Speak to a Roofing Expert 647-504-2121

5 Commercial Flat Roof Types For Durability and Lifespan

5 Commercial Flat Roof Types For Durability and Lifespan

December 17, 2019

Your building requires a commercial flat roof replacement, and you need to make a decision. Roofing technology has provided several different solutions, and flat roof replacement services are standard in the industry. An EPDM roof can best the best course of action for a commercial flat roof replacement in North York. By far, the EPDM is the most economical option on the market, and it will stand the test of time. Any company offering Toronto roof replacement services will tell you that the EPDM solution will last for 30-years, offering durability, insulation, and protection.

We want to advise you that there are more roofing solutions on the market that can deliver on the critical necessities that need to be satisfied. You can choose from four other options when you consult a roof replacement services company, and in some cases, you can find a long-term solution that encompasses 50-years of life. Depending on your selection, you can have a roofing system that needs no maintenance or significantly less than other systems.

The suggestions outlined here can help save time, precious resources, and financial outlay from installment to repairs when you make the correct selection.

Advantages of a Durable Flat Roof


  • When you buy a roofing system, durability is an essential factor when you make a decision. Material costs drive the price of a roofing system, but before you recoil from the cost, look at what the material will do in the long run. When you buy an inferior product, your maintenance and repair costs skyrocket. A small roof repair costs anywhere from $150-$400, no including labour.
  • If the problems are bigger – intermediate to serious – the costs jump to $1,000-$3,000. This becomes a high cost for your roof maintenance and repair budget. Budget somewhere in the neighbourhood of $15,000 for materials, installation, and labour to lower your maintenance and repair costs. A substantial up-front investment will reduce costs going forward and provides peace of mind for a building owner.

Less Disruption

  • In a production environment, stopping work kills momentum and affects employee output. Time is money, and the less time spent on repairs and maintenance will increase your companies’ profits by maximizing the time your employees spend generating products. Roofing problems that linger create unnecessary delays when production must stop to accommodate roof repairs or maintenance. More significant issues come when you need to shut down due to a weak roof structure because general repairs weren’t completed. Water leaks create weaknesses in the roof supports. Also, machinery and your facility can be impacted, causing costly repairs to other areas of the building too.

Long-Term Investment

  • Your roof is your shield against the elements and provides the work environment you need to maximize production. Therefore, a new roofing system is crucial to your business health and well-being. Making an investment that offers long-term benefits is what a new roofing system should do for your business. Overhead is the cost of doing business, and reducing those costs is where you can increase your profitability. A new roof will help reduce the cost of heat with excellent insulation and infrastructure expenses when properly sealed. The trade-off for a substantial up-front investment for your roofing system is little or no maintenance for 30-50-years. That is money that can be re-directed into company growth that creates profits, something every business strives to achieve.

Five Long-Term Commercial Flat Roof Types

Metal Panel Roofs

  • Metal roofing systems are ideally suited for the Canadian winter. They will radiate heat for the winter season that can last for four-to-five months. The panels lock together, and they prevent snow and or water from entering during snowmelt. Lightweight, durable, reliable, and comes with a shelf-life of 50-years. A metal roof can is made of metal or aluminum; the metal roof presents a cost-effective solution for a roof installation. Another benefit is the savings in utility costs in winter months when expenses are highest to heat your building. Heat conductivity is where the savings come into play.
  • When installing a metal roof, it can be applied over an existing roofing system, creating an eco-friendly solution. An old roof doesn’t need to be removed and deposited in a landfill. Metal roofs come from recycled materials, and when they have reached their end of the life cycle, they can be recycled once again.

BUR/Tar & Gravel Roofs

  • A built-up roofing system (BUR) is made up of tar and gravel and is spread across the entire roof. It is installed by laying waterproof sheets that contain a layer of tar sandwiched in between. Generally, it takes three layers to accomplish the goal of a completely sealed roof. This roofing system is extremely economical and completely fire retardant if you are at risk of a calamity. The gravel that is used in a BUR system will hold and release heat, keeping heat from radiating in the building. That reduces cooling costs in the summer and creates a stable, warm environment in the winter.
  • When water is present on the roof, the gravel will help spur the evaporation phase of water eviction on this roofing system. Gravel on the roof will allow for foot traffic and will not be damaged when work is required. Gravel acts as a natural barrier; it traps debris on the roofing rather than channeling it to the drain spouts. Generally, with proper maintenance, this system will last for 20-years.

