Choosing a Commercial Roof

Commercial buildings each require a roof that is long lasting and will protect its contents and occupants from all types of weather. Company executives or owners take special care in making a selection that will best serve their company.

Commercial roofing has a number of types available. Each type of roof has special features which are designed to provide the maximum protection from the weather while offering the best in energy savings.

Flat Roofing

Several types of flat roofing are available. These include:

• PVC Membrane

This is a single-ply membrane with a life-time warranty. It is installed in rows with hot-air welded seams. This is an excellent energy saver but is the most expensive of built-up roofs.

EPDM Rubber

This material comes in huge rolls to avoid leaking seams. Because of its size installation must be done slowly.


Insulation boards must be installed prior to applying TPO which comes in rolls. It can be installed with a self-adhesive or mechanically fastened to the insulation boards.

• Modified Bitumen

Applied in multiple layers, this requires torching each layer to the surface at every 1/4th turn of the roll. Very labor intensive, it can only be applied by a professional roofing contractor.

• Built-up Roof

A built-up roof involves installing multiple layers of ply sheets which are bonded together with hot asphalt. The top layer may be gravel for durability or reflective for energy savings. Built-up roofing has several different layers of bitumen and aggregate coating carefully installed. Reinforced with organic mats or fiberglass mats depending on the installation, ply sheets are commonly manufactured in 36 inch wide panels. Recent innovations include incorporating a rigid insulation layer as part of the materials designed to form a barrier from heat, cold and storms. 

• Spray-On Roof

Materials such as silicon, polyurethane foam and acrylic are the most commonly used materials for this type of work. Prices vary depending on the material used.

• Cold Liquid

Roofs installed by this method do not require heating. The adhesive is used directly out of a drum or pail and applied. This type of roofing eliminates danger from hot materials as well as the bad smells that often result from other types of built-up roof applications. Cons regarding this type of roofing include being flammable, cure time is longer and it has lower wind uplift values.

Converting a Flat Roof

Some people use this type of roof to build things such as a break, garden or other type of area. This is especially true in large cities where outdoor space is limited. For example, the University of California San Diego’s East Campus built a soccer/athletic field on their parking building’s roof.

When you are planning on converting your flat roof to everyday use, it is always important to have a responsible roofing contractor look at the area. It is essential that the underlying structure is checked to assure that it is strong enough to handle the change. Many times, the weight of the addition can cause too much pressure on the roof supports resulting in a collapse or other damage.

If you live in Connecticut and are planning on installing a new flat roof, repairing an old one or want to convert the roof for other purposes give us a call at 866-784-5300 or fill out the form at the top-right of this page or at We will be happy to offer a free estimate regarding your requirements.