Flat Roofing Options: Materials and Benefits for Commercial Buildings

flat roofing

When it comes to commercial roofing, flat roofs are a popular choice among property owners and managers due to their cost-effective nature, ease of maintenance, and versatility in accommodating a wide range of applications. At Freeman Roofing, we specialize in providing high-quality roofing solutions for commercial and federal construction projects in Pensacola, FL. Our services extend across various areas, including residential roofing, roof maintenance, repair, replacement, and stormproof roofing.

Selecting the right material for your commercial flat roof is essential to ensure its longevity, durability, and performance. Different flat roofing materials provide different benefits and drawbacks, making it crucial to understand the unique characteristics of each option before choosing the best solution for your property’s specific needs and requirements. In this article, we will explore the various flat roofing materials available for commercial buildings and discuss the advantages each provides in terms of maintenance, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

Whether you are planning a new commercial roofing project or seeking to replace or repair an existing flat roof, the Freeman Roofing team in Pensacola, FL, is committed to offering exceptional installation and maintenance services tailored to your property’s unique requirements. Contact us today to discuss your roofing needs, and let us help you select the ideal flat roofing material to ensure the long-term performance and value of your commercial property.

Let our team of skilled professionals help you navigate the complex world of commercial flat roofing solutions, providing expert guidance and installation services to ensure the longevity and functionality of your commercial property’s roofing system.

1. Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Systems

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a traditional flat roofing solution that has been used for over a century. BUR systems consist of multiple layers of bitumen-soaked felt or fiberglass layers, with a top layer of gravel or crushed stone providing an additional protective barrier. Some key advantages of BUR systems include the following:

  • Durability: The multiple layers of materials used in BUR systems provide increased durability and resistance to damage from foot traffic, impacts, and harsh weather conditions.
  • Low maintenance: BUR systems require minimal ongoing maintenance, primarily focusing on regular inspections and occasional repairs to damaged areas.
  • Cost-effectiveness: BUR systems are often a more affordable option compared to other flat roofing materials, particularly when considering their long lifespan of up to 30 years or more if properly maintained.

2. Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems

Modified bitumen is a type of roofing material that is an evolution of traditional BUR systems. It is made of asphalt and reinforced with fiberglass or polyester, creating a highly durable and weather-resistant membrane ideal for commercial flat roofs. Some benefits of modified bitumen roofing systems include the following:

  • Superior waterproofing: Modified bitumen is inherently water-resistant, making it an excellent solution for preventing leaks and water damage in commercial flat roofing systems.
  • Enhanced flexibility: The added reinforcement in modified bitumen systems provides greater flexibility, allowing the material to better withstand movement from thermal expansion or contraction.
  • Ease of installation and repair: Modified bitumen systems can be installed using various methods, including torch-down, cold adhesive, or self-adhering membranes, and repairs can typically be made easily and efficiently.

3. Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing Systems

TPO and PVC are both energy-efficient, single-ply roofing membranes made from thermoplastic materials. TPO and PVC systems are popular for commercial flat roofs due to their many advantages, such as the following:

  • Energy efficiency: Both TPO and PVC are highly reflective, helping keep buildings cooler during hot summer months and reducing the demand for air conditioning. This can lead to significant energy savings for building owners.
  • Resistance to chemicals and pollutants: TPO and PVC are resistant to many chemicals and pollutants, making them an ideal choice for commercial properties, particularly those in industrial areas or near busy roadways.
  • Longevity: TPO and PVC roofing systems can last for 20-30 years with proper maintenance, making them an attractive, long-term flat roofing solution for commercial buildings.

4. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing Systems

EPDM is another popular single-ply roofing material ideal for commercial flat roofs. Made from synthetic rubber, EPDM systems provide numerous benefits, such as the following:

  • Excellent weather resistance: EPDM is highly resistant to UV radiation, ozone, and fluctuations in temperature, making it a durable and long-lasting commercial flat roofing option.
  • Flexibility and ease of installation: EPDM systems can be easily installed, either fully adhered, mechanically attached, or ballasted, and their flexibility allows for superior accommodation of building movements.
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly: EPDM is a recyclable material, and its exceptional durability contributes to reduced waste in landfills.


When choosing the best flat roofing material for your commercial property, it’s essential to consider factors such as budget, maintenance requirements, longevity, and environmental factors. Each roofing material offers distinct advantages and drawbacks, and it’s important to select the one that best meets your property’s specific needs and requirements.

Freeman Roofing in Pensacola, FL, is dedicated to providing expert advice and professional installation services for a wide range of flat roofing materials suitable for commercial and federal construction projects. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to ensuring the long-term performance and value of your commercial property, regardless of which flat roofing material you choose.

Contact Freeman Roofing today to discuss the ideal flat roofing solution for your property, and let our team assist you in choosing and installing the right material for your unique requirements and goals. Trust our skilled professionals to deliver the exceptional service and craftsmanship you need to ensure the success of your commercial roofing in Pensacola.