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Differences Between Residential And Commercial Roofs


Not all roofs are made alike. Your home’s roof may be slightly different than your neighbor’s, and it will definitely look and operate differently than the roof of a home across town made by a different builder.

Just think, then, of how vastly different residential and commercial roofs must be. The differences in construction materials, application techniques, roof cost, and service life spans are all different. Some roof installation companies may only focus on one type of roof or the other.

Here are the key differences between commercial and residential roofs, broken down by their major distinctions.

Construction Materials

The materials that are used to build residential and commercial roofs are distinct, and some materials are only used for one or the other. Commercial buildings usually have flat or low-slope roofs, and so materials like TPO, EPDM, and built-up roofing are employed here.

Residential roofs tend to have more options, particularly because the appearance of the roof is of greater importance. Homes can be built out of clay tiles, metal panels, or shingles. Shingles can be made of asphalt or wood, each of which can be broken down into different categories. For instance, there are different types of wooden shingles made of many types of natural wood. There are also different formations of asphalt shingles, like architectural and 3-tab.

Operating Life Spans

The operating life span of a roof refers to the recommended amount of time between roof repair or replacement services. For the most part, commercial roofing systems tend to last longer. This is due to the features of the building on which they’re installed, and the materials used. Residential roofing materials like wooden or asphalt shingles tend to be more fragile and don’t last as long. At the same time, slate and metal residential roofs may rival their commercial counterparts in terms of longevity.

The longer you wait for ordinary inspections or maintenance, the more likely you are to have to pay for expensive roof leak repair, partial or total replacement, and other very expensive services. This applies to both commercial and residential roofs, so no matter what type of roof you have, it’s important to follow the roofing contractor’s service span recommendations.


Flat roofs must be built to accommodate drainage needs. While pitched roofs handle their own drainage, allowing moisture to slide down into gutter systems, flat roofs aren’t as fortunate. While some residences have flat roofs — and contemporary architectural design trends are making these increasingly common — commercial roofs are far more likely to have a flat or low-slope design.

Residential roofs also tend to have more varied roofs with multiple different heights, slopes, and pitches, whereas commercial roofs tend to be slightly more straightforward.

Whatever type of property you have or roof type you’re interested in, it’s important to trust a professional team for your roofing needs. If you need roofing repairs, new construction, or roof replacement in Buckhead, contact Superior Roofing Company of Georgia.