Ten Tips for Choosing Commercial Roofing Material

August 19, 2021
Tips for Choosing Commercial Roofing Material

Ten Tips for Choosing Commercial Roofing Material

Having a good roof over your business is essential. When you’re considering commercial roof repair or replacement, you have a lot of options for materials. Choosing the right one is critical.

Your roofing material can impact the safety of your building, as well as its longevity, energy efficiency, and more. So before you search for “roofers near me,” check out our handy guide of factors to consider when choosing a roofing material.

1. Existing Roof and Building Makeup

If you are replacing or repairing your building’s current roof, the existing roofing material should be taken into consideration, along with the physical makeup of the building. The existence of HVAC systems, skylights, vents and other features in the roof area may also affect the installation and maintenance of your roof.

Though it’s generally not a good idea for non-professionals to walk on a roof, your employees may need occasional access to it. Keep this in mind when choosing materials. For example, a metal roof can be slippery, particularly when wet, and thus pose a safety hazard. Likewise, a single-ply roofing system could be easily punctured.

Another thing to consider is how long your business will exist in its current space. If you have plans to expand the building, the roof will eventually need to be expanded, as well. Having a different material on the expansion may look odd, so it is a good idea to consider any future plans when selecting a roofing material for your current building.

2. Cost

Cost is obviously a significant factor when you’re selecting a commercial roofing material. For example, asphalt shingles are generally more affordable than slate. Durable, high-quality materials are costlier than lower-quality materials.

Several things can impact these costs, including:

  • Materials used
  • Quality
  • Brand
  • Production cost
  • Availability

You should note that just because a material is expensive doesn’t automatically mean it will last; sometimes, you are paying for a brand name, not longevity and durability. A professional roofing company can walk you through the pros and cons of various materials and help you choose the best option for your commercial roof replacement.


Many businesses finance major expenses like roof replacements, rather than paying for everything upfront. However, if you finance your commercial roof replacement, make sure you consider not only the amount of the loan, but also maintenance and repair costs over the lifetime of the roof (or at least the life of the loan).

3. Location and Surroundings

When you’re choosing a roofing material, you should also consider where your commercial building is physically located. Among other things, think about the direction the building faces (east with the rising sun, for example) as well as what is around it (like trees or other buildings).

A roof under trees may do better with a puncture-resistant material with tensile strength, in case branches fall in high winds or a storm. Likewise, if you are in an urban setting, you may benefit from a reflective material that avoids heat absorption or contributing to the urban heat island effect.

Each location may have different building code requirements. Some areas may stipulate that specific types or grades of roofing must be used. Some state codes may restrict or prohibit certain roofing materials. These are all factors to consider.

4. Climate

Average wind speed, rainfall, and snowfall can help to determine which roofing material will be ideal. You should also consider whether you are in an area that experiences extreme weather. If your building is located in a climate with extreme heat, for example, you’ll want a material that is energy efficient and reflective.

Alternatively, if you are in a location with a lot of snow, hail, and rain, you’ll need a durable, extremely watertight roof. If you get both heat and cold, a flexible material that adapts well to temperature variations might be best.

A humid climate can leave your building vulnerable to the growth of moss, algae, or mold, which means you’d be wise to choose a roofing material that is resistant to such growth.

5. Energy Efficiency

There are a number of energy-efficient materials on the market. Selecting one of these types of materials could save you money on your energy bills.

If your roof is made of a reflective material, you won’t need to run your cooling system as much in extremely hot weather. The right energy-efficient roofing material can be a green alternative that benefits the environment, as it may be recyclable or use less toxic substances.

The material you choose to put underneath your roof can also affect its energy efficiency. For example, the right underlayment can have an insulating effect, which can boost the energy efficiency of your roof.

6. Maintenance

When you’re choosing a roofing material, look into how much maintenance it will need. Some materials, like metal, are low maintenance. Other roofing types may need more frequent maintenance to last.

If you are in an area that’s prone to storms, wind, and precipitation, you can anticipate higher maintenance costs than if you are in a milder climate. Regardless of where your building is located, a low-maintenance roof can save you money on upkeep and repairs over the long term.

7. Resilience and Longevity

Not all commercial roofing materials are equally tough. If your area experiences wildfires or natural disasters, a more resilient material could be a better choice. No roofing material is completely fireproof, but some materials are more flame retardant than others and can resist igniting when sparks land on the roof.

Furthermore, some roofing materials have better longevity than others. Durable materials, such as slate, tile, or metal, can cost more—for both the product and the installation. Still, you may decide that the improved durability may be worth it, depending on your future plans for your building.

8. Weight

If you are adding a new roof to an existing structure or building from scratch, the weight of the roofing materials must be considered. The building structure must be strong enough to accommodate the weight of the roof.

Buildings also tend to lose strength as they age. This can be an especially relevant consideration if your building is older.

9. Style and Functionality

When you’re considering a roofing material, you may also want to consider the style and functionality of your building. Roofing materials come in different styles, colors, and textures. How will the new roof’s style and shape match your building and the surrounding area?

The purpose of your building may be an additional factor in the roofing material you select. For example, is your building for storage or retail? What you plan to do with the building may influence your choice of roofing material.

10. Pick the Right Roofing Company

The most important factor to consider when you’re choosing a commercial roofing material is to choose the right roofing company. You not only want a trusted company with experience, but you also want experts that will explain all of your options and make recommendations tailored specifically to your needs.

Balancing It All

There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re selecting a material for your commercial roof. You’ll need to balance factors such as appearance, cost, energy efficiency, longevity, and resilience.

Whether you are choosing materials for commercial roof repair, roof replacement, or a new roof installation, finding the right company is critical. Professional roofing experts can help you weigh your options to find a balance that works for you.

Contact Us Today

If you need a commercial roof replacement, repair, or maintenance, contact Four Seasons Kanga Roof today. Our experienced technicians can expertly provide any roofing services you may need at a price that meets your budget!



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