A corrugated metal roof with the words "Types of Industrial Roofing"

When you need a new roof for your industrial building, you’ll find that you have a lot of options to choose from. In addition to style, you’ll need to choose from a range of material options and application methods. The kind of roofing that’s best for you depends on a number of factors. Here are the different types of industrial roofing and the benefits of each kind:

1. Thermoplastic Polyolefin

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a type of single-ply membrane roofing. It’s made up of a blend of ethylene, propylene, rubber, and fiberglass. TPO has several benefits which make it a favorite choice for many commercial buildings. Some of the benefits include:

  • High durability

  • Fire resistance

  • Wind resistance

  • UV resistance

  • Resistance to chemical exposure

  • Puncture resistance

  • 20+ year lifespan

TPO roofs are usually white and so reflect some sunlight, which keeps your building’s interior cooler. Because of their high resistance to oils and fats, they’re a great choice for roofs over restaurants or other places that emit oils from their ventilation systems.

2. Thermoset Roof Membrane

Thermostat roofing – also known as EPDM roofing – is another kind of single-ply membrane roofing. It’s constructed from a rubber material and has been considered a reliable roofing option for many years. The benefits of EPDM roofing include:

  • Fire resistance

  • Cold resistance

  • UV resistance

  • Acid resistance

  • Alcohol and solvent resistance

  • Easy installation, maintenance, and repair

EDPM is generally black, but it can still be made to be a “cool roof,” meaning it helps deflect the sun’s rays and keeps your building cooler.

3. Metal Roofs

Metal is often what people think of when they imagine an industrial building’s roof. Its high level of durability makes it an obvious choice for buildings that need to be protected against damage. People often worry about rust and dents when it comes to metal roofs, but metal roofing is not really susceptible to denting, and many are built to resist rust for 40 years. Benefits that draw people to metal roofs include:

  • High fire resistance

  • Versatility

  • High durability

  • Wind resistance

  • Hold up well under snow

Choosing to go with a metal roof won’t be the last of your decisions, however. There are many types of metal that may be used as roofing materials – each with the benefits listed above. Some of the most common types include corrugated galvanized steel, stone-coated steel, aluminum, copper, tin, and stainless steel. Each kind has its own look and its own level of resistance to different kinds of damage.

4. Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofs (BUR) are named after their application method rather than the materials used to make them. These kinds of roofs have been used for decades, and will likely be found on any old building that you purchase. If you’ve ever stood upon a roof with a gravelly appearance, it’s a BUR.

The materials in a BUR are applied in multiple layers, hence the name. The base layers will generally be tar or asphalt, and the top layer is usually gravel. Built-up roofs can only be applied to a roof with little-to-no slope. Benefits of a BUR include:

  • Waterproof seal

  • UV resistance

  • Low maintenance

  • High durability

  • Low cost

While a BUR doesn’t have as many benefits as a lot of the other roofing types, it’s a dependable roof that will often cost the least amount of money.

5. Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roofs are sometimes regarded as built-up roofs due to their similar application method. They also can only be applied to roofs with little-to-no slope. Unlike a BUR, however, the layers in a modified bitumen roof are solid when they’re applied, not liquid. The layers of a modified bitumen roof are made up of bitumen (naturally-occurring solid petroleum) mixed with another material such as fiberglass. Benefits of modified bitumen include:

  • Resistance to severe weather conditions

  • High durability

  • Resistance to cracking during freezing temperatures

  • Low maintenance

  • Durable under heavy foot traffic

Because of its durability under heavy foot traffic, modified bitumen is ideal if you expect a lot of people to be walking on your roof. 

If you need help choosing the best roofing material for your commercial building, contact Acme Roof Systems. Their roofing experts can help you choose the best roof and then replace your current roof with expert precision. With over 20 years of roofing experience, you can trust them to do it right.