Asphalt Roofs

  • Industrial asphalt roofing systems are rolled out on a roof surface. Once laid, it is heated to adhere to the surface of the roof, creating a secure seal atop the building where it is installed. The cost of material and installation is low, and it helps when a tight budget is driving the replacement. The turn around time for installation is rapid, and it affords little in the way of disruptions for a business. The duration of life for this roofing system is approximately 20-years in length.
  • The installation process and maintenance/repair regime that this system offers is by far the best. Tar is spread, and the rolls are laid. When repairs are needed, it is a step and repeat process. The cost of repairs and general maintenance is lower and quicker to achieve when selecting this system for your building.

Two-Ply Modified Bitumen

  • The two-ply roofing system – modified bitumen – consists of polyester or fibreglass layer in between two layers of asphalt that has rubber added for consistency. This system can be installed in one of two ways, with a torch to heat the components to bond or through a cold installation. The cold installation will see the materials coated with an adhesive to bond with the roof without using heat. In the past, torches have caused fires, and many roofing companies use the cold installation process for this system.
  • The advantages that this system provides are durability and reliability over time. It will maintain its integrity for two decades, and installation is a snap. Modified bitumen will be water-resistant because the seals are joined through a melting or adhesion process that keeps water at bay. Another key feature of this system is the colour. It is lighter than other systems, and that helps reflect UV rays that impact internal temperatures. The cost savings are indicated on the HVAC cooling bill with this system, and it has a track record of performance over many decades of service.

Single-Ply Synthetic Membranes

TPO, PVC, and EPDM are the new kids on the block in the roofing industry when compared to other roofing solutions.

  • The thermal plastic polyolefin (TPO) system contains many positive characteristics as a roofing solution. It is installed in a single sheet, is white and perfectly flat. The colour reflects UV rays well, creating cost savings in the process. The TPO is exceptionally durable and flexible when odd-shaped roofs need coverage. The malleable quality of the roofing system allows it to be bent or welded without sacrificing integrity. TPO is made of synthetics, and the system is 100 percent recyclable. Cost-effective, easy to install, and cheap materials make this roof one of the best on the market. This roofing system will last up to 20-years, and with a solid maintenance routine, it can last longer.
  • A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the lightest system on the market. Made from a plastic polymer, it is sturdy and will resist weather and climate well. When installing a PVC roof, you don’t need to tear off the old roof as this system can be installed over the old system. Welded seams create a watertight seal, and leaks are non-existent (unless damage is sustained). The system will reflect UV rays well, and they mitigate the ‘heat island’ effect in urban settings where they are installed.
    There is virtually no waste in the installation process, and excess material is re-ground for use. For your green concerns, this system is 100 percent recyclable and will last for 30-years.
  • The synthetic rubber roofing system known as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) is widely used in the roofing industry on commercial and industrial roofs. Easy installation at a low cost by comparison to other roofing systems is where this system shines. It can be made in different colours to reflect UV rays and help control utility costs in the process. The roof is fire-resistant and long-lasting – more than twenty years when installed correctly. Weather and climate challenges are met with this roofing system, and it can withstand up to three inches of hail when you are under siege by the weather.
    The rubber roof system is inexpensive to repair, and maintenance is relatively inexpensive, depending on need. The duration of an EPDM system can be as long as 50-years based on new formulas for the rubber compound makes up the roofing system.

Flat roofing systems are affordable, provide value for money, and are durable and reliable. They will save money in the long run on the costs to operate your building. Don’t let your roofing system cause you headaches. Talk to us at Integrity Roofers to discuss your flat roofing needs that match any of the quality roofing systems we will install for you. For a no-cost quote and information session, call our office today at Integrity Roofers at 647.953.9365.

Also Read:

Get a Professional Estimate Now

Call 647-504-2121 or Request an Estimate
Submit a General Inquiry

"*" indicates required fields

Integrity Roofers is committed to respecting the privacy of individuals and recognizes a need for the appropriate management and protection of any personal information that you agree to provide to us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request.