Commercial Vs. Residential Roofing: Know Who To Hire

Goldenberg on a Flat Roof in Brooklyn, NYC

Commercial Vs. Residential Roofing: Know Who To Hire

Commercial buildings and residential buildings have one thing in common- they both need well-constructed roofing. Many people do not realize that a commercial and residential roof have to be built completely different from one another.

Here are the main differences:

Roofing structure/ Design:

One of the major differences between both types of roofing is design. Commercial exteriors have a significantly larger square footage to cover as compared to residential. Commercial roofing needs different design considerations to bear the additional weight of ventilation, heating and cooling equipment.  A flat roof is a bit easier to construct on large structures such as shopping centers and industries. Therefore, commercial roofing is often either flat or has a slight slope. A flat exterior is also cheaper to install. A large scale flat roof is more demanding for maintenance as well. The designs are also limited. Residential roofing on the other hand has steep slopes as the covered area is smaller. Residential exteriors are also known as steep slope roofing which does not put much pressure on the structure. There is variety of residential roofing materials available in the market. Maintenance of residential exteriors is much easier compared to commercial roofing.

Roofing material:

When deciding on the roof material one must keep in mind factors such as budget, maintenance, and weather conditions.  The residential and commercial exteriors differ in the material they use. The materials used specifically for commercial roofing because of their strength to cover large areas include modified bitumen, ethylene propylene dine monomer. Because commercial flat roofing endures direct exposure to external elements, they are more sensitive to degradation. There is variety of roofing materials also made specifically for residential homes including eco-friendly roofing materials. These materials are usually not suitable or cost effective for commercial structures. They include:

  • Asphalt, tiles, slate, and shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Laminate roofing
  • Wood shakes
  • Build up roof
  • Single ply membrane

Roof installation:

Residential roofing is quite easy to install. Installing a residential roof is a straight forward process while commercial roofing installation requires expert roofing services. The best commercial flat roofing will always be watertight, have welded seams, possess adequate drainage systems, and have properly installed vents and flashing.  

Roof Repairing/Maintenance:

Commercial and residential exteriors are very different in terms of the problems that arise in them. Local licensed roofing contractors usually specialize in one or the other. This makes is important to find the right service for your roof. For example, don’t be fooled by a residential roofer who claims he knows a lot about flat roofing. If he has not installed dozens of flat exteriors in the past do not trust him. The pricing of the materials will vary based on the contractors usage levels of those materials. Again, this is the reason you hire a seasoned flat roofer for commercial work.

When hiring a company property owners must be aware of the key points of consideration between commercial and residential roofing.


Goldenberg Roofing NYC 300 East 39th Street #4D New York NY 10016 (212) 457-1331 bestroofingnyc.com

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