Roofing materials used for industrial applications usually take much more of a beating than the materials used in residential roofing. Chemicals, smoke and residues can break down industrial roofing in a matter of a few years if the right materials are not used. Another problem that arises in terms of industrial roofing is the need for the roof to keep its integrity. This is especially important in industries such as the food industry, where any debris falling from above is a problem. It is with this understanding in mind that selecting the correct roofing material becomes such an important part of the building process.

The most common roofing materials used

There are five common types of roofing materials used in industrial roofing. All of these materials have their pros and cons, making selecting one among them that much easier.

  • Metal roofing – The era of the metal roof is coming to an end, as construction companies find newer materials that are much more durable than metal. However, with that said, metal roofing materials, usually made out of steel, aluminum or copper, still remain the perfect choice for some, due to its relatively low price and ease of installation. It is also the most attractive in this lot, so it has that going for it.
  • Spray Foam – This is one of the newer technologies. This material comes as a polyurethane foam and works really well to protect vents, pipes, seams and other protrusions through the other roofing materials. It cannot be used on a large scale, but works really well where it is called upon.
  • Single ply roofing – This material, also known as single ply membranes, is composed of four elements; a single ply membrane (usually made of rubber or plastic), a flashing, an adhesive and an insulation layer.
  • Modified bitumen – Another one of the newer technologies, modified bitumen is asphalt that has been mixed with some modifiers. These modifiers give it rubber- or plastic-like properties and make it much more durable.
  • Built-up Roofing – This material is comprised of a few materials that have been laminated together. It is very durable, but relatively expensive to purchase and install.

Other common materials

Industrial complexes that are serious about being around for a long time have been known to use concrete as their roofing material. It is impermeable, can resist both natural and chemical elements, and is very durable. It is expensive to install, but once that is done, it pays for itself for decades. The other commonly used material is clear PVC. This material is used in industries that need a bit of light but do not want to compromise the integrity of their roofs. This material is strong, durable and as easy to install as its metal counterpart.

Selecting the best roofing material

As seen above, there are a few things that determine the type of industrial roofing a company will use. Cost is the major one, durability is the second, and ease of installation is the third. The ideal roofing material should be relatively inexpensive, last for a long time and be easy to handle and install. Lastly, it should also work well with other roofing materials. Metal is a good example, as it fulfills all these requirements.