What Are Some Differences Between Residential and Commercial Roofing?

You might think that whether it’s for a business or a home, a roof is a roof — right? As a leading provider of commercial roofing in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities, C.R. Thompson Roofing has an intimate understanding of both applications — including their differences. 

There, undoubtedly, exists some overlap; both require the use of quality materials and proper installation, and damage to either type can be expensive and result in the loss of property value. That said, residential and commercial roofs are not created equal. It’s imperative to comprehend a few differences vital in finding a high-quality roofing system for each type of structure.


One of the stark differences between these two types of roofing is their appearance. Residential roofs should match the look of the architectural style and, in some cases, the surrounding neighborhood. Meticulous planning goes into selecting the shingles for a home — a process that often involves homeowners that may choose colors and materials based on the era their home was constructed so it will blend well with the rest of the exterior.

Unlike residential roofs, commercial roofs aren’t necessarily concerned with matching a particular architectural style. This is because utility and functionality are far more critical.

Commercial roofs often protect equipment beneath them and must be able to withstand the weight of heating and cooling equipment for the entire facility. To accommodate, commercial roofs tend to be flat in design.

Roofing Materials

The materials used for residential and commercial roofs tend to vary depending on the type of roof, weather conditions, material cost, and more. A commercial roof typically has a flat slope, while a residential one would tend to be steeper. 

Below are roofing materials utilized for both commercial and residential roofs:

  • Asphalt, Tile, Slate, and Ceramic Shingles
  • Solar Shingles
  • Wood Shakes
  • Metal Roofing
  • Built-Up Roof

The materials may be found on both, but their application is dependent on a particular expertise. Only a qualified roofing contractor can meet the demands for both and offer informed recommendations regarding the materials that work best for each kind of roof.

Installation Considerations

Residential roofing tends to skew easier to install and create. While some homes may even want solar shingles installed, the only obstacle is usually the chimney. Commercial roofs, on the other hand, require skilled contractors that are familiar with building around smoke stacks, airflow systems, external piping, and a myriad of other obstructions imperative to the facility itself. The experienced and competent roofing professionals at C.R. Thompson can meet these demands.

From residential roof inspection and shingle replacement to commercial roof installation and emergency roof repair near Philadelphia, C.R. Thompson does it all! Contact us today to learn more.


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