Berwald Roofing Inc

Full-Service Roofing, Wall Panel, and Sheet Metal Company in North Saint Paul, MN

4 Types of Commercial Roofing Systems and Their Advantages

Commercial Roofing Systems

If you’re a business owner who is thinking about building or reroofing your own commercial building, you need to make many decisions. The roofing system you choose is one of the most important decisions.

A commercial roof protects the entire building from the elements. The insulation inside a roofing system also helps to keep the building energy efficient. Not only does the right roofing system add structural integrity to the building, it keeps personnel inside the building safe and comfortable.

In order to help you determine the best kind of roof for your commercial building, here are four types of commercial roofing systems and their advantages.

1. Single Ply Membrane

If your commercial building is going to be flat or low-sloped, you may want to consider a single-ply membrane roofing system. This type of roofing system is made from a single layer of high-tech roofing material.

A single-ply membrane roofing system gets attached in one of three ways, which include being firmly attached with adhesive, getting mechanically attached with special fastening plates, or using a ballasted system that involves a layer of aggregate or pavers that keep the membrane in place.

Materials for single-ply membrane roofs include:

  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

In general, the advantages of single-ply membrane roofs made from any of the above materials is that they perform well in climates with drastic weather changes, they are easy to install, and are economically feasible.

2. Standing Seam Metal Roofing

This type of commercial roofing system uses interlocking panels that are placed vertically from the top of the roof down to the edge. Each panel consists of a tall seam that connects to the next panel, giving the appearance that the seam is in a heightened position.

Standing seam metal roofs have a unique look and come in a variety of colors. For these reasons, this type of roofing system is becoming very popular. Besides its aesthetically pleasing appearance, other advantages of standing seam metal roofing include:

  • This type of roof is very durable and can easily withstand high winds
  • It is resistant to many things including fire, mildew, and insects
  • Some lighter colors reflect heat from the sun, which helps make the building more energy efficient

One more advantage of a standing seam metal roofing system is that it easily sheds snow, which is important during Minnesota’s snowy winters. If the roofing system is made with dark-colored panels, it will help the snow to melt.

3. Sloped Roofing System

Sloped roofing systems are roofs that aren’t flat. Instead, they usually either have a low-slope or a steep-slope, depending on the amount of slant. A steeped-slop roof is also called a pitched roof. Warehouses and industrial buildings usually have a low-sloped roof. Steep-sloped roofs are more common for houses, but some commercial buildings prefer this type of roof.

Sloped roofing systems are made with a variety of materials including metal, tile, slate, cedar shakes, or shingles. Whether you want a roof with a low slope or a steep one, some of the advantages of this type of roofing system include:

  • Provides more than adequate runoff for both snow and rain.
  • Reduces the chance of mold and mildew by allowing liquid and debris roll off more easily.
  • Requires less maintenance and repairs.

Low-sloped roofs also have the added benefit of easier installation and safer working conditions.

4. Built-Up Roofing System

A built-up roofing system (BUR) is commonly called a tar and gravel roof. This type of roof consists of multiple layers made from bitumen and reinforcing fabrics called ply sheets. The bitumen is usually asphalt.

The surface of a built-up roof is made up of an aggregate, such as gravel. Another option for the entire surface is granulated cap sheet. Some advantages of a built-up roofing system include:

  • This type of roof has a proven track record; it’s been used for more than 100 years in the United States.
  • This style has a reduced chance of leaking because it’s practically waterproof.
  • The roof offers protection from fire and ultraviolet rays when gravel is used on the top surface.

A built-up roofing system typically lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 years. Some built-up roofs have been known to last for up to 40 years.

No matter what kind of roofing system you choose, the commercial roofing experts at Berwald Roofing & Sheet Metal can install, service, and help you maintain your roof. We have been providing roofing services to all of Minnesota since 1936. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a roofing system that suits the needs of your commercial building.


Trust Berwald Roofing, Minnesota's experts in roofing, sheet metal, and wall panels with your project, no matter the size.

2440 Charles, St N
Saint Paul, MN 55109

Phone: 651-777-7411

Fax: 651-777-1371