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Today’s commercial roofing systems combine trusted methods that have been used for decades with innovative new synthetic materials that provide strength and durability. Commercial roofing systems need to be tough and functional to withstand all kinds of weather conditions. There are five major systems available, each with its own advantages. The right one for you depends on your property’s unique situation. Read on for a brief introduction to the types of commercial roofing systems available and to see which one might fit your needs.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing systems have been popular for a long time. They’re commonly called tar and gravel roofs and are installed by applying layers of fiberglass membrane and asphalt onto the underlying roof structure. The number of layers (or plies) installed depends on your situation and budget. The top layer of a built-up roofing system is typically stone or gravel.

Single-Ply Membrane

Single-ply membrane roofing is one of the best-known types of commercial roof. It is a time-tested method that uses a rubber-based membrane for the roof. The membrane can be attached in many ways — ballasted, mechanically fastened, or chemically adhered. There are several types available to fit a wide range of budgets and building needs.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is one of the oldest roofing systems in use, dating back to ancient Roman times. Today, metal roofing systems are primarily constructed with corrugated galvanized steel. Metal roofing systems are lightweight and can be installed on top of an existing roof. Once a metal roofing system is installed, your contractor can apply a coating that provides additional waterproofing, rust and UV protection.

PVC/TPO Single-Ply Membrane

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) single-ply membranes are the fastest-growing type of commercial roofing system in the U.S. The system consists of a series of factory-made sheets that are applied on the job site by various methods. The sheets — or membranes — get welded together with either heat or solvents, and once they are welded develop a joint strength equal to the strength of the membrane itself. This makes a unified, durable roof.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing, or “Mod Bit” systems offer many of the same advantages of built-up roofing, but are easier to apply since they are a single-ply system. Mod Bit is highly durable and is made from bitumen (asphalt) which has been modified by adding rubber or plastic to increase flexibility and reinforced — typically with fiberglass. Modified bitumen roofing is a high-performance system that can be quickly installed, is cost-efficient, and is easy to maintain.

Commercial Roofing Consultations Available Now

If you’re searching for a professional roof installer to help you with your commercial roofing needs, consider Twin Rivers Roofing. We serve Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck region of Virginia and have more than 30 years of experience as a roofing contractor. We’re committed to providing quality, affordable roofing systems for both commercial and residential properties. Check us out our website at, or better yet, give us a call at (540) 899-7774. If your commercial roof requires repair or replacement, we’ll offer you affordable options that will fit your needs.