Difference Between Residential and Commercial Roofing

Commercial and residential structures are two types of buildings that we see around us. Residential properties refer to the typical family home, but often, it also includes townhouses, condominiums, apartments, or any building where people live.

On the other hand, commercial properties are used for non-residential activities. This refers to any building where businesses operate, such as office buildings, hotels, entertainment facilities, hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls, and public and industrial facilities.

Despite the difference in purpose, most people would probably believe that it’s practically similar when it comes to these structures’ roofs. This belief is somehow true since they both share the basic similarities that protect the people and valuable items beneath them. But while it may appear that’s all there is to it, there are differences that exist between a residential and commercial roof.

As these two roofs have a distinct set of characteristics and specific demands, they often require a completely different approach. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how residential and commercial roofing is different.

Roofing Materials

Some types of materials recommended for residential and commercial roofs are often similar. They both need durable materials to ensure maximum lifespan and make them adaptable and easy to maintain.

However, you can expect to use completely different materials if you’re roofing a home compared to roofing business as these types of buildings often have different kinds of requirements, longevity, and overall costs.

Commercial roofs require less material due to needing fewer square feet to be covered compared to pitched roofs or steep slopes. The need for less material means an easier and much faster installation process, which can translate to significant savings for the building owner.

Roof Design

Residential and commercial roofs will vary a lot when it comes to design. As mentioned before, residential roofing systems have steeper roofs. Low metal roofs are better for covering larger areas, whereas residential constructions have slightly higher demands for protection, but smaller areas to cover.

Residential roofing is also more decorative than commercial roofs. There’s great care that goes into choosing the right color and type of roofing material based on the architectural style of your home, so it will blend in well with the rest of the home’s exterior, and quite possibly the neighborhood.

In contrast, commercial roofs are less concerned with matching a specific architectural style but more with utility and functionality. These roofs often protect industrial equipment beneath, so they should also be able to withstand the weight of heavy heating and cooling systems, large signs, and other installed equipment.

As a result, commercial roof systems need to have a low slop or to be completely flat. This design makes the water more likely to pool on a roof, which means it will need constant maintenance to keep in good condition.

 

Installation Process

The biggest difference between a commercial and residential roof is the process of installation and the total cost. Residential roofs have a relatively easy installation process since they are typically sloped. They also have far fewer obstacles to obstruct the worker’s path during installation. It can even be installed within a day.

By contrast, commercial roof installation requires a high level of skill. A commercial roof’s overall structure and size can change the way that it is installed. Commercial roofs also need equipment that will only complicate the installation further, such as pipes, roof entrances, smokestacks, ventilation systems, and other mechanical parts.

The challenge comes in ensuring the equipment and the roof is protected while installing a high-performance roof that keeps the building safe for many years to come.

Another significant difference is the cost. A commercial roof is often costlier than residential due to the need for specialized tools and an even larger crew to handle the process.

Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. If you have any questions, visit our website today or contracts us at (304) 736-7663 to learn more.