What is the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Roofing?

June 24, 2024
Difference Between Residential and Commercial Roofing

Roofing is a very important component in construction as it serves the very important purpose of protecting the structure and other components of the house from environmental elements. However, not all roofs are made in a similar manner. There are significant differences between residential and commercial roofing. Due to their different purposes, both types of roofing have special qualities, components, installation techniques, and maintenance needs. It is therefore very important to understand these differences.

When it comes to roofing, there are two main types that basically are commercial roofing and residential roofing. Both typically serve the same basic purpose of protecting buildings from the elements. But, they are quite different in many ways.

This blog will explain the key differences between commercial and residential roofing in simple terms.

Commercial Roofing Vs Residential Roofing 

1. Purpose and Use

Residential Roofing is basically a type of roofing that is used on houses where people live. The main goal of this is to keep families safe and comfortable inside their homes.

On the other hand, commercial roofing is typically used on buildings where businesses operate. These buildings include office buildings, factories, warehouses, and shopping complexes. The main goal of this type is to protect the business and its assets. This includes products, equipment, and employees.

2. Design and Structure

The design of residential roofs is often simple. Most homes have a pitched roof. This basically means that the roof has a slope. This helps water and snow to slide off easily. The structure is usually light and does not need to support heavy weight.

Whereas, the design of commercial roofs is more complex. Many commercial buildings have flat roofs or roofs with a very slight slope. These roofs are designed to support heavy equipment like air conditioning units. 

3. Materials Used

The materials used for residential roofs are usually lighter and more diverse. Common materials include asphalt shingles, wood shingles, metal, slate, and tiles. Asphalt shingles are the most popular ones because they are affordable and very easy to install.

The materials used for commercial roofs are often more durable and designed to handle harsh conditions. Common materials include metal, single-ply (like TPO, PVC, and EPDM), built-up roofing (BUR), and modified bitumen. These materials are practically chosen for their strength, longevity, and ability to cover large areas.

4. Installation Process

Installing a residential roof is usually quicker and very simple. The process involves laying down the basic structure, installing the roofing material (like shingles), and adding finishing touches like ridge caps and flashing. It usually takes a few days to complete a residential roof installation. 

Installing a commercial roof is more complicated. This is because the process often involves installing insulation, a vapor barrier, and the roofing material. We, The Roofing Guys, can offer these top-quality roofing services. Our team is dedicated to meeting any type of residential roofing that you need in Central Ohio with exceptional skill and service.

5. Maintenance and Repairs

Maintaining a residential roof is generally easier. Owners of houses can often handle minor repairs themselves. This can include events like replacing a few shingles or fixing a small leak. To keep this in good shape generally regular inspections and cleaning of gutters are enough.

Maintaining a commercial roof requires more effort and special tools. Regular inspections are very important to identify and fix issues like ponding water, membrane punctures, and other kinds of damage. Therefore, repairs basically need to be done by professionals who understand the specific materials and systems used in commercial roofing.

6. Cost

The cost of residential roofing is usually lower than commercial roofing. This is because the materials are often cheaper and are easy to install. On the other hand, the cost of commercial roofing is typically higher. This is because the materials used are more expensive and the installation process is more complex.

7. Lifespan

The lifespan of typical residential roofing varies depending on the material. Asphalt shingles typically last 20-30 years. Metal, slate, and tile roofs can last 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

The lifespan of commercial roofing also varies. Single-ply membranes can last 20-30 years. Metal roofs and built-up roofing systems can last 30-50 years or more.


While residential and commercial roofing in Central Ohio serve the same basic function, they differ significantly in many factors. Understanding these differences is important for homeowners and business owners as these can help them make informed decisions about their roofing needs. 

If you need help with your home’s roof, siding, windows, or gutters, The Roofing Guys are here for you. We specialize in residential roofing in Central Ohio. Call us on 614-626-7000 or Contact us today to get started on your home improvement project!

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