Commercial Roof Types in the Chicago Area

 

 


Chicago-area businesses often have one of six different commercial roofing types. These roofs are built by the needs of the building and the overall budget of the building owner. The health of the roof will ultimately play an integral role in the health of the building as well, so it’s important to choose the right commercial roof type to protect against the surrounding environment, weather, and other extraneous variables.

Learn more about the six different commercial roof types with NIR below to get a better idea of which option is best for your building and your budget.

In this article we will cover:

  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane
  • Green Roofing
  • Metal Roofing
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing
  • Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane
  • Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane

Built-Up Roofing Membrane

A popular commercial roof type is Built-Up Roofing (also known as BUR). This is your standard tar-and-gravel roof that is built with multiple layers for ideal protection. A benefit of this roofing type is that the number of layers can be varied to help with control costs or meet certain durability requirements. While this commercial roof type is older, it’s still one of the most cost-effective and tougher roofing systems available in the Rockford-area today.

Green Roofing

Green roofing is a popular option for Crystal Lake businesses that want to save on cooling their buildings during the warm summer months. What makes a roof “green”? Most green roofs use either reflective material, gravel, insulation, or solar power systems to absorb or reflect sunlight away from the building – overall lowering cooling costs. While they offer a sustainable option for commercial roofing properties, a consultation should be done by a commercial roofer near you before you settle on a green roof. Businesses in northern climates may not always benefit from the cost savings associated with a green roof. This is because northern climates may have colder days more often than warmer days, offsetting the potential energy savings.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is another popular option for Schaumburg businesses. Not only does it help prevent ice dams from forming, but the metal roofs can be made from many different kinds of materials, such as:

  • Aggregates of zinc, aluminum, and silicon-coated steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Lead
  • Metal tile sheets
  • Stainless steel
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Tin

Metal roofs have high fire resistance ratings and their reflective nature makes them another great way to save on cooling costs in the summer months. While they are susceptible to rusting, protective surface layers are added to manage these environmental dangers.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen Roofing is a close cousin to the Built-Up Roofing system. An asphalt-based reinforced roof fabric is layered over the roof for ultimate protection. Because of its unique design, this roofing type offers enhanced tensile strength compared to other flat roof types in the Joliet area. This means that if you experience regular foot traffic on your commercial building roof, modified bitumen may be the best option for your needs. Modified Bitumen Roofing is one of the most trusted roofing systems on the commercial roof market today due to its tough design and easy maintenance.

Thermoplastic Roof Membrane

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing is lightweight, highly reflective, and provides excellent resistance to UV light, punctures, tears, and many chemicals – including animal fats, oils, and bacteria. It also provides a high-temperature tolerance and resistance to fire and high winds. All of these benefits make Thermoplastic Roof Membranes ideal for restaurants and other businesses that emit oils or fats from their ventilation systems.

Thermoset Roof Membrane

A Thermoset Roof Membrane – also known as EPDM – offers long-lasting versatility and durability to Huntley area businesses. EPDM roofs have a strong resistance to UV light and ozone and are typically constructed from a single-ply rubber material. Coupled with their simple installation and easy maintenance, EPDM roofs also have excellent flexibility in colder temperatures, resistance to acids, solvents, and alcohol, and sometimes come with reflective properties that help lower cooling costs in the summer months. This unique roofing type is an affordable option for Joliet-area businesses that will last for many years – even with the unpredictable Chicagoland weather.

Chicago-area businesses often have one of six different commercial roofing types. These roofs are built by the needs of the building and the overall budget of the building owner. The health of the roof will ultimately play an integral role in the health of the building as well, so it’s important to choose the right commercial roof type to protect against the surrounding environment, weather, and other extraneous variables.

Learn more about the six different commercial roof types with NIR below to get a better idea of which option is best for your building and your budget.

In this article we will cover:

  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane
  • Green Roofing
  • Metal Roofing
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing
  • Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane
  • Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane

Built-Up Roofing Membrane

A popular commercial roof type is Built-Up Roofing (also known as BUR). This is your standard tar-and-gravel roof that is built with multiple layers for ideal protection. A benefit of this roofing type is that the number of layers can be varied to help with control costs or meet certain durability requirements. While this commercial roof type is older, it’s still one of the most cost-effective and tougher roofing systems available in the Rockford-area today.

