Commercial and Residential Roofing Systems: How Do They Differ?

Commercial and Residential Roofing Systems: How Do They Differ?

Commercial and Residential roofs both serve the same important purpose; to protect the valuable interior beneath it, but these two buildings are more different in their structure and needs then you'd think. These two roofs are the ultimate case of "don’t judge a book by its cover." 

What are the main differences?
Probably the most obvious difference between a Commercial roof and a Residential roof are the size and shape. A Commercial roof has a much larger surface area and is typically low sloped or completely flat. Residential roofs can also be flat or low sloped, but a large majority have peaks and are much smaller in length and width than, say, a warehouse. resize 23

Other differences include the materials used to cover these structures. Most modern Residential homes are covered with asphalt shingles, slates or tiles, flat roofs are typically covered with one of a multitude of material options, such as, TPO, EPDM, PVC, Foam, silicone, Tar and Gravel (the list is long) to water-proof the roof and prevent damage to the underlying structure. A Commercial roof has to be much more sturdy than a Residential roof because they see much more foot traffic.

Commercial roofs are typically home to large A/C Systems that are very heavy and require special support and resize 26maintenance. This requires the roof to be walked on often to ensure these large machines are in good working condition. Residential roofs are never home to large A/C units, they are typically placed somewhere on the ground level of the property.

There are also small differences, such as the drainage systems of a commercial building vs a residential home. A Residential home should have a gutter or scupper system in place to help wick water away from the building, a commercial building requires a special drainage solutions due to their low slope and size. There are different drainage solutions out there that work best depending on the building and materials used. An experienced Roofing Contractor, like the professionals at C & J Roofing Co., Inc., will be able to tell you which will work best, and find ways to improve drainage for the building.

Maintenance Needs:
One thing both of these roofs have in common is their need for general maintenance. Residential needs are typically scheduled by the homeowner annually - bi-annually and resize 24 4consist of a professional roofer examining the roof to find obvious areas of concern, such as clogged gutters, failing flashing, rusted chimney pans, missing shingles etc... ultimately leading to their correction and repair. Commercial roofs require a bit more attention, they should be walked regularly to look for any possible areas of trouble. Due to the size of the roof there is more area for things to go wrong, if any signs of wear and tear are found, repairs should be made immediately. Preventative maintenance is crucial for a Commercial roof to remain in optimal condition. 


Here at C & J Roofing Co., Inc. we're passionate about all roofs and keeping them in prime working condition. If you're in need of a Residential or Commercial roof inspection, give our office a call today @ (650) 583-5998 for more information on scheduling.