William Shakespeare once said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A rose is a rose, but are all roofs the same? At its most basic, a roof’s job is to protect a building from the elements no matter what the purpose of the building beneath it. That’s why you might be surprised to learn that there are actually a few key differences between a commercial and a residential roof.
If you’re a commercial business owner in the Twin Cities, you know how important it is to protect your investment. Flat roofs offer a protective membrane to protect your property from the elements. They keep out water and air infiltration, damage from the sun’s UV rays, and biological contaminants.
If your business has a commercial flat roof, you need to know that it will stand the test of time to protect your business. But navigating the world of commercial flat roofs can be a bit tricky if you are new to it. You may have heard the terms TPO and EPDM and wonder how these two commercial flat roof systems stack up.
Flat roofs provide a rugged durability unmatched by other roofing styles. Used often for commercial and industrial applications, flat roofs require a different installation process than pitched or dome roofs, as well as different maintenance procedures over the years. The materials used for flat roofing is different than the metal, asphalt shingles, or cedar shakes you typically expect on a pitched roof because a flat roof is expected to perform on an industrial level toward maintaining your building.
Of all the flat roof products on the market, three stand out as having the highest quality and lasting the longest: Duro-Last, TPO membranes, and rubber membranes (EPDM). Below we explore each and discuss their best applications on a commercial rooftop.
Everybody understands a flat roof is a different design style than a pitched roof, as the flat roof uses different engineering and architectural concepts to maintain its structural integrity. Common sense says the flat roof is going to need routine inspection, maintenance, and occasional repair or replacement, but the average layman isn't likely to understand the intricate details of such procedures. Fortunately, a little research can make you familiar with the general needs of your roof and there are professional roofing specialists available to help with the specific needs of your building.
Flat and pitched roofs each offer distinct advantages over the other, depending on personal needs and preference for any particular building. There is a reason you typically see flat roofs on commercial and industrial buildings while finding pitched roofs more common for houses and residential buildings. Essentially, it comes down to the way the roof works structurally and the cost over time considering the initial install and ongoing maintenance budgets.