4 Types of Popular Commercial Roofing Materials for Massachusetts Buildings


The demands of roofing a commercial building and those of a residential building are not necessarily the same. Some of the things you will need to put into consideration in roofing include how sloped the roof is, durability, maintenance requirements, energy efficiency, aesthetics, etc.


In this article, we will discuss the four types of popular commercial roofing materials for Massachusetts buildings. Before we go into the details, however, there are a few things we should address. Click here for more information about commercial roofing in MA.


You should know that each commercial building is unique in its way. While all materials discussed here top the list of the most used materials for Massachusetts commercial buildings, you may consider some other materials more suitable for your building, especially if your commercial building has many things in common with a residential building. Also, aesthetics is the least of our considerations, especially because that term is subjective.

Metal Roofing

Known for its incredible durability and long lifespan, the metal roofing option is one of the most loved materials because, when compared to many other roofing options, you’re not likely to repair or replace it. However, replacing the metal roof can be expensive. Metal is best suited for sloped roofs.


Metal roofing comes in varieties, with each alloy serving differently in terms of aesthetics, climates, and other features. Regardless of which alloy you go with, however, metal roofing is one of the most expensive commercial roofing materials used in Massachusetts.


It may interest you to know that, although expensive, metal roofing is one of the most environmentally friendly options you can go for. They are mostly made of recycled materials and the roofs themselves can be recycled.

TPO Roofing

If you’ve come across a roof with a bright white color, then there’s a chance it’s a TPO roofing. This material is one of the most used roofing options in big commercial facilities. An abbreviation for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, TPO is a single-ply roofing membrane made of a synthetic layer and reinforcing scrim. It is best suited for flat roofs.


It is also reputed for its awesome energy efficiency. Because of its white color, it does a good job at deflecting the sunrays, thereby saving you money on cooling. The downside of this property of TPO roofing is that it may not do well in cold climates and you may be spending more on energy costs for heating.


This roofing option hasn’t been around for long. However, the expected lifespan is between fifteen to twenty years; meaning that sooner replacement may be required. This, of course, can end up costing more over time.

EPDM Roofing

This roofing material is basically made of rubber. This is also used for flat roofs because it is a single-ply roofing option that is installed in sheets. The durability of EPDM roofing is quite impressive, with the expected lifespan between thirty and fifty years – the only roofing option with a longer life is the metal roofing. The surface of EPDM is black, making it do well in cold weather, where the priority is heat gain.


The first downside of this roofing option is that it performs poorly, especially in warm climates. Due to the rubber with which it is made, it is prone to expansion and tear in the heat, and can be easily struck with water damage. Also, intense UV light can degrade EPDM. The good side is that it is affordable, costing about the same thing as TPO.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

This roofing material option is sometimes called the tar-and-gravel roofing. While it may not be considered one of the most aesthetically appealing roofing materials, it is incredibly functional. To achieve a waterproof, well-insulated, and stable roof, BUR is made of alternating tar layers and felt.


Although its installation is less expensive than that of metal roofing, BUR is more expensive than other roofing materials. It is not at its optimal performance on highly-sloped surfaces, so going with a flat or not-so-sloppy surface is best.


The maintenance requirement of BUR is relatively low. And if you go with the gravel topper, you are guaranteed that the roof will be fire-resistant. Of course, there are other topper options you can go with.


Compared to metal roofing, BUR is less eco-friendly. For example, using hot asphalt as you tar gives off toxic fumes. The better alternative is the go with cold asphalt, although this is a bit more expensive option because of the process involved.


Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of a new roof for a commercial building in Massachusetts, there are a number of things you should put into consideration to get the best one. The lifespan of the roof and the maintenance cost are important. You also want to consider the color and how it affects your energy cost.


To get the average cost of each roofing material, you should check out the Home Advisor cost guide.

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