Residential Roofing vs Commercial Roofing

Even though all roofs essentially have the same purpose, there are numerous distinctions between commercial roofing and residential roofing.

Time to read:
6 Minutes
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Roofs are used to top off and cover structures to protect the contents inside from pests and the weather. Even though all roofs essentially have the same purpose, not all roofing jobs are the same. There are numerous distinctions between commercial and residential roofs.

In this article, we’ll go over the difference. Check out also how Roofr can help you streamline your roofing process.

Commercial roofing vs. residential

Before we examine the significant differences, let's look at what residential and commercial roofing are. 

Residential roofing is a sort of roofing that applies to structures meant for human living, specifically residences or homes. Residential homes usually have little to worry about in terms of design, and are easy to maintain, repair, and replace.

Meanwhile, commercial roofing is usually done for businesses. This type of roofing typically has a low slope and can be relatively large, with flat roofs that typically necessitate more upkeep and repairs. A commercial roof's design considers a few additional elements, such as the weight of machinery stored on the roof and the requirement to cover a more extensive area. 

Here are the main distinctions between residential and commercial roofing.

  1. Roofing materials

For residential and commercial roofs, the materials used can differ depending on the design, pricing, and climate.

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used materials for residential homes. Installation is easy and affordable.

Typically, residential roofs are constructed by attaching plywood to timber rafters to form the surface. An underlayment for protection is then installed before laying down tiles or shingles.

Flat commercial roofs are not ideal alternatives for ordinary residential roofing materials. Tar/gravel, bitumen, sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF), single-ply coatings, or other commercial roofing systems are frequently used to cover them.

A commercial roof comprises several layers: insulation, decking, and coating. The precise layering can depend greatly on the exact type of roofing used.

Commercial roofing materials have far more alternatives than residential roofing materials.

  1. Roof design

The most noticeable distinction between residential and commercial roofing is their design.

The slope of a commercial roof is typically very low or fully flat. These roofs are commonly found in warehouses, shops, and restaurants. Since heavy items like huge HVAC blowers and industrial pipelines are housed on its surface, they’re designed with the expectation of sturdiness.

In contrast, a residential roof's pitch is steeper. Although they’re built with the capability to house solar panels, chimneys, vent stacks, and skylights, they don’t require as much consideration when it comes to sturdiness (relatively, at least).

  1. Maintenance 

While both residential and commercial roofs require upkeep, the methods to do so differ. 

Residential roofs require less care because they have less square footage. As a result, a homeowner is unlikely to plan regular maintenance or inspections of their residential roof, especially if there are no signs of leaks or other concerns.

On the other hand, commercial roofs necessitate routine maintenance to avoid damage caused by heavy foot traffic, aging, or weather. To correctly evaluate the condition of the roof, the inspection process must be conducted by a skilled roofing contractor.

  1. Roof repair and installation

Commercial and residential properties have different repair and installation needs. 

A commercial roof, for example, may take at least a month to build due to its sheer size. On the other hand, a residential roof can be completed in a matter of days due to its more straightforward construction.

Commercial roof repairs can be a costly undertaking. When water penetrates the strata of a commercial roof, the entire structure must be evaluated. It could be as simple as mending one roof area, or as complex as performing extensive repairs and having to reapply layers to a large portion of the roof. A minor leak can quickly add up in cost.

Leaks on a residential roof are often found in isolated areas, usually due to shingles or flashing coming loose. This can typically be rectified in a matter of a few hours. Of course, leaks might signify severe issues with a residential roof. However, localized leaks caused by minor faults are more common.

Commercial and residential roofers have different skill sets. If you’re a commercial roofer, you’ll need to be well-versed in the many material options used and how to repair and mend them all. Residential roofers operate on a more generalized skill set. They work primarily with shingle roofs (usually asphalt), which require fundamental abilities compared to commercial roofs.

  1. Roofing services

Customers on the lookout for roofing services will almost always check to see if a business possesses the right expertise to meet their needs, which can vary depending on if the client is getting commercial and residential roofing done.

For example, customers looking for commercial roofing services would likely check if a company has experience dealing with chimneys and other structures like building around smokestacks, HVAC systems, and external pipes.

Meanwhile, for residential roofs, things like solar shingle installation have become a popular choice for many homeowners. Chimneys may impede installation, so it’s important to customers to find a roofer who knows how to work around chimneys.

Choose Roofr to streamline your roofing sales process

Convincing prospective customers to use your services can be a long and arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be. Technological solutions like Roofr streamline the sales process so you can focus on what’s important.

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