Commercial roofing can be confusing with the different terms for commercial roof types like flat roofs, low slope, or shed. Then there’s roofing, described by the installation technique or materials. Learn more about the top seven most common commercial roof types and your options. 

The Top 7 Commercial Roof Types

When it’s time to choose a commercial roof for your business, you have several options, and each has its benefits. Each application requires expert planning and materials consideration. Here are the most common roofing types and what they’re good for.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are a popular choice for commercial properties. They are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, have a 40-60-year lifespan, and are affordable to maintain. 

Metal roofing can also provide an attractive, finished look. It has strong fire resistance ratings and is stronger and more sustainable than other commercial roofing options. 

BUR & Modified Bitumen

If you’re looking for a tough, dependable roof, built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen roofing might be your choice. They are known to be some of the most durable, dependable, and proven low-sloped roofing systems for commercial use. 

The downside is that the lifespans are one of the shortest options, and the source of leaks is difficult to locate. 

Green Roofs

Another unique commercial roofing option is a green roof. A green roof is partially or completely covered with vegetation over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofs offer protection and absorb many natural elements that impact roofs. They are unique, esthetically pleasing, and good for the environment.   

The downside is that they are expensive to install and require much maintenance and monitoring. 


Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofing is a material that begins as a liquid spray that instantly expands into foam that hardens into a solid layer. It is waterproof and insulated so that it can be used in any climate, and it lasts up to 50 years with proper installation and maintenance. 

The downside is that it’s limited to favorable weather conditions (no snow, ice, or water). And it requires an inspection once or twice a year.

Thermostat EPDM Roof Membrane

EPDM (rubber) roofing is one of the most popular roofs for new construction and reroofing because they have a proven track record. They are tough, durable, waterproof, and easy to repair membrane punctures. 

The downside for these commercial roof types is that they aren’t the “prettiest” option. They can also puncture easily from falling debris or people walking on them.

Thermoplastic PVC & TPO Roof Membrane

Thermoplastic, or TPO and PVC membranes, is a single-ply roofing system offering various applications and configurations. It’s a great option for an economical, reflective roofing system.  

The downside is that their popularity has enticed small manufacturers to create product lines that aren’t high quality. Only buy from a reputable manufacturer, or you could end up with cheap, poorly made products.

Composite Shingle Roofing

Composite shingles are the most common roofing material for commercial use. They are made of fiberglass or recycled paper-based products mixed with asphalt and covered with mineral granules. Shingles are economical and provide a long-term weather barrier when used in the right commercial application. They are also excellent for enhancing your business’s curb appeal. 

Choosing the right commercial roof type can make a difference for your business when replacing or installing a new roof. Contact Perry Roofing Company today to discuss your commercial roofing options. 479.306.4327