Differences between Residential and Commercial Roofing

july 20TH, 2020 UPDATED 1:00PM CT
Differences between Residential and Commercial Roofing - San Antonio, TX - 02

Most of us know the difference between residential and commercial properties. Residential properties are those properties for single-family homes and can include anywhere from one to four-unit residences. Commercial properties include anything with more than five units. Most offices and apartment buildings are classified as commercial properties. But what is the difference between residential and commercial roofing in San Antonio? Today we’ll talk more about this topic, taking a look at the types of materials, designs, and differences between each.

Design of Residential Roofing vs. Commercial Roofing

One of the first major differences between commercial and residential roofing is in the design. While both residential and commercial roofing comes in a variety of different styles and designs, commercial roofs tend to be much larger and flatter than residential roofs. Commercial roofs tend to have an entirely flat roof or a small slope, while residential roofs can have steeper slopes. The reason for this is because most commercial properties are larger than residential properties, so they design the roof to support that.

Flatter roofing tends to require more repairs than sloped roofing. For this reason, commercial properties often require more maintenance and are more costly to withhold. They also tend to have a shorter lifespan and require replacement more than residential property roofing.

Materials used in Residential vs. Commercial Roofing

Another major difference between residential and commercial roofing in San Antonio is the type of materials used. The type of materials in each of these will depend on numerous factors, including the type of roof, the size of the roof, and the common weather patterns in the area.

Some of the most popular commercial roofing materials consist of:

Built-up Roofing Membrane

Also referred to as BUR, Built-up roofing membrane is your standard tar-and-gravel roof. This type of roofing is often used on low slopes and with multiple layers. Built-up roofing membrane is tough and durable, but also cost-effective.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing can be made from many different types of metal, including copper, aluminum, galvanized steel, tin, lead, and zinc, or a combination of these. This is one of the most popular materials for commercial roofing because there are so many different options available. Metal roofing is strong and durable but is susceptible to rust.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen roofing is layered, much like Built-up roofing membranes. They are added as two-ply systems and help to stabilize and protect the roofing deck. Modified Bitumen Roofing offers the benefit of easy maintenance and upholds better than other roofing types when exposed to a lot of foot traffic.

Thermoset Roof Membrane

Sometimes referred to as EPDM roofing San Antonio, they make thermoset roofing membrane from a single-ply rubber material. It is durable, long-lasting, and versatile. It is also easy to install and maintain.

Green Roofing

As we become more and more aware of our effect on the environment, green roofing becomes a more and more popular option. Many commercial properties are choosing green roofs not only for their eco-friendly benefits but also because they can help to improve energy efficiency. Green roofing in San Antonio is very versatile and is usable on a variety of different property types.

Some of the most popular residential roofing materials consist of:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles are the most popular type of residential roofing material. They are on over 75% of residential homes in the United States. This type of roofing is very versatile and can last up to 30 years. It’s not the longest-lasting of all roofing materials, but it is the most affordable, which is why it is the most popular.

Wooden Shingles

Wooden shingles are a popular shingle choice for residential properties like cabins, cottages, and bungalows. They give a property a desired rustic look. There are a variety of different types of wood, including redwood, pine, cedar, and cypress, that are usable in wooden shingles. Each type of wood comes with its own benefits. Wooden shingles have a longer lifespan than asphalt shingles but are also more expensive.


Tiling is a roofing material that has been around for a long time. It can be made from clay, concrete, or fiber cement. Tiling is strong and durable, and in most cases, also lightweight. It can last up to 50 years or more.

Metal Roofing

Just as metal roofing is a popular choice for commercial properties, it is also a popular choice for residential properties. Metal roofing is versatile and can look like other roofing materials, including shingles, shakes, and tiles. It is durable and lasts 50 or more years.

Slate Roofing

Slate is one of the most durable of all residential roofing materials. It lasts upwards of 60 years, meaning if you choose a slate roof, you probably won’t have to replace it again in your lifetime. Slate roofing is also a green and eco-friendly option, but it is one of the most expensive roofing types you can buy.

If you aren’t sure which type of roofing material is the best for your property, contact a local roofing company. A roofing contractor will be able to discuss your different options, taking important factors into account. When choosing a roofing material, you need to consider things like durability, weather resistance, and support. Commercial roofing may need to consider other factors like ventilation and air conditioning.

Maintenance difference between residential and commercial properties

Another difference between commercial and residential roofing in San Antonio is the amount of maintenance required to keep it up. Because residential properties are much smaller than commercial properties, it only makes sense that they are easier to upkeep. Commercial roofing covers more square footage and therefore requires more maintenance. For example, keeping the gutters clean is a simple job in a residential property but may take more time and manpower for a commercial property.

Not only are residential roofs easier to maintain because they are smaller in square footage, but also because they are easier to scan for damages. Commercial properties generally require someone climbing on the roof, whereas most residential damages can be visible from the ground.

Installation and cost differences between residential and commercial properties

There are many differences between residential and commercial properties when it comes to roofing. With that being said, by far, the biggest difference between the two is the difficulty of installation and the cost of installation. Commercial roofing covers more square footage and requires more materials and manpower than residential roofing. It also requires more protective equipment, especially if the roof is on top of a tall building. For this reason, you can expect commercial roofing to cost significantly more than residential roofing. This is true regardless of what type of material you choose.

Whether you are considering the installation of residential or commercial roofing in San Antonio, it’s important that you speak with a reputable contractor. A roofing contractor will be able to discuss the different options available to you based on your property type and style. They will also be able to help you compare different materials and help you select a material and design that works with both your preferences and budget.

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McAllen Valley Roofing Co.

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5828 Sebastian Pl, Suite 102 San Antonio, TX 78249

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