Green Roofing

Green roofing is a popular option for Crystal Lake businesses that want to save on cooling their buildings during the warm summer months. What makes a roof “green”? Most green roofs use either reflective material, gravel, insulation, or solar power systems to absorb or reflect sunlight away from the building – overall lowering cooling costs. While they offer a sustainable option for commercial roofing properties, a consultation should be done by a commercial roofer near you before you settle on a green roof. Businesses in northern climates may not always benefit from the cost savings associated with a green roof. This is because northern climates may have colder days more often than warmer days, offsetting the potential energy savings.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is another popular option for Schaumburg businesses. Not only does it help prevent ice dams from forming, but the metal roofs can be made from many different kinds of materials, such as:

  • Aggregates of zinc, aluminum, and silicon-coated steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Lead
  • Metal tile sheets
  • Stainless steel
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Tin

Metal roofs have high fire resistance ratings and their reflective nature makes them another great way to save on cooling costs in the summer months. While they are susceptible to rusting, protective surface layers are added to manage these environmental dangers.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen Roofing is a close cousin to the Built-Up Roofing system. An asphalt-based reinforced roof fabric is layered over the roof for ultimate protection. Because of its unique design, this roofing type offers enhanced tensile strength compared to other flat roof types in the Joliet area. This means that if you experience regular foot traffic on your commercial building roof, modified bitumen may be the best option for your needs. Modified Bitumen Roofing is one of the most trusted roofing systems on the commercial roof market today due to its tough design and easy maintenance.

Thermoplastic Roof Membrane

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing is lightweight, highly reflective, and provides excellent resistance to UV light, punctures, tears, and many chemicals – including animal fats, oils, and bacteria. It also provides a high-temperature tolerance and resistance to fire and high winds. All of these benefits make Thermoplastic Roof Membranes ideal for restaurants and other businesses that emit oils or fats from their ventilation systems.

Thermoset Roof Membrane

A Thermoset Roof Membrane – also known as EPDM – offers long-lasting versatility and durability to Huntley area businesses. EPDM roofs have a strong resistance to UV light and ozone and are typically constructed from a single-ply rubber material. Coupled with their simple installation and easy maintenance, EPDM roofs also have excellent flexibility in colder temperatures, resistance to acids, solvents, and alcohol, and sometimes come with reflective properties that help lower cooling costs in the summer months. This unique roofing type is an affordable option for Joliet-area businesses that will last for many years – even with the unpredictable Chicagoland weather.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Commercial Roofing Types

As with commercial roof types, there are many different types of commercial roofing styles as well. Depending on the roof type your business has, the roofing materials you can choose from may be limited. We’ll go over the three most common types of roofs below, along with their advantages and disadvantages:

Flat Roofs

  • The most common type of commercial roofing is found in Chicagoland and across the country.
  • Advantages: Easy to install and require fewer materials than sloped or pitches roofs, meaning owners can save on building costs. Flat roofs also make the installation of roof-top solar panels, satellite dishes, heating, and cooling systems, and other systems easier and safer.
  • Disadvantages: Flat roofs offer poor drainage, which can lead to water spots and potential leaking. Snow build-up is also a problem in the winter months. This can be easily prevented when you get a roof maintenance plan with NIR, however.
  • Types of roofing materials available: Rubber rolled roofing, EPDM, PVC, TPO, bitumen, modified bitumen, and built-up roofing.

Low Sloped Roofs

  • Low sloped roofs have a slight pitch in them for water runoff. They’re often found in factories, warehouses, apartment buildings, and other industrial buildings.
  • Advantages: Low-sloped roofs allow for easy water drainage which will prevent water spots and potential leaking and roof damage. They’re also safer to work on than pitched roofs. Commercial roof repair and maintenance are easy to perform as well, and roof-top systems can also be easily installed.
  • Disadvantages: Heavy snow that settles on sloped roofs can add stress to the roof and the overall building. Building codes for low-sloped roofs are also strict and must be adhered to carefully.
  • Types of roofing materials available: Rubber rolled roofing, EPDM, PVC, TPO, bitumen, modified bitumen, and built-up roofing.

Pitched Roofs

  • Pitched roofs are most commonly used on residential homes, but they can still be found on some commercial buildings or alongside flat and low-sloped roofs. 
  • Advantages: Water and snow accumulation is a non-issue for pitched roofs, meaning there’s less concern for water damage.
  • Disadvantages: Pitched roofs are more difficult to maintain due to the need for extra safety precautions. Roofing systems like heating/cooling, solar panels, and others can be installed, but it’s often not recommended. Ice dams can also be an issue if proper care isn’t taken to prevent them.
  • Types of roofing materials available: Tiles, slates, asphalt shingles. Other materials may also be available, but it’s best to contact commercial roofers near you for a professional recommendation.

NIR Roof Care Plans

Now that you have a better idea of the common commercial roof types in the Chicago area are, get a roofing quote when you explore the different NIR Roof care plans! A NIR Roof Care Plan is the number one preventative maintenance solution for your commercial roof. With a variety of plans available, you’ll have no issue finding the plan that best fits your needs and budget. See the different roof care plans we have available below:

Find Commercial Roofers Near You at NIR!

There are many different commercial roof types for you to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Find the right commercial roof type for your business when you get a roofing quote from the team at NIR! We’ll help you find the right materials and design for your roof while setting you up on a maintenance plan that will fit your needs and your budget. You can even download our app for on-demand roof care service. Contact us today, we look forward to hearing from you!