The roof over your head ultimately matters when it comes to both the safety and comfort of your home or business. It’s a shield against the elements, protecting the people and objects inside from external weather conditions.

But did you know that residential and commercial roofing have distinct differences? While most may think that one roof is pretty much like any other, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and why you need to hire roofing contractors that know your type of roof.

From roof design and life expectancy to the choice of materials and installation requirements, these two types of roofs vary greatly in terms of overall quality and longevity. In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast residential and commercial roofs to help you choose a reliable, durable option that meets your needs.

Size of your Roof

Suppose you picture a large supermarket like Walmart. You immediately notice that it’s much larger than your house, and you may wonder why commercial buildings require so much space. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial buildings constructed in the 2000s have an average of 19,000 square feet of the area! That’s a lot of space!

The size of a building will influence the type of roofing that it needs, possible materials for selection, and other factors. That’s why it is important to consider your building’s size before deciding on the right roof for your property.

The Shape of Roofs

You might have probably noticed that most commercial buildings in Nashville and nearby areas have a flat roof design. However, it should be noted that no roof is completely flat. Instead, it has a barely noticeable slope.

This type of commercial roofing Nashville is used because of its reliability, stability, and cost-effectiveness. Having a flat roof gives you extra storage space for any kind of clunky machineries, like air conditioning units, which helps save money and time.

While pitched roofs are simply expensive to install on commercial buildings and not always the safest option due to their size. These are better for average-sized homes, where the installation is much more manageable and safer.

Construction of Residential and Commercial Roofs

A typically steep-slope residential roof is usually constructed with asphalt, slate, or cedar shake shingles. Some homeowners prefer tile or metal shingles for their aesthetic appeal and durability.

Commercial, industrial, and institutional roofs are generally flat roofs that range from old-style built-up roofs to modified single-ply.

It’s important to keep in mind that these roofs tend to be much larger than residential roofs and must therefore be constructed with special consideration for the weight of the mechanical equipment often located on them.

Roofing Design

The roofing design is one of the major and obvious differences between commercial and residential roofs. Commercial roofs usually have a low or flat slope, making them suitable for larger buildings such as warehouses, factories, and restaurants. Since the roof needs to support the weight of heavier equipment like HVAC blowers and industrial pipes, it is important these roofs can withstand heavy weather conditions.

Residential roofs are generally higher in pitch and have a smaller surface area. They are generally simpler in design, with fewer openings, such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. The size of the building also affects the type of roof that needs to be installed, so it is important to ensure that the Nashville roofing contractor has experience with both commercial and residential roofs.

Materials Matter for Roofing

The exact roofing material chosen for residential and commercial properties directly affects the overall longevity, performance, and cost-efficiency of the roof. It’s important to choose materials that are suitable for the climate in which you live to get the maximum lifespan out of your roof.

For residential roofs, asphalt shingles continue to be the most popular option due to their longevity, affordability, and easy installation. Other options that are becoming increasingly popular include metal panels, tile, wood shakes, and solar shingles.

For commercial roofs, the most commonly used materials are modified bitumen, asphalt roll roofing, single-ply membranes (such as PVC or TPO), spray polyurethane foam and metal. Each of these materials offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to work with a qualified commercial roofer who can guide you in the right direction to ensure you get the best possible roof for your property and budget.

Maintaining your Roof Top Investment

Since commercial buildings cover large square footage and are often exposed to harsh weather, they need regular maintenance to ensure the roof is in good condition. This includes inspecting shingles and metal roofs for signs of wear and tear, unblocking gutters and downspouts, and ensuring that mechanical contractors don’t damage the roof while working on it.

Residential roofs are smaller and should be inspected from the ground for wind-damaged or missing shingles, and animal entry points should be monitored for any critter damage. Cleanings and repairs should be done more frequently during the fall and winter when debris may cause blockages. Professional roofing contractors can help with both residential and commercial roofs to make sure your investment is secure for years to come.

Related Read: Common Roofing Problems and Solutions to Fix Them.

Installation and Repair of Your Roof System

When it comes to residential and commercial properties, installation and repair requirements differ greatly. Commercial roofs usually require more material, more protection equipment, and more labor than residential roofs do. Different types of materials are also required for each type of roof, and these come at different costs.

In general, it is much easier to make a residential roof repair than a commercial one since there are fewer layers involved in the process. Repairs for a commercial roof may include patching one section of the roof, or it may involve the installation of multiple layers to fix the entire roof.

And since a commercial roofing project is large, choosing a roofing contractor with experience in the field is important. Your roofer should be able to provide you with references from previous jobs and should be knowledgeable about all the materials needed for your project.

At last, the skillset between commercial and residential roofers differs as well. For a successful installation or repair, the right skills are necessary. The best bet here is to hire a roofer with experience in both types of roofing and the best tools and safety equipment for your project.

Cost Considerations for a Roofing Solution

As expected, the price tag is the most obvious difference between residential and commercial roofing. A bigger roof means more roofing material, more labor, and, therefore, a higher cost. However, that’s not the only element to consider. You should also factor in ongoing maintenance costs such as annual inspections and roof cleanings or any necessary repairs and replacements that may arise over time with either residential or commercial roofing.

When it comes to residential roofing projects, one of the primary advantages is cost-effectiveness. Residential roofs are generally smaller and typically require fewer materials and labor than a commercial installation. But this can often vary in size, complexity, and cost depending on the type of roofing material you choose.

Related Read: Roof Repair Vs. Replacement: Major Signs to Consider.

Wrap Up

There you have it – a better understanding of the differences in roofing requirements between residential and commercial properties. Maintaining your rooftop investment is an important part of owning any type of property, whether it’s residential or commercial.

To ensure you get the best results with your roofing project, make sure to hire professional roofing contractors who have experience dealing with both residential and commercial roofing. And if you ever find leaks, or need to replace or repair your roof, make sure to get it checked out promptly for the best results.

Now you have all the information you need on residential and commercial roofs. So why wait? Start your project today and get the roof you deserve!