[4 min. read]

To the naked eye, a roof is a roof, right?

Well, commercial roofs require different materials than residential roofs to ensure the security and integrity of a larger property. While most people have experienced residential roofing issues one way or another, many have not had the chance – or reason – to deal with commercial roof repair or replacement projects. That’s why it’s imperative that you have a professional commercial roofing company like Grizzly Commercial Roofing consult on your project, ensuring your roof is repaired or replaced with the correct materials. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the five most common commercial roofing materials that are used for repairs and replacements:

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is the most common single-ply material, known for its exceptional longevity and easy maintenance. It is usually made of aluminum or other galvanized metals and is laid directly onto your roof’s insulation. This installation method is one of the simplest, though a metal roof itself does not protect the insulation directly below from heat damage – this is where the addition of reflectors helps remediate the potential issue of overheating. 

BUR Membranes

BUR roofing systems, or built-up roofing systems, are created with strong roofing materials that are designed to withstand the elements. This multi-layer roofing method consists of asphalt bound to the roof deck and layered with roofing felt to give the roof added protection. The final surface layer is made of stone, gravel, or granules topped with asphalt, aluminum coating, or sealant to make the roof as element-resistant as possible.


Thermoplastics are characterized by their ability to harden upon cooling and then return to their plastic state when heated. Thermoplastics are used in two different roofing applications: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO). Both are excellent at maintaining strength and toughness while protecting against water, fire, and ultraviolet radiation. TPO is equipped with biocides to ward off environmental hazards such as small pests and mold, while PVC makes for an easier installation than TPO because it is more flexible. 


Shingles are common on residential and commercial structures. It is a cost-effective material composed of asphalt bonded under and over a fiberglass mat, topped with granules for more protection and aesthetics. Shingles come in two varieties:

3-Tab Shingles:

3-tab shingles are relatively inexpensive and commonly found around urban areas. These shingles look like three individual tabs but are actually just one layer. More frequently used in residential homes, they provide standard protection and an excellent cosmetic appearance for commercial properties as well.

Architectural Shingles:

Architectural shingles are still relatively common but are more expensive than 3-tab shingles. The tabs on architectural style shingles overlap one another, enabling the shingle to offer more protection against strong winds while maintaining an aesthetic similar to 3-tab shingles. 

Modified Bitumen

Similar to the BUR membranes, modified bitumen is a roofing system comprised of asphalt. It is a two-layer system that can be applied in two elastomeric types: Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) and Atactic Polypropylene (APP). SBS highlights the flexibility of the system’s rubber-like nature, being able to contort to some extent. APP is characterized by its resistance to ultraviolet radiation. 

Overall, there is an endless list of materials that can be used to repair or replace your commercial roof, but these five are the most used based on their durability and aesthetics. If you have any questions about the state of your current commercial roof or are interested in scheduling a consultation for a roof repair or replacement project, contact us at 337-243-6700 or info@grizzlyroofing.com

At Grizzly Commercial Roofing, our goal is to provide an exceptional blend of reliable craftsmanship, honest communication, effective solutions, professional accountability, and reassuring peace of mind – ensuring your roofing experience is as resilient and trustworthy as the roofs we build. To learn more, visit grizzlyroofing.com.