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The 5 Best Materials for Commercial Roofs



Commercial roofs require a different approach to roofs on domestic homes. For one thing, most commercial roofs are much larger, and for another, they don’t need to be as aesthetically pleasing. The materials used are often very different. Whereas a homeowner might opt for terracotta tiles or shingles, the architect of a factory construction project is more likely to choose a high performing material like colourbonded steel or a durable rubber membrane. 

Read on for a guide to the best materials for commercial roofs, whether you are building from scratch or your existing roof is ready for a replacement.


Metal is a durable material for any large commercial roof. Unlike a single-ply roof covered in bitumen, it is resistant to cracks and will comfortably last up to 30 years. The main problem with metal roofs is that they are expensive. However, if you can’t a long-lasting and durable roof for your commercial building, metal is our top choice. 

Metal roofs are often installed with standing seams. These are areas of weakness, so be alert for leaks along seams and around the edges of the roof. 

In hot climates, a plain metal roof will absorb a lot of heat from the sun, which can affect the internal temperature of the building. In this instance, a white metal roof that deflects the sunlight is a better choice. White metal also cools down faster at night and retains less heat, which will improve the building’s energy efficiency. 

Another option is colour-bonded steel. This type of roofing is designed for very hot climates. Because it is more flexible, it is suitable for more modern designs. 


Asphalt is a more traditional option, but it is durable and can last up to 50 years if installed to a high standard. Asphalt roofs have a polyester base with separate layers of gravel and asphalt. This offers better weather protection than single-layer roofing constructions. 

Polymer Membranes

Polymer membrane is a very popular material for commercial roofs. It is especially good in wet climates, as polymer membrane has excellent waterproofing qualities. Polymer membrane can be cut to fit any style and shape of roof. This is useful if your existing roof has failed and you need a flexible replacement. 

For more information about reroofing, check out

Tile and Slates

Tile and slate are both traditional materials. They are long-lasting, durable, and in the case of slate, resistant to algae growth. If slate and tiles are available in your area, both are worth considering. However, bear in mind that clay tiles are heavy, so the underlying roof structure will need to be strong enough to support the extra weight of clay tiles.

Living Roof

Living roofs are a good option for environmentally conscious businesses. The roof needs to be strengthened to support the extra weight of soil and water, but once in place, a living roof offers many advantages, including energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal. 

Consult a professional roofing company to find out what your options are. It’s worth spending a bit extra if you want your commercial roof to last longer. 

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