Thanks to their low slopes, commercial flat roofing systems are leak-prone. That’s why it’s important to choose a commercial roofing material that can withstand constant wear and tear. Single-ply and built-up roofing (BUR) membranes are two of the most popular commercial roofing materials on the market today.
Which is better: single-ply or BUR roofing?
Single-ply roofing membranes are made of rubber and are installed either by being chemically attached to your roof’s insulation or ballasted. There are two types of single-ply roofing: Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) and Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO). EPDM is best suited to buildings in areas that experience frequent hailstorms—hailstones bounce off EPDM’s synthetic rubber surface, reducing the force of impact. TPO, on the other hand, is more suited to sunny areas—TPO roofing’s white surface reflects heat, preventing heat gain and reducing cooling costs. In terms of longevity, EPDM roofing systems usually last 25 to 30 years while TPO roofing membranes have a slightly shorter lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
BUR roofing, or tar and gravel roofing, is made of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforced fabric and comes in three-, four-, or five-ply varieties. The outer roofing layer, which is composed of rock or stone, protects the underlayers from UV rays, extreme temperatures, and wind damage. A significant advantage of BUR roofing is that it lacks seams, which are considered as the weak point of a conventional roofing system.
Having trouble choosing the right roofing material for your commercial or residential roof replacement? Consult a professional roofing contractor.
Looking for experienced roofers in your area?
Sully Jones Roofing, a company with over six decades of experience in the roofing industry, offers a wide range of professional roofing services, including roof repair and replacement services. To schedule a free roof inspection, call us at (619) 312-4018 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in La Mesa, CA, as well as the surrounding communities.