Commercial Flat Roofing

A Guide to Commercial Flat Roofing Options

Whether you’re a recent or a seasoned commercial building owner, understanding the different types of commercial flat roofing options available is helpful. Of course, you don’t need an expert to tell you that without proper repair and maintenance, all flat roofing options leak or become vulnerable to the ravages of time.

This guide will serve as a starting point in allowing you to understand the different types of flat roofing. Along with basic information, we will discuss their projected lifespans, what impacts their longevity, and most importantly, how to have the roof repaired on a budget.

The Different Types Of Commercial Flat Roofing Systems

The following are the most commonly available roofing systems in the U.S.:

*EPDM Or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer

EPDM at its core is an industrial-strength rubber made of synthetic materials. This style of roofing is sold as a roll with a single-ply layer available in popular colors such as tan, black, white, and gray.

Thanks to its ability to contract and expand based on outdoor temperature fluctuations, this roofing system is considered a resilient and hardy choice. When properly maintained and installed by professionals, this roofing system may provide up to 30 years of service!

Heavy foot traffic and inclement weather can significantly shorten the lifespan of EPDM systems. The membrane usually begins to separate around the parapet walls and seams, providing a weak point for leaks to develop. Additionally, older EPDM roofs tend to accumulate dirt and debris that makes them less aesthetically pleasing over time.

*Modified Bitumen

A modernized version of the built-up roofing system, modified bitumen is a combination of materials such as fiberglass, asphalt, and either plastic or polymerized rubber. Though this roofing system offers a protective and waterproof barrier against the elements, it has a fairly short lifespan of only 10 to 20 years.

The reason that modified bitumen isn’t going to last as long as other options is because it tend to hold onto water from snow or rainfall much sooner. This pooling and standing water will become its downfall resulting in multiple worn areas and leaks especially near the seams.


Considered the oldest type of commercial roofing available, metal is a time-tested option. It works well in virtually any climate and requires the least amount of maintenance. Most importantly, these roofing systems are infamous for longevity and having the ability to provide ample protection for 30 years or longer!

The downside to metal roofing is the corrosion, and the different fasteners will wear away at different speeds. Another downside to metal roofs is that they can become punctured or dented fairly easily on commercial buildings.

*TPO Or Thermoplastic Polyolefin

This material comes in sheet form that’s heat-welded and houses a combination of ethylene propylene rubber and polypropylene. Its known flexibility makes it an ideal choice for colder climates and through proper maintenance as well as installation, they can last up to 30 years.

Unfortunately, TPO roofing systems are notorious for failing well before their projected lifespans. This is especially the case in areas where they’re subjected to much UV light and excessive heat.

*PVC Or Polyvinyl Chloride

Considered hardy by many, PVC is an excellent flat commercial roofing option. It can withstand exposure to harsh chemicals while also retaining its ability to repel water. Available in a wide range of colors and varying thicknesses, this roofing system can last up to 30 years with care and maintenance.

The downside to PVC as a roofing material is that it shrinks in time and the seams begin to slip apart. They also aren’t considered a sustainable option and are prone to punctures and shattering in cold climates

What Factors Can Impact The Lifespan Of Commercial Roofing Materials?

Commercial Flat Roofing ContractortsAs you’ve just read, you can see that the projected amount of time that a roofing system lasts can change drastically. What are the direct factors that determine how long your roofing lasts?

*Faulty Installation And Poor Craftsmanship

No two roofing contractors are alike, and the materials used (good or bad) as well as the craftsmanship of the installation have a direct impact on a commercial roofing system’s lifespan. The real problem is that many commercial building owners don’t realize they’ve dealt with an unscrupulous contractor until years after installation and their warranty has expired.

*Inclement Weather

Your commercial roofing is greatly impacted by inclement weather such as excessive windstorms, rain, snow, and hail. However, the sun also causes significant UV damage to roofing materials resulting in the deterioration of the materials.

*Absence Of Or Poorly Designed Drainage Systems

Usually, roofing systems can be divided into two categories: ones that are leaking and ones that are close to leaking. However, by having a properly sloping roofing system installed along with a solid drainage system, you can prolong the inevitable.

