Knowing the kinds of commercial roofing systems and services available is crucial to making the right decision for your next building project. We’re going to cover some of the most common roofing systems available on the commercial marketing: what they are, what they’re good for, and what they’ll cost you. This is meant to be an overview, and if you have questions about a specific roofing service you don’t see answered here, feel free to reach out. We’re always available to discuss your options. 

Looking for commercial roofing services as a business owner or building manager? Some of those services can include installing a new roof. Here’s what you can choose from.

Types of Roof Materials

Modern building practices can make use of a wide range of materials. With so many options available, it’s important to know the ins and outs of each option. This list will help you get to know each type of roof material at a glance when working with a professional roofing contractor.


What is it: Built-up roofing or “BUR” membrane is a time-tested roofing system consisting of multiple layers of asphalt ply sheets topped by gravel. This is a tough and cost-effective solution for many commercial and industrial roofs. 

Who is it good for: Anyone with a low-slope or flat roofing systems roof who wants a durable, cost-effective system. 

Cost estimate: BUR is a classic, simple roofing system and one of the very cheapest on the market.


What is it: Metal roofing systems use panels made of copper, tin, steel, or another metal.

Who is it good for: Contractors who want a cost-effective, durable roofing material with an attractive range of finishes. 

Cost estimate: While not the very cheapest option on the market, metal roofing can be very low-cost depending on the type of metal used.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roofing is another popular option for commercial flat roofing or low-slope roofs, and is similar to BUR. It uses additional components to create a longer-lasting, asphalt-based roofing membrane. These membranes are applied in either single- or double-ply arrangements. 

What is it: Modified bitumen is made primarily of asphalt that has been modified with a rubber or plastic polymer and strengthened with fiberglass. These three materials make a cost-effective and durable compound.

How is Modified Bitumen Applied?

Modified bitumen is applied in sheets that are rolled across the roof and usually heat-adhered. This can be done in double-ply or single-ply applications, with double-ply offering better performance at a higher price point than single-ply. 

Who is it good for: Contractors who want the benefits of BUR with a longer-lasting option. 

Cost estimate: Modified bitumen is a low-cost roofing option, with single-ply applications running thousands less expensive than double-ply.

Thermoset Roof

What is it: Thermoset roofing is a type of membrane made of synthetic rubber. 

Who is it good for: Contractors who want an easy-to-install, insulative membrane that will stand up to extreme weather for a long time. 

Cost estimate: Thermoset roof coatings are a fairly cost-effective option, usually running between $4.00 and $7 per square foot, although the price can get higher in some cases. 

Green Roofing

What is it: A green roof is a roofing system that uses live plant cover to offer several benefits. These roofs are beautiful, and also offer insulative and air-purifying advantages in addition to other benefits.

Who is it good for: Green roofs are one of the most beautiful and environmentally-friendly options available for commercial building projects that prioritize these features. 

Cost estimate: Green roofs are still new and take a lot of specialized labor to install and maintain, so they’re one of the more expensive options listed here.

Roof Repair or Recovering

What is it: Commercial roof restoration refers to adding an additional layer to an existing roof, or replacing the roof covering and repairing any underlying damage. These options are done as alternatives to replacing the entire roofing system. 

Who is it good for: Anyone who wants to get more life out of an existing roof should look to commercial roof replacement services. 

Cost estimate: While the cost of recovering or repairing a roof is almost always lower than the cost of roof replacement, it still ranges greatly on a case-by-case basis.



What Makes a Good Roofing Subcontractor?

Sometimes contractors may feel like they’re conducting an orchestra. It can take a lot of subcontractors, roof installers, and vendors together together at the right times for a job to get done. But if they don’t come together, or they don’t do it in time, it’s the contractor that looks bad. This is why it’s important to build strong relationships with partners you can trust. 

Good roofing subcontractors will have certain qualities you should look for. They’ll have a history of satisfied customers. They’ll have years of experience in the industry. They’ll have a clean safety record. These are some of the ways you can safely assume they’ll have your back. 

Walco is Your Partner in Commercial Roofing

Good partners help contractors find the solutions that will work best for them, and they do it on time, and within budget. At Walco, we develop long-standing relationships with our vendors so we can offer the best commercial roofing and cladding solutions possible to contractors. If you need a commercial roofing partner that will always find a solution, no matter the obstacles, we’re here for you. Get in touch today and let’s find out how we can help.

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