Top 5 Best Roofing Systems for Commercial Flat Roofs

There are many things that are great about the American Southwest.

It is home to some of our country’s biggest cities. This includes Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas, and more. Click here for more information about the southwest.

If you’re a resident, or even if you’ve only been to the southwest on vacation, you know that it has a unique climate that is unlike that found in other parts of the country. It tends to be warm and dry for much of the year. It hardly ever snows, due to the heat.

But when it gets hot, boy does it get hot. It’s not uncommon for temperatures in Arizona, for example, to climb all the way to one hundred and eleven degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike other parts of the country, in Arizona it stays hot even through the night.

If you’re reading this from the great state of Oregon, for example, or maybe even Maine, you might be shocked. As well you should be. That’s quite a lot of heat!

Because of this, roofs in this area have to be built differently than in other parts of the country. The slanted roofs of the Midwest and east coast wouldn’t make much sense out here. With no snow to throw, a flat roof is often the best bet.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the five best materials for commercial flat roofs. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, which we will explore in detail below.

1. Metal

The first material on our list is metal.

You may be surprised. “Won’t metal conduct heat? Wouldn’t that make for a very hot business?”

This is a good question. In reality, metal roofs are very popular. When couples with fiberglass insulation, they create an extremely effective barrier against heat as well as cold. This means that a metal roof can actually help to keep your business cooler than the ambient temperature. It also means that it can save you money on your heating and cooling costs.

In other words, metal can be a very energy efficient choice.

But that’s not the only way that choosing metal as a roofing material can help the environment. Metal is very easy to recycle. That means that your roof can be made from one hundred percent recycled material.

You may recall the guidelines to living a green life: Reduce, reuse, recycle.

By choosing metal, you’re recycling material that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

But that’s not the only benefit to this easy-to-mold material. It also means that repairs can be relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive.

It’s good that you’re reading about it here, because you might not ever find out about this feature. That’s because metal is very durable. It is able to withstand the rages of the elements. While snow is uncommon in the southwest, we do occasionally experience hail, thunderstorms, and dust storms. All of these can take their toll. You may go years without needing a repair.

For all of these reasons, metal is our number one choice.

2. Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDT)

The next material on our list is quite a mouthful! Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, or EPDT for short, is the chemical name for a high-quality, durable rubber.

Although it can be tricky to say, it is worth the effort! That’s because it is flexible as well as strong. You can expect a long roof lifespan if you choose this material.  It hasn’t changed in over fifty years. Why mess with a winning formula?

If you’re interested in the environment, then you’re in for some good news. Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer is recyclable and earth-friendly.

3. PVC


The third material on our list is PVC.  This choice offers great protection against the elements. That is a result of the installation process.

Unlike other materials, PVC is welded together to create a solid seam. Where other roofs might be prone to leakage, PVC will stand firm. If installed by a qualified roofer such as you might find at SW Commercial Roofing, you can expect your roof to last for up to twenty years.

Another bonus to working with this material is that it is a petroleum byproduct. Just like the petroleum jelly you slather onto your elbows at night before you go to bed, PVC offers a unique way to use a product that would otherwise go to waste. Remember our green adage from before: reduce, reuse, recycle. Here, you would be reusing in order to help save the planet. Pretty cool, huh?

Another advantage is its high wind-resistance. While hurricanes are exceedingly rare in the southwestern United States as a direct result of it being landlocked, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t experience high winds.  These winds can kick up suddenly and without much warning.

Having a roofing material that is able to withstand these storms can make all the difference.

4. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

Get ready, we’ve got another chemical-based name coming your way!

Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a flexible, durable material that offers many benefits.

One important one is UV protection. Click the link:,to%20become%20inflamed%20or%20burned for more information about the dangers of Ultraviolet, or UV, light.

While we need sunlight in order to survive, it can prove to be dangerous. If you’ve ever had a bout with skin cancer, you know how scary it can be. Just as UV light can be damaging to our bodies, it can also wreak havoc on our infrastructure. Installing Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a great way to help secure protection from the elements.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin is also resistant to heat, which makes it a great choice for those long southwestern summers.

Something you may already know if you’re interested in the southwest is that every year there are more incidences of large-scale fires. Many of these are wildfires that burn out of control. You may remember that in California a few years ago a couple started a wildfire as a result of their gender reveal party. That fire ended up burning more than seventy-five thousand acres of woodland.

Unfortunately, extreme examples like this are quickly becoming the norm. Thermoplastic Polyolefin is fire resistant. You may find that choosing this material ends up saving your life or the lives of your employees or customers. It also could save your business. Not a bad deal, is it?

Unlike some of the other materials on our list, Thermoplastic Polyolefin has one more benefit up its sleeve: colors! That’s right, you can choose from up to eight different colors if you decide to go with this material.

That makes it easy and attractive for you to stand out in a crowd. In an increasingly competitive market, any advantage can help.

5. Stucco

The final material on our list is good old-fashioned stucco. It’s been around for years for a reason.

It looks attractive and blends in with the surrounding environment. While a great many homes have stucco roofs, it is less common to find on a commercial property. That is because it can be expensive to install. Not only that, but it can be difficult to maintain.

Purchasing a roof can be a major decision. It represents a large investment, and one that you will have to live with for years to come. That’s why it’s important to take your time and seek out the material that will best serve you, your business, and your community.

Making the right decision could end up saving you money in the long run. By choosing a material that is well-suited to your environment, you could extend the life of your commercial building by years.

As the weather grows more extreme with each passing year, don’t you want to ensure that you’re ready for whatever may come? By choosing one of these materials, you’ll be doing just that.