Traditional Roofing Materials For Youngstown Commercial Properties

advantages and disadvantages of flat roof

All commercial properties in Youngstown will likely go with their trusty contractor’s recommended flat roof materials. We have no qualms about the advantages and disadvantages of flat roof materials contractors have installed repeatedly. However, property owners have alternatives to choose from if they feel their properties require a different aesthetic.

After reading this post, you will:

  • Learn about the alternative roofing materials you can use for Youngstown commercial properties
  • Make a decision on which traditional roofing material is best for your property by presenting some of the alternatives’ advantages and disadvantages

Commercial Roofing Shingles

a commercial-grade shingle roof
Commercial-grade shingles have different shapes and sizes compared to architectural shingles.

Asphalt shingles have a common association with high-sloped residential properties. However, commercial-grade roof shingles exist but only for Youngstown commercial properties with high slopes.

Commercial-grade roof shingles differ from regular asphalt shingles and architectural shingles in terms of appearance. They have a unique yet uniform appearance. In addition, they do not assume the rectangular three-tab look of traditional asphalt and architectural shingles — they come in different shapes and sizes for added variety.

However, they’re more expensive than the two residential-purpose roofing shingles but share the same durability as architectural shingles.

Metal Roofs

Traditional ridge-style metal roofs and standing-seam metal roofs work for both commercial and industrial property roofs with low-slopes. Additionally, the installation of the roof material is similar to its residential counterpart.

Commercial roof contractors will place an underlayment before laying down and installing the metal roofs. Even with low slopes, metal roofs will lead rainwater straight to the gutter system of the commercial property.

If commercial property owners own a flat metal roof, they also share the advantages and disadvantages of flat roof materials. One of these advantages includes having different metal roof colors to suit its exterior aesthetic.


Concrete Roof Tiles

This material shares the advantages and disadvantages of flat roof alternatives. These tiles share similar traits with commercial-grade shingles and architectural shingles. However, manufacturers often give them a uniform rectangular appearance.

a concrete-tiled commercial flat roof
Concrete tiles are commonly used with commercial roofs but some contractors use them in residential applications too.

In contrast to rectangular shingles, concrete roof tiles have a different texture. However, some manufacturers can “print” the texture of traditional shingles to give them a traditional look.

Often, you can see concrete roof tiles on strip malls and small business commercial properties giving them a “homey” traditional feel.  However, unlike shingles, contractors can install them on flat-roofed properties.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are the younger variants of traditional asphalt shingles. However, these variants possess a tough, durable laminated exterior and dense material. You can say they are two asphalt shingles combined together as one.

The non-uniform look of architectural shingles allows it to give Youngstown properties a unique roofing texture. However, one of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of flat roof alternatives is it will not suit flat-roofed commercial properties — you’ll need a roof with a high slope for this one.

Asphalt Rolled Roofing

This roofing material is the basic form of modified bitumen roofs. Manufacturers use organic felt or a fiberglass mat as its base. Then, they add asphalt and gravel to reinforce the material.

Asphalt rolled roofing is one of the most affordable roofing materials available for commercial property owners. Unfortunately, it also means they offer the shortest lifespan and lackluster durability possible. Asphalt rolled roofs only last 15-30 years even with careful maintenance.

a heat-welded asphalt rolled roof
Asphalt rolled roofs are the most affordable bitumen around but have a short lifespan.

Single-Ply Membranes

While not traditional, single-ply membranes see great use with residential roofs as well.

The staple of any commercial flat roof, single-ply membranes are cost effective, durable, and are adequate investments. Any reputable contractor makes them an initial choice for property owners.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofs are the most expensive of these single-ply membranes because of its strength and durability.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is the middle ground for these roofing materials. These have sufficient UV protection and offers excellent insulation.

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) or rubber roofs are the basic material of TPO. It is the most affordable flat commercial roofing material that offers excellent longevity in exchange for poor roof appeal.

Modified Bitumen Roofs

Asphalt rolled roofs are the basic form of modified bitumen roofs. Durable and stronger varieties of modified bitumen roofs use layers of insulating material. Then, contractors will use tar to cake them together.

The solid membrane can withstand several hailstorms and guarantees a lifespan up to 40 years. Commercial flat roofs can accommodate modified bitumen roofs conveniently without using additional roofing joists.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat Roof Alternatives

Better Curb Appeal (With High Sloped Commercial Properties)

If the commercial property has a high slope, people can see the roof of the property from the ground. As with the principle of residential roofing, with a visible roof, the material can improve or reduce the curb appeal of the property.

One of the notable advantages and disadvantages of flat roof alternative materials is to introduce a home-style look to any property. If a commercial property roof with a high slope uses traditional materials, it looks less industrial and somewhat more urban yet neighborly in appearance. It can be a disadvantage if it does not work to the property owner’s brand (i.e. If they’re an industrial company, for example).

Costly Repairs

Unlike single-ply membranes and metal roofs, traditional roofing materials are costly to repair. With single-ply and metal roofs, you can replace seams with quick-install material.

Traditional roofing materials require professionals to repair and maintain. Therefore, you face higher costs when you own a traditional-roofed commercial property.

Improved Real Estate Value

However, you have a property that has a value similar to skyscrapers with a traditional-roofed commercial property. One of the distinct advantages and disadvantages of flat roof alternatives is to create a durable roof that has a unique quality.

Traditional roofs combine with commercial properties to create an industrial yet home-like aesthetic. It creates a different yet beautiful appearance that makes the property stand out in the community.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know about traditional flat roof materials as well as the advantages and disadvantages of flat roof alternatives, you can now make a decision on which is the best material for your property.

However, always remember that a good commercial property roof requires the help of reputable and experienced roofing professionals.

Have you recently undergone renovation? Did you use a traditional roofing material? Share your experience with us in the comments below!