Difference Between Residential and Commercial Roofing

Just like not all roofing materials are the same, not all roofing services are the same. The biggest difference you will see in roofing is between residential and commercial roofing services.

Alpha Roofing is a residential and a commercial roofing contractor in the greater metro Atlanta area. We serve such wonderful communities as Bremen, Carrollton, Tallapoosa, Bowdon, Temple, Tallapoosa, Kennesaw, and more. Our mission is simple: to offer affordable roofing services to homeowners and business owners that will last for decades. In line with that mission, we offer comprehensive roofing services so we can help you throughout the lifetime of your roof. These include roof installations, maintenance, repairs, and replacements, as well as emergency roof repair and storm damage roof repair. We want to ensure the roof that shelters everything that you hold dear to you, from your kids and cats to your memorabilia that you cherish, is safe and secure. Below, we’ll take a look at the difference between residential and commercial roofing. Call our local roofing company for a free estimate or inspection today!


Roofing Materials

For the most part, roofing materials of commercial and residential buildings are different. This is largely due to the design and size of the building. While both types of roofs have to be durable, commercial roofs need to be able to hold a lot more weight than residential roofs. This is because heating and cooling systems are often installed on the tops of commercial buildings, as well as other objects, such as vents, that are peculiar to the business inside the building.

Commercial roofs are often made out of materials designed for flat roofs. These include Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membranes, Modified Bitumen Roofing, Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membranes, Thermoplastic (PVC or TPO) Roof Membranes, and more. Residential roofs, on the other hand, have a wider variety of roofing materials available to them because they are smaller. Popular residential roofing materials include asphalt shingles, slate, wood, tile, and more. Metal roofing material is common for both residential and commercial buildings as it is a great material that can serve the purposes of both equally well.

Roofing Design

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between residential and commercial roofs is their design. A residential roof tends to have a slope, while a commercial roof tends to be flat in nature. This is due to the size difference. A commercial roof is usually much bigger than a residential roof, so the roof has to be able to support the extra weight of the roofing materials needed to enclose a commercial space. That being said, a residential roof is able to have a sloped roof design due to less roofing materials being needed. Residential roofs are also easier to install because of this fact as well. However, due to their flat nature, commercial roofs offer fun advantages. For example, a commercial roof can hold a rooftop garden or serve as an extra seating area for guests. It can also hold solar panels, which can not only save you money on your utility bill, but it can also help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Roofing Maintenance

For the most part, residential roofs are low maintenance, especially if you invest in a low-maintenance roofing material, such as metal. However, commercial buildings are a whole other animal. They require regular inspections and maintenance due to the fact they are flat. Plus, due to the fact they cover much more area than a residential building, there is more likelihood of a hole, leak, or roof damage occurring. In addition, with residential roofs, missing shingles and broken tiles are fairly obvious and can usually be seen from the ground. With commercial buildings, you have to physically climb up to the roof to have a good look and inspect for roof damage.

If a hole or a leak develops, these can quickly spread and cause major damage in a very short amount of time. Debris can collect on top of commercial roofs more easily, causing damage if not removed. Gutters and downspouts most definitely need to be cleaned with commercial roofs because the leaves, sticks, and other debris are not as likely to blow away or fall away on a commercial roof as they are on a residential roof.


As you can see, while both commercial and residential roofs perform the same function, there are a lot of differences between them. As a homeowner or a business owner, it’s important to know and understand these differences so that you can properly care for your roof.

Due to the aforementioned differences, installing, repairing, and maintaining commercial roofs versus residential roofs takes a whole different skill set. When you are looking for a commercial roofer or a residential roofer, ensure they have experience and knowledge for the type of roof you need so you don’t end up with costly roof repairs down the road.

Alpha Roofing offers both residential and commercial roofing services in the greater metro Atlanta area, including Bremen, Carrollton, Tallapoosa, Bowdon, Temple, Tallapoosa, Kennesaw, and more. From roof installations and repairs to roof maintenance and inspections, we’ve got your roofing needs covered. Our expert local roofers have years of experience helping area homeowners and business owners have peace of mind about their roof. We install roofs the right way, and we don’t cut corners. Our mission is to ensure you have affordable roofing materials that will last for decades. While we love seeing our customers, we’d rather just see you once a year for your annual roof maintenance rather than when your roof needs replacement or repair.

Alpha Roofing is your reliable and trustworthy commercial and residential roofing contractor in the Atlanta area. No matter your needs, we can help. We can offer advice on whether you need a new roof or can wait a few more years, and we can offer great care and maintenance tips as well. Call for a free inspection and estimate today!