing material and outdoor space. Green roofs have vegetation on top of roofing material to make a yard, garden, or outdoor space.
Most green roofs have a base sealant installed on the roof followed by roofing tiles that have root repellant materials, a drainage system, a light layer of soil/bedding, and then plants. Green roof tiles are designed to keep your current roof safe from roots and to ensure proper drainage.
- Green roofs can be gorgeous and provide you and your workers an extra outdoor space. Green roofs provide you with all the benefits that plants typically give like additional oxygen, CO2 filtering, and additional shade for your building.
- Green roofs also are considered to be the best roofing materials for drainage. Since the plants soak up a lot of water and are on top of a drainage system, green roofs are one of the most effective roofs against mold, water builds up, and water damage.
- The installation of a green roof is probably the most expensive of all the roofing types. Not only are you installing custom tiles with multiple layers, but you are paying the sealant and plants.
- Green Roofs also require a ton of maintenance to keep the plants alive. If you are unable to maintain your roof, instead of a gorgeous oasis you have a dead barren land that is hard on the eye.
- Green roofs provide a great alternative to urban areas for outdoor spaces and help with the environment. If you have the time and budget to install and maintain this type of roof the benefits can be immeasurable.
No matter the type of commercial roofing materials you want to install on your building, it is important to hire an installer certified and experienced with the roof of your choosing. At SO MD roofing, we have experts with years of experience in most commercial roofing materials and needs.
If you have any questions about materials or types of commercial roofing you can schedule a free consultation with one of our experts today and we will be glad to help.