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What’s the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing?

What’s the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing?

Home » What’s the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing?

Residential roofing and commercial roofing may serve the same purposes, but you can rest assured that they’re not the same. Not only do they look different but perform differently as well. 

Interested in learning about the differences between commercial roofing and residential roofing? Then read on. We’re going to discuss them in detail below. 

Residential Roofs Are Much Steeper

Probably the most noticeable difference between residential and commercial roofing is the difference in steepness. Simply put, residential roofs are much steeper than their commercial counterparts. 

As a result, you can see almost the entirety of a residential roof from ground level. On the other hand, commercial roofs are almost impossible to see from ground level. 

The steepness of each roof also affects its drainage system. Because residential roofs are more sloped, they can more easily send rainwater down into the gutters below. Commercial roofs have gutters as well but don’t drain rainwater quite as quickly. 

Why is there a difference in steepness between residential and commercial roofs? Well, there are a number of reasons. 

For one, steep roofs provide more ventilation. This is important for homes, which are generally much smaller than commercial properties. Because they’re smaller, they need all of the natural assistance they can get. 

That brings us to our next point: because commercial properties are so large, they’re not practical buildings on which to install sloped roofs. The slope would simply be too big. And if several slopes were implemented, the cost would be substantial. 

That leaves us with our last point: flat roofs are cheaper to install. This makes them more appropriate for most commercial buildings, as aesthetics aren’t the end-all-be-all. 

They Have Different Materials

There is a bevy of different roofing materials available on the market today. Around half of these are designed for residential roofs; around half are designed for commercial roofs as well. Few of them are suited to both types of roofs. 

So, in essence, the type of building you’re in will affect the type of roofing material that you use. We’ll start by discussing commercial roofing materials, and then move on to residential roofing materials. 

Commercial Roofing Materials

Generally speaking, commercial roofing materials don’t offer much in terms of aesthetics. This is because, again, commercial roofs are flat and almost impossible to see from the ground. As such, aesthetics don’t matter. 

One of the most common commercial roofing materials is built-up roofing. This is essentially just several layers of asphalt and waterproofing entities. It’s cheap, reliable, and easy to repair. 

An enhanced version of this is modified bitumen. This includes a variety of polymers that enhance both the durability and insulation of the roof. 

Another option is spray foam roofing. This is literally sprayed onto the flat roof, where it then dries and offers protection from the elements. This roofing is above-average in most aspects and is able to expand and contract, making it great for fluctuating climates. 

Residential Roof Materials

There is a substantial amount of residential roofing materials. These are all designed with aesthetics in mind, though their functionality is taken into consideration as well. 

The most popular residential roofing material is asphalt shingles. These provide good durability and protection at a reasonable price and are available in a number of colors and styles. 

Another option is wood or cedar shakes. These provide a great deal of aesthetic texture to a roof while also supplying it with ample insulation. You’ll most typically find these in luxury homes. 

Metal roofing is an option as well. Whether it’s corrugated steel, standing seam roofing, or otherwise, it will supply your roof with a great deal of durability and character. 

Some of the more niche options include clay tiles, cement tiles, rubber shingles, and slate. These are typically quite expensive, but aesthetically pleasing and attractive as well. 

Residential Roofs Are More Durable

In general, residential roofs are much more durable than commercial roofs. Whereas a commercial roof will generally need to be replaced every 15 to 30 years, residential roofs last 25 years at a minimum and can go up to around 150 years at a maximum. 

Of course, the material you install will have a large influence on this. Slate roofing and clay tiles will both last for over a century. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, will generally top out at around 30 years. 

Why can’t you install clay tiles and slate blocks on a flat commercial roof? They’re far too heavy for such roofs to hold. 

Commercial Roofs Require More Maintenance 

Regardless of the type of roof you install, you will have to work to maintain it. Note, however, that commercial roofs require much more maintenance than residential roofs. 

The reasons for this are numerous.

For one, commercial roofs require more intensive inspections. This is because they can’t be seen from the ground, thus requiring that you go up on your roof every few weeks for a look-see. 

In addition, commercial roofs possess less slope. This equals more water exposure and more deterioration. You’ll be dealing with problems like cracking, algae growth, and the like on a much more frequent basis. 

The last reason? Residential roofs are tougher than commercial roofs. Their materials are more heavy-duty and therefore don’t need as much help getting by. So, while you’ll have to supply maintenance for both, you’ll have to supply a lot more for a commercial roof. 

Need Help With Commercial or Residential Roofing?

Do you require commercial or residential roofing services? Looking for a residential or commercial roofing contractor in Orlando? If so, we here at His and Hers Roofing are the people to see. 

We offer a range of roofing services, from residential roof repair to commercial roof repair to residential roof installation to commercial roof installation and more. 

Contact us now to discuss your needs!