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The roof is one of the most important structures of a commercial building. The type of roof you have over your commercial building plays a huge role in your overall costs. A good roof will shield the underlying structures of the building from the elements and help to reduce your energy costs.If you are in the market for new commercial roofing, you want to be sure of selecting a product that will deliver the maximum ROI on your investment. St Louis Management came up with a list of the different types of commercial roofing, along with their pros and cons, which will give you what you need to choose the best roof for your building.

Types of commercial roofing

1.  Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)

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Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing consists of a special foam product with an elastomeric coating. The components are combined in liquid form inside a spray gun and applied to a prepared surface. The mixture hardens into a rigid foam plastic in seconds, expanding to several times its original volume. SPF roofs are quickly becoming the go-to roof for commercial buildings.


·     SPF is easy to install

The roof can be installed without any need to interrupt the operations of the businesses in a building.

·     SPF is adaptable and versatile

Because it is applied in a liquid state, it takes the shape of the surface and quickly bonds to it. It can be applied on an existing roof such as asphalt, shingles, concrete, metal, or wood.

·     It is energy-efficient

SPF roofs create a thermal, air, and moisture barrier which keeps heat out in summer and reduces heat loss in winter.

·     Ease of maintenance

Apart from biannual inspections, the roof requires almost no maintenance.

·     Not vulnerable to leaks

SPF roofs have no seams or penetrations – the primary causes of roof leaks – so they are not prone to leaks.

·     Saves money

With an SPF roof, there is no need for a costly roof tear-off or disposing of the resulting waste.


·     Requires a skilled installer

Installing an SPF roof does not need a large crew, but the installer must have a high degree of technical knowledge. Installers must be certified.

·     Narrow installation window

SPF roofs need a precise set of weather conditions to be installed properly.

·     Possibility of over spray

During application, there is a risk that the wind will carry the spray onto surfaces where it is not needed.

·     Maintenance

SPF roofs must be inspected at least twice a year and after every potentially damaging event.

2.  Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

 A Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roof is made from a smooth, flexible, single-ply polymer, or filler blend that is glued down or attached using some mechanical means.

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·     Economical

It saves money because it is easy to install, long-lasting, and recyclable.

·     Energy-efficient

Because the material reflects the sun’s UV rays, it can help lower energy bills.

·     Tough

TPO roofing is resistant to chemical weathering, mold and mildew, corrosion, and buildup of dirt.

·     Flexible:

It lends itself to easy shaping.


·     Vulnerable lamination

TPO roofs come with lamination which can start to shrink and crack with time.

·     Prone to leak

TPO roofs need a large number of seams to stay in place and this makes them vulnerable to leaks.

3.  Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) or “rubber roof” consists of a combination of ethylene and propylene, which creates a highly durable black or white rubber membrane.


·     Affordable

Installation and maintenance don’t cost much.

·     Tough

It is resistant to hail damage.

·     Pliable

It can withstand structural movements.


·     Limited installation window

Cannot be installed in wet conditions or else it will leak.

·     Vulnerable to UV

The adhesive can weaken from exposure to UV rays

·     Energy-inefficient

Black EDPM roofs absorb more heat

4.  Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) commercial roofs are single-ply roofing systems made from two layers of PVC roof material with polyester in between to act as reinforcement. They are heat-welded.


·     Strength

They are flexible and strong.

·     Chemical resistance

They can withstand exposure to chemicals, oils, and industrial byproducts.

·     Customization

The color of the roof can be customized.

·     Maintenance

They are easy to clean.


·     Costly

They are not the most affordable roofing option.

·     Energy-inefficient

They are not heat resistant.

·     Incompatible with asphalt

If used with asphalt, they will age prematurely.

5.  Metal roofs

 Metal commercial roofs can be made from a variety of materials – galvanized steel, aluminum, zinc, stainless steel, copper, or combinations of those.

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·     Maintenance

They need very little maintenance.

·     Array of options

They come in a wide range of finishes and systems.

·     Affordable

Compared to how long they last, they are not expensive.

·     Heat reflection

They can reduce a building’s energy bill.


·     Damage prone

They dent easily and are prone to corrosion.

·     Noisy

In windy conditions, they make a lot of noise.

·     Leaks

They must be precisely installed to prevent leaks.

For more information on what the best roofing type for you is, or if you need repairs on your commercial roof, contact R&A Contracting at 636-387-7557

I’d be an idiot if I did not take this opportunity to communicate to you how much we appreciate the way in which you conduct business and take care of our facility. In my experience you, and your team, are at the top of the list of all the roofing companies I’ve dealt with over the years. Thank you!

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

Eric and crew were really nice to have around. They were courteous, careful and caused little if any disruption. Their work looks good too! To be honest… a good experience with a product that I initially had misgivings about. I’m a convert because of Bubba, Sam and Eric. Thank you.

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

“I want to thank the crew at R&A for a job well done on our very leaky roof at the shop. It is certainly nice to have the drips and rivers gone from the shop when it is raining. I also wanted you to know how much we appreciated that the guys were able to stay out of our way and allowed us to do business as usual without any problems or interruptions. The roof looks great and the clean-up after the job made it so we couldn’t even tell you’d been here. Thanks for doing what you do so well!”

Jay Moore, President of Safe Way Tire and Auto Center

“My wife and I were on vacation when water pipes burst in our house. We got a hold of Craig and the R&A crew was able to start evacuating the water immediately. The best part was that they were able to start work before we even returned home. It was a very fast turnaround considering the extensive amount of water damage.”

Will from Dardenne Prairie, MO

“Craig and Mike came out in a timely fashion when we needed the work done. They did a reliable and quality job.”

Jerry from SLR Properties

“Craig helped us out tremendously with the insurance process. Timely and very professional.”

Lindell from Greater Missouri Builders (GMB)

“We purchased a house and there was some damage to the roof. Very impressed with the thoroughness of Mike’s inspection. Very comfortable with their explanation of what needed to be fixed. Most impressive was the way they protected our landscaping. Really liked the way they treated me as a valued customer, even though it was only a small project.”

Ross from Troy, MO

“I use R&A Contracting when my commercial roofs receive storm damage. They work on our behalf through every step of the insurance claim process. They perform all of the work and complete the insurance process, making our roofs better than they were before the storm.”

Director of Facilities for a large Property Management Company

“The team at R & A Contracting responded immediately when notified of our water disaster. They removed water-damaged materials and property quickly and restored our home even before the final settlement from our insurance company. They minimized how long our family had to live in a hotel and got us back to normal as fast as possible.”

Will from O'Fallon, MO