Oshkosh and Green Bay were just two cities in Wisconsin affected by severe thunderstorms with strong winds and large hail last year. Did your commercial building suffer roof damage? Are you concerned about how well your roofing system will hold up to this year’s weather?

The right roofing system materials help give your facilities the best possible protection from the elements. Before you have roofing work done, you want to be sure you’re choosing the best materials for your building.

Learn more about commercial roofing system materials and the advantages of each.

Tar and Gravel Roofing Systems

Tar and gravel is a type of built-up roofing (BUR). As the name suggests, a built-up roof consists of multiple layers.

You can choose the number of layers you want for your commercial roof system. Layers of tar or asphalt alternate with layers of reinforcing felt. The final layer of tar is covered with gravel or slag.

During the application process, all the roof layers fuse together. This creates a single, durable barrier.

Advantages of Tar and Gravel Roofing

Built-up roofing has many layers of protection. If damage occurs to the top layer, the lower layers will still work to protect the building underneath.

A built-up roof doesn’t need fasteners, so it has one less potential source for leaks. It’s resistant to impacts, UV rays, and fire. It can handle high roof traffic.

BUR is often the most economical option for flat roof systems.

Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems

Modified bitumen roofing is made of asphalt combined with polymerized rubber or plastic and reinforced with fiberglass. Modified bitumen comes in rolls as a membrane. Most applications need at least a base layer and a cap layer.

Advantages of Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is very durable and resistant to tearing. A modified bitumen roof can handle the very cold temperatures of Wisconsin winters. It maintains flexibility, which helps prevent cracks and leaks.

Modified bitumen gives you excellent waterproofing. It’s easy to install, maintain, and repair.

TPO Roofing Systems

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofing is one of several materials for single-ply roofing membranes. The membrane has three layers bonded together. It has two layers of thermoplastic with reinforced fabric between them.

TPO is a white, highly reflective membrane.

Advantages of TPO Roofing

TPO is a relatively low-cost material. It resists bacteria, debris, wind, fire, and UV rays. It can withstand punctures, tears, and impacts.

TPO is very flexible. This helps maintain the integrity of the roof as your building settles or shifts. The seams are welded with hot air, which makes the roofing system stronger.

Using TPO roofing can lower your utility costs in the summer. It reflects heat, which reduces your need for interior air conditioning.

EPDM Roofing Systems

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is another single-ply roofing material. You’ll hear it called thermoset roofing or rubber roofing. It’s a black, synthetic rubber membrane.

Advantages of EPDM

EPDM is extremely durable. Hail and other objects essentially bounce off. EPDM resists UV rays, fire, and severe weather.

Installing EPDM is easier than TPO because it doesn’t need welding. It’s also very lightweight. EPDM is recyclable, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice.

PVC Roofing Systems

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is the third material for single-ply roofing. It’s a synthetic polymer of plastic.

Like other single-ply membranes, PVC has three layers joined together. Two layers of PVC have a layer of polyester between them.

Advantages of PVC

PVC is very strong and durable. It has hot air welded seams like TPO, which makes a strong and watertight bond.

Unlike some other roofing system materials, PVC is highly resistant to damage from chemical exposure. It also resists fire, water, mold, bacteria, and high winds.

You can weld PVC to make a watertight seal with an adjoining sheet. You can weld a rib to PVC sheets to make them look like a metal roof.

PVC is white, so it reflects heat. You can save money on air conditioning in the summer.

Metal Roofing Systems

You can use several types of metal for a commercial roof system. Common materials include:

  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Copper

A standing seam metal roof has concealed fasteners. The seams are above the roof panels, so the fasteners don’t penetrate the panels. Other types of metal roofing systems use sealed exposed fasteners.

Advantages of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing systems are available in a variety of metals and colors. You have more design choices than with many other roofing materials.

Metal roofing has a life expectancy of up to 3x as long as other commercial roofing materials.

Metal roofing can withstand very strong winds. It won’t corrode or crack with seasonal weather changes. It’s resistant to fire, UV rays, moss, mildew, and fungus.

A metal roofing system is reflective and cools off quickly. You get better energy efficiency in the summer.

Roof Coatings for Commercial Roofing Systems

Different roof coating materials can restore your commercial roof system and extend its life. As flat roof systems age, they can become weathered. They may start to crack or leak.

Modern roof coating materials save you the time and expense of replacing the roof.

Elastomeric Coatings

An elastomeric coating starts as a liquid. It forms a flexible membrane over your existing roofing system. The most common types of elastomeric coating materials are acrylic, butyl, polyurethane, and silicone.

You can apply an elastomeric coating to metal roofs and many types of single-ply membrane roofing systems.

An elastomeric coating stops leaks and waterproofs the roofing system. It increases energy efficiency. A roof coating protects your roof, which extends its life.

Polyurethane Foam

A spray polyurethane foam (SPF) system goes on top of your existing roof. It’s a liquid that expands into a solid foam as it cures.

SPF forms a seamless waterproof barrier for your roofing system. It’s a very good insulator. An SPF system can enhance your building’s structural integrity.

Get the Most From Your Commercial Roofing System

The right roofing system materials will protect your facilities. They can reduce your energy bills and maintenance costs.

Qualified roofing specialists like Yutzy Roofing Service can help you choose the best type of commercial roofing system for your facility. We’ve been serving the state of Wisconsin since 1995.

No roofing project is too large or too small. Whether you need a new roof or a roof coating, Yutzy Roofing Service is dedicated to providing the best solution at a competitive price. Our roofing systems come with a full labor and material warranty for up to 20 years.

Get a free quote today and let’s start planning your roofing project.