*Ignored Maintenance

Has the current roofing system been adequately maintained? This isn’t something you may have the answer to if you’ve only just acquired the property. Inconsistent maintenance can impact its lifespan, but even with proper maintenance, a good roof doesn’t last forever.

The Roof Is Leaking: Now What?

Regardless of the age of your roofing system, the moment you notice a leak, it’s crucial to act quickly. Not only is a leaking roof a serious health hazard, but it can cause damage to the very foundation of the building.

A roofing contractor can help you periodically repair and maintain any potential leaks that occur. Unfortunately, in due time, this becomes a repetitive and expensive task. Replacing your roofing system is another option, but do make sure to get several pricing quotes because this is an expensive endeavor.

Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, provides commercial flat roof repair, commercial flat roof replacement and commercial flat roof installation services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities. We have been providing commercial roofing services to the area for over 19 years. When you need help with commercial metal roofing systems, check out our sister site at

Commercial Flat Roof Replacement

The Cost Of Replacing A Flat Commercial Roof

When It’s Time To Replace A Flat Commercial Roof

For most commercial property owners, the lifespan of a flat commercial roof is a matter of maximizing efficiency. You want to get as much life as possible out of your roof before you commit to the expensive process of replacing it. When leaks become a significant problem, though, it’s time to bite the bullet and gather your resources for a replacement. Delaying this process could cause structural damage to your building, adding extra costs to the expense of a new roof.

Roofing Material Options

The cheapest materials used to cover a flat roof are modified bitumen (MB) or a built-up roof (BUR) system. These were once extremely popular, but today professional roofers hesitate to use them. More modern roofing options last longer, resist damage better, and offer better UV protection. This increased durability translates to a lower cost when spread out over a longer lifespan.

The most common materials used today for flat commercial roofs are PVP and TPO. EPDM is also a decent option, and it’s attractive to many property owners because it is slightly cheaper than the other modern alternatives.

How Your Old Roof Affects The Price Of Your New Roof

Before your roofing contractors can install a new flat roof, they have to remove the old one. If your old roof is one of the older types described above, MB or BUR, you can expect to pay more to have it removed. This is because they are multi-layered systems and they require significantly more labor to take off. If your contractor is removing a PVP, TPO, or EPDM roof, the process will be faster and cheaper. (This is another point in favor of investing in these modern materials.)

Additional Variables Afftecting Roof Replacement Costs

Commercial Flat Roof Repair ContractorsEven if water hasn’t penetrated your old roof, your roofer may need to do a significant amount of structural work before laying down a new roof membrane. Despite their name, “flat” commercial roofs do need a slight pitch so that water drains off them. Your roof sub-surface may need to be repaired to ensure good drainage. If your building requires repairs or additions to properly handle water runoff, these will increase the cost of the job.

Your contractor will also need to check any roof-mounted equipment (like air conditioners) to confirm it’s properly supported. If reinforcements are required, they will add to the overall cost of the job. Vents, skylights, and other features that penetrate your roof all add to the cost of a professional roof replacement. Each of these penetrations needs to be properly sealed to prevent leakage. And any complications in your roof’s design (if it is, for instance, very high or hard to access) will add to the cost of replacing it.

Commercial Roofers With the Experience You Require

Roof replacement costs also vary based on your building’s location. If construction in your region is more expensive than the national average, the cost of a new roof will also be higher. If your community requires complex permits for these kinds of repairs, you will need to foot the bill for them.

Finally, the season you schedule your roof replacement can change its overall cost. Contractors may raise or lower their rates to reflect how busy they are at a given time. The local climate may make it easier or harder to work on your roof in particular seasons, which can add to or reduce the overall cost.

Rough Cost Guidelines For Commercial Flat Roof Replacement

Bearing in mind the points raised above about the many variables that affect your particular job, here are some general figures for roof replacement costs based on national averages:

* Removal of existing roof material: $2-4 per square foot
* Installation of new roofing, MB or BUR; $5 per square foot
* Installation of new roofing, EPDM, TPO, or PVP: $7.5 per square foot

A typical commercial flat roof replacement costs more than four times as much as a similar job on a home. The average cost of a residential flat roof is roughly $8,000, while the cost of a commercial flat roof can be $29,000 or more.

