The installation of a new roof on commercial property is a significant investment, and because of this, it's important to choose the appropriate roofing material and commercial roofing contractor to ensure it is installed per code requirements for your location.

Roofing Materials

Several of the most commonly used commercial roofing materials include:

  • Metal (aluminum, copper, and steel)
  • Tile (clay)
  • Asphalt
  • Concrete

For longevity, metal roofing is the prime choice. Although more expensive than other roofing materials, metal roofs have a lifespan of at least 50 years. Metal roofing is lightweight when compared to tile or concrete material. When it is properly installed, the material is fire resistant, can sustain high winds, resists mildew, rot, and insects, and reflects radiant heat resulting in lower energy bills.

Lighter than concrete, tile roofing provides the opportunity to match the material with the architectural style of the commercial property. Tile is durable, long-lasting, resists high winds and severe weather, economical, and requires little maintenance.

Asphalt is the least expensive material making it a popular choice, but the initial low cost can end up costing more, over time, as it has a life expectancy estimated from 12 to 20 years. Depending on the climate where the commercial property is located, asphalt may not be the best choice for areas with extreme weather.

Concrete carries the same positive attributes as tile but the material is heavier. The material reflects heat versus absorbing it like asphalt shingles, and is rated Class A for fire resistance. Tiles are not applied directly to the roof, the way shingles are, which provides a layer of insulation to the building.

Commercial Contractors

Hiring the right commercial contractor goes hand in hand with choosing the right roofing material. Both are critical steps in a successful commercial roofing installation.

To ensure you're hiring decision is the right one, consider these tips.

  • Contact more than one licensed, bonded, and insured commercial contractor for an estimate
  • Ask for proof of a valid commercial license for your state/area
  • Do online research using your state's licensing database to verify the roofing license of each potential contractor
  • Obtain the contact information for the home office
  • Ask for references and follow up with a phone call
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau for information about each contractor

Before signing on the dotted line, be prepared by doing research and asking the contractor pertinent questions including what type of roofing material is recommended for your location.