Residential Roofing Murfreesboro TN
January 26, 2019

Common Commercial Roofing Materials: Advantages and Disadvantages

Commercial roofs must be primarily functional and durable enough to keep the structure it covers dry, but there are many options to choose from when deciding on the type of roof or material used. We put together a list of some of the many types of materials used for commercial roofing, and the advantages to each.


EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing. Essentially, it is rubber roofing. EPDM’s tough, resilient material makes it very durable and long-lasting. Many EPDM roofs will last up to 20 years.  It is lightweight, making it easy to install and maintain, and will likely cost less than other types of commercial roofing. Unfortunately, EPDM roofing does absorb heat quickly due to its dark color. It may also be more prone to damage from environmental events such as hail storms. EPDM can be used for flat or sloped roofs.


Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is another very durable roofing material. Like EPDM, it is lightweight, but white colored TPO roofing does a better job reflecting heat and resisting UV rays. It is a generally inexpensive material, and its seams are reliable because they can be heat-welded instead of adhered with adhesives. This helps to greatly reduce leaks. TPO roofing is not fire-resistant and can be prone to cracking if the material shrinks.


SPF stands for spray polyurethane foam. This material is a form of liquid plastic that expands and becomes solid when sprayed out onto a surface. This is an eco-friendly option for commercial roofing since it does not require much stripping of the original roof. It can withstand any type of climate and, when properly installed and cared for, can last for over 50 years. This type of roofing material is completely seamless, meaning fewer leaks, since seams are the most common area where leaks occur. Be sure you are using a trusted roofer, because SPF can be tricky to apply correctly.

Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic coatings are an advancement that is preferable to petroleum-based roof coatings. They can be applied to many roof types including metal and are often preferred to a total replacement. Acrylic coatings are non-flammable and do not emit any toxic fumes into the environment. Its best qualities include being seamless, water-tight, and fully adhered. The material is very heat reflective, keeping anyone inside the building below cool and comfortable and increasing air conditioning efficiency.

Green Roofs

This is a relatively newer type of roof, and it is exactly what the name sounds like. A green roof is covered in soil and vegetation – like a garden or park atop the roof. These environmentally friendly, beautiful roofs are able to absorb water and put it to use, potentially reducing the need for complex drainage systems, provide natural insulation, and even improve air quality.  

Dowell Roofing wants to secure your bid to be your commercial roofing contractor. We are knowledgeable and experienced, and know the best materials to meet your specific roofing needs.

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Residential Roofing Solutions Murfreesboro TN

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