The Importance Of The Contractor You Choose

The last variable that affects the cost of your roof replacement is the roofing contractor to whom you entrust the job. Contractors with extensive experience installing commercial roofs deliver better results and better prices than firms that concentrate on residential projects. A commercial roof replacement is a big enough job that you need to get estimates from multiple contractors. When choosing between these bids, don’t assume that the lowest estimate will translate into the lowest final cost. Study your potential contractors’ reputations to ensure that the one you choose is giving you an accurate estimate.

Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, provides commercial flat roof repair, commercial flat roof replacement and commercial flat roof installation services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities. We have been providing commercial roofing services to the area for over 19 years. When you need advice about your commercial flat roof, give us a call. And, for info regarding commercial metal roofing, visit us at our sister site

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Commercial Roof Repair, Commercial Roof Replacement and Commercial Metal Roof Restoration for the Austin Area

Commercial Roof Repair

Need commercial roof repair? At Armadillo Roofing we offer customers affordable commercial roof repair options.

Commercial Roof Installation

Modified Bitumen, White Membrane, Metal or Green Roofing Systems, we can install the highest quality roof on your commercial building.

Commercial Metal Roof Repair

We'll keep your property's Metal Roofing System in top-notch condition with our extensive experience and expertise with Commercial Metal Roofing Systems.

Commercial Metal Roof Restoration

Let us show you how you can save a lot of money, as much as 30-40%, by restoring your commercial metal roof instead of replacing it.

About Us

I’m Mark Franz, the owner of Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors.

I’m proud to say no one can beat our quality and experience in commercial roof repair, commercial roof installation, commercial roof replacement, commercial metal roof repair and commercial metal roof restoration in Austin, Texas.

Some of Our Latest Projects

Check out these recently completed commercial roofing projects.

Whether you’re looking for commercial roof installation, commercial roof repair, commercial roof maintenance, commercial metal roof repair or commercial metal roof restoration, we here at Armadillo Roofing have you covered.

With Commercial Roofing we are experienced in Modified Bitumen, White Membrane, Metal, Tile, Shingle, Green and all Flat Roofing systems.

You can save a lot of money, as much as 30-40% over a replacement, by taking advantage of our commercial metal roof restoration services.

Some of Our Latest Projects

Here at Armadillo Roofing, nothing is more important than taking care of the most important asset we have – our satisfied customers.

We take pride in the number of 5 star reviews you will find online that our customers have posted.

We will always deliver on our promise to ensure the finest quality materials and craftsmanship, stressing integrity and rewarding excellence. We are craftsmen who take pride in the roofing services we provide to our customers, both commercial and residential.

Our commitment is to deliver “Quality Craftsmanship at an Affordable Price,” and we have been doing just that for well over a decade now in Austin and the surrounding areas.

“Thanks for taking care of us in a professional manner. It was a pleasure to deal with someone who actually did what he said he would do. Look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks again.”

Mike McCoy – Mission Mortgage

“Thanks for a job well done. I look forward to working with you in the future. Let me know if you need any references on your future jobs. I’d be glad to be of help. Take Care.”

Mike Wilson – Central Texas Development Assessments, Inc.,

“Thank you again for your hard work. You did an amazing job on our building’s roof system and I would certainly recommend Armadillo to anyone needing your services.”

A.W. Armstrong – Kestrel Management Services, LLC

“Armadillo Roofing replaced our old roof with a beautiful new one. David managed the entire process to the detail. He was there during the work and walked the roof with me after it was finished. Quality, friendly and trustworthy best describes our experience with Mark and David at Armadillo.”

Lisa Y. – Austin

“We had an amazing experience with Armadillo Roofing and can’t say enough positive things about them. They replaced our entire roof in time to put our house on the market.”

Court C. – Cedar Park

“A hail storm left us with roof damage. Armadillo was referred to us and we couldn’t be happier. David was onsite at the start and finish of each phase to ensure everything was done properly. Mark is engaged and responsive anytime we had questions. They do great work! I would recommend Armadillo to anyone.”

Danny W. – Austin