Roofing Southwest Blog > What roofing material is right for your property?

What roofing material is right for your property?

July 14, 2017

Property owners and managers have many choices when building a commercial, industrial or residential property, not the least of which is selecting the right roofing material for the build. The following questions can help make the decision process easier.


Are you planning to keep or sell the property? If this property is one you want to hang on to, you may want to consider selecting your roofing material for longevity and may choose to spend a bit more at the outset, rather than replace in 10 – 20 years. If this is a property you intend to sell, a material with less longevity and lower cost may be more appropriate.

The choices for large properties aren’t the same as for single-family dwellings. The much larger area that needs to be covered can dictate the type of material uses. Instead of asphalt shingles, managers are generally considering the choice between built-up roofing, metal, modified bitumen, single-ply or even vegetative (green) roofs.


Future Use

It’s also worth considering future plans you might have for your property, such as adding a sun deck, garden, solar panels or other rooftop equipment. You’ll want to select a roofing material that can support the additions rather than having to replace the roof to accommodate the changes.



Property managers must take into account our harsh summer sun, heat, violent storms, flooding rains and high winds. Here in Arizona, green roofing may be more cost prohibitive than other areas of the country simply due to water requirements. What makes the most sense to protect you property, employees, tenants and / or residents?

Another aspect of climate in Arizona is the need for all the HVAC equipment that is required to go on the roof. Will the material you select support the equipment? Can it be damaged by frequent maintenance that is required for HVAC equipment? If it can, are there ways to protect it? Will it cost more?



Certain types of roofing material actually dampen sound, while other types emphasize it. Metal roofing, for example, can be quite noisy. In a residential property, where tranquility should be the watch word, you may want to select a material that won’t hammer your residents out of bed during a rain storm. Of course, the same applies if you are creating a recording studio. A warehouse, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily require quiet roofing — in which case, metal would be a great choice.



The slope of the roof also dictates your choice of material. For instance, foam, BUR or modified bitumen roofing will not work well on steep slope roofs. This is where the advice of a professional commercial roofer can become invaluable. If the roofer has a portfolio of other commercial or industrial projects, ask to see some of those properties to help you make your decision.



Before making a final choice, read the details of the warranty on the roofing material. Do your homework and find out about the actual warranty history of the manufacturer you are dealing with. Check to see if there are any exclusions that might apply to your building or area of the country. If there is an exclusion you have concerns about, ask the manufacturer why it has been added.


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