Williams Roofing and Construction Inc.

How to Choose the Best Roofing Material for Your Commercial Building

commercial roofing materials

According to experts, flat roofs could date back to 7100 BC. Since the concept has lasted for about 9000 years, it’s safe to assume it’s reliable. There have also likely been some great innovative strides made in those thousands of years.

However, despite the flat roof being a popular commercial roof choice, it may not be the best new roof choice for you. There are several factors you must consider when choosing the best roofing material, color, slope, etc. for your business. Once you learn what these are, you can just go down the list.

Read on to learn what you need to think about when choosing a new roof.

The State of the Existing Roofing Material

It may or may not be necessary for roofing services to completely replace your roofing system. Some types of roofing material can be installed right on top of the old system. However, this is dangerous to do on a deteriorated roofing system.

You need to know just how thorough your roof replacement needs to be. To do that, you need to do some inspections.

Check the Roof’s Age

Most types of roofing have an expiration date. For example, asphalt shingle roofs have an average lifespan of around 20 years. That’s around the time when it’s best to replace them.

Find out all the information you can about the age of your building’s current roof. Also, look up how long the roofing material on your roof should last. If your current roof is too old, you should probably get it replaced.

Check the Roof’s Scaffolding

Your roof’s scaffolding lies right under the lowest layer of roofing material. It will likely look like a collection of beams. You can check these beams for any signs of deterioration.

A professional roofer can assess the scaffolding best. However, there are some obvious issues you can probably find. If you see too much deterioration, the scaffolding may need replacement.

Signs of Deterioration

A deteriorating metal roof, for example, will likely show some signs of rust. Damaged wooden scaffolding will likely look rotten and/or have mold growing on it. You can also look for any leaks that may have caused these issues.

Check the Local Building Codes

Your local area likely has some building codes that you need to comply with. Your commercial roof may or may not violate these codes.

Get all the information you can about your local building codes. Inspect your roof and make sure that your roof complies with them. If it doesn’t, you should ask the roofing company you’ve hired to fix the issues.

The Location of Your Building

Different types of roofing material fare better in certain situations over others. Therefore, the best roofing material for your business can depend on the climate, plants, etc.

A Hot Climate

Is your building located in an area that gets hot often? If so, you may want to install a cool roof on your building. This will keep your building cooler overall.

Along with keeping the building occupants comfortable, a cool roof has other benefits. You’ll save money by not having to crank the AC.

Intense Storms

Many types of commercial roof materials can take getting hit without taking on too much damage. A modified bitumen roof is one of them.

Do some research about the average climate in your area. If you live in an area with intense wind storms, you should get the most durable roof you can.

Nearby Trees

If your building is surrounded by trees, you should have some strong gutter systems installed. These trees will likely drop leaves and clog up your gutters.

You should also consider a highly durable roof for this situation. Trees can drop branches and damage your roof.

The Environmental Impact of the Roof

This factor isn’t as critical as the others. However, your business may pride itself in being environmentally conscious. If so, you should want to make sure the materials on your roof are eco-friendly to protect your brand.


Some roofing materials can come from recycled materials and get recycled after. This is often true of metal roofing materials. Many roofing manufacturers offer metal roofing materials that have come from recycled metal

However, other materials, such as fiberglass, are not recyclable. Some types of flat roofing materials contain fiberglass. Make sure to thoroughly research the recyclability of different roofing materials.

Energy Efficient

Along with keeping the building cool, a cool roof can also be energy efficient. Occupants in a building under a cool roof won’t have to crank the HVAC. Thus, they will reduce the building’s carbon footprint and use less fossil fuel energy.

Having a cool roof means having a roof that won’t allow much heat to pass through the roofing materials. The best roofing material for this is reflective or has a lighter color like white.

The Type of Business You’re Running

Most types of businesses can benefit from being cooler and having durable roofs. However, some businesses have specific needs that a commercial roof needs to provide.


For example, some restaurants might have extra seating on top of a flat roof. This is not the best idea as it can cause damage to the roof. However, if a business owner wants rooftop seating, they can prepare the roof for it.

Any roof that will have a lot of foot traffic should receive heavy reinforcement. Also, the oils and liquids from food can damage certain roofing materials. Make sure that the roofing materials you choose are fairly impervious to chemicals.

We’ll Replace Your Roof in Springfield, IL

As you can probably tell, all this effort to find the right roof and roofing material will take time. However, if you get impatient, remember how important it is that your business gets the roof it needs.

If you’re around Springfield, IL area and need a new roof, try our services. We use the best products and best roofers to build you a roof that lasts. Get started with a free roof evaluation by filling out your information on this page.

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Our Service Area

Springfield, IL

4225 North Peoria Road
Springfield, IL 62702

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