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A Basic Guide to Commercial Roofing Materials

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Each commercial roofing system is specially designed to meet the specific requirements of a building. Several factors are usually considered to determine an appropriate type of commercial roofing – such as the local climate, surrounding environment, etc.

commercial roofing

In terms of roofing materials, the most popular ones used for commercial roofs are ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and modified bitumen.


EPDM is more commonly referred to as rubber roofing. It is an inexpensive roofing material that can provide great value since it can last for up to 20 years. Typically made in black, it can absorb heat effectively and does not get easily damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays. Roofers usually find it easy to install, too.

If you prefer a lighter roof color, EPDM is also available in such shades. These lighter hues are better at reflecting heat, but they can hike up the cost of your roofing by around 30%.


TPO roofing is typically white, enabling it to reflect the sun and reduce heat buildup inside the structure. Your roofing contractor can install it by either directly fastening it onto the roof deck or using adhesives. TPO has good resistance against corrosion and algae and mildew growth, and it does not need to be pressure washed.

The disadvantages of TPO, however, vary depending on its quality and manufacturer. That said, if you want to get good value for your money, you should get your TPO roofing from reputable manufacturers.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roofing typically has reinforced roof fabrics, which act as “carriers” for bitumen. The bitumen is later cut and installed in layers. To ensure maximum stability and protection, this type of commercial roof system is fastened to the rooftop as a two-ply system and adhered to the roofing deck.

If you expect a lot of activity on your commercial roof, modified bitumen would be ideal for that. It can withstand foot traffic better than other flat roof types.

American Roofing & Construction, LLC has a solid reputation for excellent workmanship. From gutter installation to roofing jobs, you can count on us to deliver quality results. To request a free roof estimate, call us at (910) 964-0114 (Southern Pines) or (919) 917-2118 (Raleigh). You can also fill out our contact form to reach us.

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