Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Commercial Property

The selection of the best roofing material for your commercial property is contingent upon various factors including geographic location, climate, budget, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic preferences. Consulting with experienced commercial roofing professionals can provide a comprehensive analysis tailored to your specific needs.

In the world of commercial real estate, a roof is more than just a protective cover. It’s a strategic investment that impacts property value, energy efficiency, maintenance costs, and aesthetic appeal. By understanding the unique advantages and limitations of each roofing material, businesses can make informed decisions that promote longevity, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

At the crossroads of design and functionality, choosing the best roofing material for commercial properties is an imperative decision that determines not only the aesthetic appeal but also the durability and longevity of the structure. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nitty-gritty of different roofing materials, evaluating their strengths, limitations, and optimal applications.

1. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing

EPDM roofing is a popular choice for commercial projects, thanks to its exceptional durability and cost-effectiveness. Its black color absorbs heat effectively, making it an excellent option for colder climates. The material is resistant to UV radiation and thermal shock, enhancing its lifespan and reducing maintenance costs. However, its heat absorption can be a disadvantage in warmer climates, leading to higher cooling costs.

2. Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) Roofing

TPO is the answer to the heat absorption issue of EPDM roofing. Its white color reflects sunlight, reducing heat gain and lowering energy costs in warm climates. The material is resistant to chemical exposure, ozone, and ultraviolet light. It’s lightweight, reducing the load on the building’s structure, and has excellent seam strength due to heat-welded seams.

3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing

PVC roofs have been widely used in the commercial sector for decades. They offer exceptional resistance to chemical damage, making them an optimal choice for roofs housing air conditioning units or other equipment that may emit oils or fats. PVC roofs are also highly durable, fire-resistant, and capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions.

4. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing offers unrivaled longevity, with a lifespan of up to 70 years. It’s available in a wide array of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing businesses to tailor their choice to their brand image. Metal roofs are also highly resistant to fire, mildew, insects, and rot.

5. Green (Vegetative) Roofing

Green roofing is gaining popularity due to its eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. It consists of a waterproof membrane covered with vegetation, reducing heat absorption and improving insulation. Additionally, it provides environmental benefits by improving air quality and reducing stormwater runoff.

6. Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Systems

Among the oldest and most reliable forms of commercial roofing, Built-Up Roofing systems have certainly stood the test of time. BUR systems involve the application of multiple layers of tar and gravel, providing a thick, durable surface resistant to weathering and wear. They provide excellent waterproofing and UV protection, making them suitable for various climatic conditions.

7. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen is a type of asphalt roofing that has been enhanced with rubber or plastic components for increased durability and elasticity. This type of roofing is easy to maintain and repair, contributing to lower lifetime costs. It is also highly resistant to punctures, tears, and traffic, which makes it a versatile choice for commercial buildings with rooftop equipment or foot traffic.

8. Silicone Roof Coating Systems

An emerging trend in commercial roofing, Silicone Roof Coating Systems provide an additional layer of protection to an existing roof, extending its lifespan. These systems offer the benefits of UV resistance, ponding water resistance, and weatherproofing. Moreover, their reflective surface helps to reduce energy costs by minimizing heat absorption.

Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider

Choosing the best roofing material for your commercial property involves considering various factors:


Your geographical location and its associated climate significantly influence the choice of roofing material. For instance, TPO roofing is better suited for warmer climates due to its heat-reflective properties, while EPDM absorbs heat effectively, making it ideal for colder climates.

Building Structure:

The structure and design of your building, including its size, shape, and roof slope, can dictate which roofing materials are most suitable.


Each roofing material comes with its own set of maintenance needs and costs. For instance, green roofs require regular upkeep to maintain the vegetation, while metal roofs need minimal maintenance.


Initial installation cost and long-term maintenance expenses should be factored into the decision-making process. Some materials, like metal roofing, may require a larger upfront investment but offer longer lifespans and lower maintenance costs.


The commercial roofing market offers a plethora of choices, each with its unique set of advantages and drawbacks. By understanding your property’s unique needs and aligning them with the characteristics of each roofing material, you can make an informed decision that safeguards your investment and ensures the longevity of your commercial property.

Remember, a well-chosen roof is more than just a barrier against the elements; it’s an investment in the structural integrity and value of your property, contributing to its aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency. Reach out to DiamondCut Roofing for a roof inspection or roofing estimate on your property in Calgary or surrounding area.