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Top Commercial Roofing Materials for Different Business Needs

As a commercial establishment, your roof is one of your business's most important assets. It protects your property from the elements, keeps your employees and customers safe, and can even help you save on energy costs.

But with so many different roofing materials on the market, how do you know which is right for your business? Here is a rundown of the top commercial roofing materials, along with their pros and cons, to help you make the best decision for your needs:

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

TPO roofing has gained immense popularity among business owners due to its excellent performance, durability, and energy-efficient properties. They are lightweight, flexible, and reflect sunlight, reducing cooling costs during hot summers.

Additionally, TPO roofs have excellent resistance to UV radiation, punctures, tears, and most chemicals, making them low-maintenance. They are also recyclable.


  • Energy-efficient

  • Durable, low-maintenance, and easy to repair

  • Resists UV radiation, tears, punctures, and chemicals


  • Color options are limited

  • Not as durable as some materials, such as metals

Best for:

Businesses looking to reduce heating and cooling costs. Also ideal if you are keen on reducing your business’s carbon footprint.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of commercial roofing material and are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and come in various colors and styles.

The straightforward installation process and ease of repair make asphalt shingles a practical option for businesses that value minimal disruption during roofing maintenance. However, asphalt shingles are less durable than other roofing materials and may need replacing more often.


  • Affordable

  • Readily available

  • Easy to install and repair

  • Comes in various colors and styles


  • Not as durable as some roofing materials

  • May crack and split in harsh weather conditions

Best for:

Asphalt shingles are ideal if you are running your business on a budget.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs are a more durable option than asphalt shingles. They are also more energy-efficient and can reflect heat, which can help keep your building cooler in the summer. Metal roofs are also fire-resistant, which can be valuable in some areas.

However, metal roofs are more expensive than asphalt shingles and can be more challenging to install. Metal roofs are especially well-suited for offices and retail spaces. And since they're non-combustible, they provide an added layer of safety for businesses concerned about fire protection.


  • Very durable and long-lasting

  • Come in various colors and styles

  • Require little maintenance

  • Resists fire, insects, and rot


  • High installation costs

  • Noisy in heavy rainfalls

Best for:

Businesses with the financial strength to make an expensive but long-term roofing investment.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC roofing membranes are renowned for their exceptional strength, chemical resistance, and fire-retardant properties.

These qualities make them a top choice for businesses in chemical processing, manufacturing, or any industry dealing with potentially hazardous materials. It is durable and energy-efficient, as it reflects sunlight and reduces cooling costs.


  • Highly resistant to chemicals and fire

  • Durable and can last about 20 - 30 years

  • Energy-efficient

  • Light-weight

  • Easy to maintain and repair


  • Can be expensive

  • Problems occur with age, especially in extreme cold temperatures

Best for:

Ideal if your business deals with potentially hazardous materials and requires a fire-resistant and energy-efficient material.

Modified bitumen roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a type of asphalt roofing made with a polymer additive. This makes it more durable and resistant to tearing and punctures than traditional asphalt roofing.

Modified bitumen roofing is also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. In terms of durability, modified bitumen roofing is exceptional and can withstand extreme weather conditions like high winds, heavy rain, and hail.


  • Durable and highly resistant to damage

  • Easy to install and maintain

  • Different style options

  • Has heat reflective properties

  • Recyclable


  • Shorter lifespan compared to some other roofing systems

  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as other roofing materials

Best for:

An excellent flat-roof option for businesses looking for a relatively inexpensive and very durable roofing material.

Install the best commercial roofing material for your business needs

Each roofing option has peculiarities that determine its suitability for your commercial establishment. Thus, it is essential to consult with a qualified roofing contractor to discuss your specific needs and budget.

At Clarke Roofing, we have over 50 years experience installing commercial roofing systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and can help you choose the right one for your needs. Request a FREE estimate today.


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