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Commercial Roofing: Types of Materials, Repair and Replacement

Commercial Roof Installation Harford County MD

Many commercial roofs are low-slope roofs that require specific materials and designs to keep the roof watertight and prevent leaks. Repairs to commercial roofs must be done quickly to avoid compromising the entire system. When damage is extensive or the roof is too old, it must be replaced.

Are you wondering how to solve your commercial roofing concerns? Perhaps you’ve found a leak and need to know what to do. Keep reading to get a solid understanding of what to expect when you contact a Maryland roofing company.

In this article, we’ll discuss commercial roof materials, repair, and replacement. After reading, you will be able to communicate with contractors about your commercial roofing needs!

TPO Installer in MD

Commercial Roofing Materials

Commercial roofing materials are designed to keep low-slope roofs watertight. Options include EPDM, TPO, PVC, and Metal roofing.


EPDM is a rubber, single membrane roofing material used on low-slope roofs. The material can be glued, ballasted, or mechanically attached. Seams are usually sealed using a specially-formulated tape specific to EPDM roofs.

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene dieneterpolymer. It’s made from compounds in natural gas and oil. It comes in black or white. Black roofs have the drawback of conducting more heat and raising energy costs.


TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. It’s a single membrane roofing material for low-slope roofs. The seams on TPO roofs are heat-sealed, which offers greater durability compared to taped roofing seams. TPO is considered extremely cost-effective for its longevity.

Other benefits of TPO include fungal resistance, UV and heat resistance, and a reflective white coating that reduces the urban heat island effect and lowers energy costs. It’s the most popular single-ply roofing material.

TPO may not last as long as more expensive options like clay tile, concrete, or metal, and TPO roofs also need more maintenance. However, you won’t beat the U-factor of a TPO roof if you use concrete, tile, or metal.

To maximize the benefits of TPO, have the material installed by a contractor certified by the manufacturer to install the products. This may have warranty benefits and ensures the roof is installed correctly.


PVC roofing membranes are a popular option for commercial low-slope roofs. The membrane is usually installed using fasteners and sometimes an adhesive. The best installation method will depend on the weather in your local area.

PVC shares the energy-saving benefits of TPO: excellent heat and UV resistance. PVC also has a great U-factor that minimizes energy costs.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has minimum slope requirements. The roof must rise at least 3 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal distance. Specialized panels may be available for a roof with a lower slope, but metal panels on very low-slope roofs are less common. Metal roofs are more expensive than other options.

If you are considering a metal roof for your commercial building, you will have to speak with a contractor to find out if your commercial roof is a good candidate for metal roofing.

Commercial Roof Repair and Maintenance

Roofs need repairs over time. Have a licensed and experienced contractor in Harford County inspect the roof for leaks. Common places for repairs include drains, flashings, and roofing seams. Regular maintenance will fix problems early before they grow bigger and more costly.

If there are a handful of items that need to be addressed, a repair will restore the roof to full function and prolong the life of the roof. Damaged roofs are more susceptible to wind and the elements.

Use a Local, Certified Contractor for Repairs

Using a contractor with local experience in Bel Air, MD, and manufacturer certifications will provide the best outcomes. This trustworthy contractor will make sure that seams are repaired with the appropriate material, and that drains are working and installed correctly. 

The inspection will also consider whether repairs were made in the past and if the repairs were done correctly. Using a less qualified contractor for replacement or repairs may result in more leaks and problems. Ultimately, it will cost more, in the long run, to cut corners now.

Commercial Roof Replacement

When the repairs to the roof become expensive or extensive, it is likely time to replace the roof. A trustworthy roofing contractor will recommend replacement when repairs are unlikely to prolong the roof’s life to save you money in the long term.

To determine whether the commercial roof needs to be replaced, the contractor will conduct an inspection and talk to the building owner to learn about the roof’s history. The contractor will inspect the roofing material, the drains, seams, and flashings. 

Steps to Commercial Roof Replacement

A good roofing contractor will explain the replacement process to the client, including what to expect for noise, dust, and debris during the project. The project will include removing the old membrane and addressing problems with the roof or decking. 

  1. Remove the old roof and identify any problems that need to be solved with the replacement. As each layer is removed, potential leaks and damage will be noted and addressed with the client.
  2. Repairing or fixing the roof deck as needed.
  3. Replaced the layers of the roofing system including insulation and the final membrane.


An experienced roofing contractor will help you maintain, repair, and replace your commercial roof when necessary. For a replacement, the roofing contractor will help you select a cost-effective roofing material.

Tar Heel Construction Group is a trustworthy roofing contractor in the greater Baltimore area. We are located in Harford County and service Baltimore County, Harford County, and Cecil County. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your roof. 


Edwards, K. L. (2021, April 2). Inspecting a Commercial Roof: Is It Time For a Repair or Replacement. GAF.com/Blog/. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.gaf.com/blog/commercial-roofing/inspecting-a-commercial-roof-is-it-time-for-a-repair-or-replacement-281474980055118

GAF TPO Roofing Resources. GAF.com. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.gaf.com/en-us/for-professionals/resources/tpo-systems