Tracking Down Roofing Issues

The Major Differences Between Residential And Commercial Roofs

To the average person, a roof is a roof. As such, when they have a roofing issue, they may not realize that there are different types of roofers out there. Most roofers will focus on either residential roofs or commercial roofs. This allows them to master their craft on one type of roof because both types of roofs are distinctly different in many different ways. Learning the differences between commercial roofs and residential roofs will help you realize the importance of contacting a commercial roofer for your commercial roofing needs and a residential roofer for your residential roofing needs. Here are a few of the major differences between residential and commercial roofs. 

The Design of the Roof

One of the major differences between commercial and residential roofs is the design of the roof. Residential roofs often are pitched and have a prominent slope to them. They are typically triangular in shape. On the other hand, commercial roofs are typically flat or have very little slope to them. The reason for this is that residential homes have attic space. The attic space is typically placed directly below the slope or pitch of the roof. Commercial buildings do not have attic space. Instead, they have crawl space below the roof, which is usually flat in design. Caring for and maintaining a flat roof is very different from caring for and maintaining a pitched roof, which is one of the reasons why there are two types of roofers. 

The Material the Roof is Composed Of

Another major difference between a residential roof and a commercial roof is the material that the roof is made from. Different materials need to be installed different, repaired differently, inspected differently and maintained differently. As such, you need a roofer who is familiar with the type of roof you have so it ensures they know how to work with the material your roof is composed from.

Some of the materials that residential roofs are commonly made from includes:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Wood shakes
  • Slate tiles
  • Ceramic tiles

Some of the materials that commercial roofs are commonly made from includes:

  • BUR, or Built-up roofs
  • Metal sheets or tiles
  • EPDM or Rubber Membranes

The Obstacles On the Roof

The last major difference between residential and commercial roofs are the obstacles on a roof that a roofer needs to work around. On a residential roof, the only thing that may be jutting out of the roof are the chimney and ventilation fans. But on a commercial roof, you can have plumbing stacks, smoke stacks, air flow systems and external piping. It is important to work around the items that jut from a roof carefully. If the roofing is not properly installed around these material, leaks can occur. A commercial roofer knows how to work around more obstacles, as they face them more frequently, whereas a residential roofer may only know how to work around chimney and ventilation fans. 

While both residential and commercial roofs are designed to protect a dwelling from the outdoor elements, they both are very different. When you need your roof inspected, repaired or replaced, it is important to call in either a residential or commercial roofing contractor, depending on which type of roof you have. 


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