Residential and commercial buildings both require roofs for protection against the elements, but that’s where their similarities end. Each has different requirements and therefore need completely different roofing systems. If you happen to own both, knowing the differences can help you make informed decisions.
The roof slope is essentially the roof’s angle. A typical residential structure would have a high slope, as it efficiently sheds rainwater into the gutters, avoids water intrusion and shows off the homeowner’s choice of roofing material, as it can be seen clearly from the curb. The same structure wouldn’t be practical on a commercial structure: building a high-slope roof on such a large floor area would result in an extremely tall roof, which would make it costly and impractical to maintain. At such height, curb appeal isn’t even a consideration, which is why low-slope or flat roofing is used in commercial properties.
The roof’s slope plays a major factor in the materials that can be used in each roofing system. Homes typically have asphalt or metal roofing, as both materials work well on high-slopes. Commercial roofing, on the other hand, traditionally has built-up roofing, which is basically layers of asphalt and tar covered by gravel. Heavy roofing is ideal for tall structures because of its wind resistance. Modern membrane roofing, like Duro-Last®, is made of a single layer of material that, if properly installed, can have the same level of wind resistance as its heavier counterparts.
Structure plays a key role in the installation process. Residential roofs are installed on the familiar truss structure, where the roof deck is nailed. A waterproofing element is installed before the asphalt shingle mats or metal sheets are placed. Commercial roofs are nearly flat, eliminating the need for trusses. Instead, a substrate material is installed on top of the base concrete, onto which the main roofing material is placed.
Whereas nails are predominantly used on asphalt shingles, commercial roofing uses a combination of adhesives and heat welding for installation. Both roofing systems require regular maintenance and repairs performed by professionals.
Hinkle Roofing is one of the few roofers who offer both residential and commercial roofing services. Call us today at (205) 352-1940 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We serve many areas in and near Calera, AL and Hoover, AL.