Signature Exteriors

Commercial Building Rooftop with clouds in the background and glass windows

Comparing Commercial Roofing Materials

Consider the different commercial roofing material options if you’re about to put a new roof on your commercial building. There are multiple common materials used on commercial structures in Charlotte, NC. Adding a new roof to a commercial property is a long-term investment which is why it is vital to pick the most suitable material option for your property.

Here is an overview that compares the most common commercial roofing materials and why they could be a good choice for your commercial building.

Commercial Roofing Material Options


TPO is an abbreviation for thermoplastic polyolefin, and this roofing solution is prevalent because of its affordability. If the budget is tight, TPO can be a wise option. The material is light, and it is usually white, which helps it resist the sunlight. It will help ensure that the heat won’t build up inside the building.

Manufacturer recommendations for TPO installation include melting the plastics together using specialized equipment, ensuring excellent protection against roof leaks if installed correctly. The primary consideration for TPO is that there are different thickness options, and these options will provide different lifespans for your newly installed roof.


  • Affordable material
  • Resists the sunlight well


  • Some environmental conditions preclude its installation
  • Higher equipment costs for proper installation limit available installers

Commercial roof with TPO roofing



Before you consider the types of roof material, you should determine if PVC is the right choice for your roofing material. Polyvinyl chloride comes with three layers – polyester is sandwiched between two PVC layers to provide weatherproofing.

Thanks to the heat-welded seams, this commercial roofing is durable and incredibly strong, maximizing walkability and impact resistance. PVC roof is capable of withstanding the test of time, including severe weather, but also dampness and other potential problems. The only downside is that it might be more expensive than other options.


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Capable of withstanding severe weather conditions
  • A lightweight material


  • More expensive material than other options
  • Limited installer availability due to specialized training requirements


EPDM is short for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, but most roofing contractors in Charlotte refer to this as a rubber roof. It is an excellent fit for properties with little to no slope. Contractors prefer it as a commercial roofing material because it is easy to install, and building owners appreciate its affordability.

Although UV rays won’t damage it quickly due to its composition, EPDM is not the most durable material, and storm-driven debris can puncture the rubber and cause leaks. And while the roof is affordable to repair, the damage it causes to the building might be more expensive.


  • Budget-friendly cost
  • UV rays won’t damage it easily


  • Limited durability
  • Environmental conditions may preclude the installation


If you pass by a warehouse, the odds are it will have a metal roof. Roofing companies often perform service on metal roofing on factories, manufacturing structures, etc. Even residential homes with pitched roofs can have metal installed, which is a great commercial roofing material to consider.

Metal roofing is incredibly durable and can last for 40 or more years, and that makes it a genuinely long-term investment, especially if you consider that its maintenance requirements are low. You can also pick between different color variations, and the only downside is that metal costs a bit more than some cheaper alternatives.


  • Excellent for warehouses and other low slope roofs
  • Incredibly durable with low maintenance requirements
  • Many different colors options


  • High upfront cost

Metal roof tops

Commercial Roofing in Charlotte

Are you looking to hire a roofing company in Charlotte to install or replace commercial roofing material? Signature Exteriors of Charlotte recommends hiring a licensed and insured company with experience in installing various commercial roofing material types. Give our company a call or reach out to us online for any of your commercial roofing needs.

Like what you read? Check out our guest writer: 

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.