The Difference between Commercial and Residential Roofing - Blog Longhorn
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The Difference between Commercial and Residential Roofing


The Difference between Commercial and Residential Roofing

Knowing the difference between commercial and residential roofs allows homeowners to pick the best roof system for their home. Professional roofing services classify commercial and residential roofs by design, not the building’s purpose. Just living in a building doesn’t make its roof residential. Residential roofs are also known as steep slope roofs, and are as important for aesthetics as they are for function. Their pitch helps protect against weather damage. On the other hand, commercial roofs are low slope roofs that are usually but not always, found on commercial buildings. Low slope roofs require waterproof materials and careful installation. Understanding what your roof is classified as and why, enables you to find the right roofing service for your needs.

Commercial and Low Slope Roofs

When working with commercial roofing the roofs have a slope less than or equal to fourteen degrees, and are considered walkable. For businesses, a flat roof can be superior for several reasons. It’s easier to install air conditioning units if desired. Flat roofs are also cheaper to install, as their components are less expensive. Lastly, if the building is considered very large, creating a highly sloped roof would be impractical from a construction standpoint; they would have to add a lot of “wasted” space to the height of the building. Some houses, particularly those in very arid climates, do use commercial roofing systems to avoid the expense of a steep slope roof.

Commercial roofs don’t have the same water shedding structure as residential roofs. This has to be done carefully, so that the roof is waterproof. Impermeable weather membranes are installed under a commercial roof’s surface to protect the structure. A low slope roof doesn’t have the same structural drainage as a steep slope roof, where gravity pulls water off the roof. Emergency roof repair is more common for commercial roofs because any flaw in their waterproofing can allow water damage to the structure.

Residential and Steep Slope Roofs

Steep slope roofs are common on residential buildings. They typically have a slope greater than fourteen degrees. There are many structural reasons for this, starting with the ability of the roof to shed water. A steep slope directs rain down without relying as heavily on drains and gutters. In cold climates, peaked roofs are a necessity as they prevent heavy snowfall from piling up and stressing the building. In these climates, it’s more common to find businesses with “residential” roofing installed for safety.

Residential roofing is often seen as the more aesthetically pleasing option for roofs. The variety of roofing materials used on steep slope roofs, from natural wooden shakes to fiberglass shingles to polymer tiles and even more options, allow a homeowner to customize the look of their home. These types of roofing materials are often easier to replace than a commercial roofing material. As the structure of the roof does some work to divert water, less damage occurs immediately to a residential roof if shingles are damaged or missing. Emergency roof repair for steep slope roofs is often less extensive if the damage is caught early. Despite these advantages, residential roofing installation is an expensive process, as the materials and labor cost more than commercial roofing counterparts did.

Once you know how your roof is classified by professional roofing services, you can find a service to fit your needs. Homeowners looking to build or replace their roofs can consult professionals in their chosen roof design. For cost effective, space saving designs, commercial roofing is the better fit. Residential roofing costs less in emergency roof repairs, is valued for its aesthetics, and provides a water shedding design to divert water from your home.

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