The Insider’s Guide To Commercial Flat Roofing Material

Flat roofs probably take more abuse from the elements and other factors than slanted roofs. Snow buildup, water pooling, and various critters pecking and clawing at it can weaken the roof, increasing the risk of your flat roof becoming your new floor.

However, before starting the long, tedious search of finding a professional to repair or replace your flat roof, it would benefit you greatly to do a little research on flat roofing materials.

The more you know about the different types of materials used for flat roofs, the better you will be able to choose the right professional to provide the quality of work you’re looking for.

Roofer preparing part of bitumen roofing felt roll for melting by gas heater torch flame

Various Types of Flat Roofing Material

When replacing your flat roof, the material you choose is important. Each material has pros and cons. The size of the roof, the environment you’re in, and what the roof can be exposed to all factor into the materials used for repairs.

Let’s take a look at some different flat roofing materials.

Built Up Roofing (BUR)

For years, BUR was the most common type of roofing. BUR involves spreading a layer of asphalt over the entire roof. Generally, it requires three to four layers to properly seal and protect the roof.

There are a few pros and cons associated with BUR.


  • Can last up to 10-15 years
  • Protects against water and inclement weather
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to foot traffic


  • Installation can take awhile
  • Emits potentially hazardous fumes and vapors
  • Heavy
  • Requires strengthening of roof joists prior to installation
  • Not flexible in cold weather and can sustain damage as a result

BUR, while low maintenance and inexpensive to upkeep, does have a high initial installation cost.

EPDM Roofing Material

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer. It is a rubberized roofing material that can last longer than most other flat roofing material when laid by a professional.


  • Waterproof
  • Repairs are simple and inexpensive
  • Can last up to 50 years


  • Must be installed by a professional
  • Can be damaged by foot traffic during installation and weather storms.

EPDM tends to be the number one recommended flat roofing material for commercial use.

TPO Roofing

TPO roof stands for thermoplastic roof. It is UV resistant and heat resistant similar to EDPM.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Durable, resisting mold growth, tears, and punctures
  • Easy to install and has fewer seams than most other materials


  • It is a newer material and longevity is often questioned
  • Does not stand up well to high thermal or solar loads

TPO is a fairly new material, only having been used in the last decade or two. As a result, new compounds are constantly being tested and created to provide the best possible compound.

Contact a Professional Roofing Company

No matter the choice of materials, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional to repair or replace a flat roof. You want your roof to be properly sealed, preventing any damage from inclement weather, foot traffic, and water.

While some roofing materials do allow for DIY projects, unless you have prior experience, it’s always best to hire professionals. However, if you do find yourself in a position where DIY is the only cost-effective approach, you should still contact a professional roofing company for advice and recommendations.

4 Ways to Fix a Damaged Commercial Roof

Commercial roofs are built to last, delivering long-term performance and durability while keeping costs low. Despite their simple construction and durable materials, commercial roofs can still develop problems during their lifespan. When a roof is installed improperly, designed incorrectly, or not properly maintained, problems can surface that necessitate business owners and building managers to take action. In the majority of problems, there are 4 options to consider. Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin is your roofing expert in the Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls areas, and we can address your damaged roof with the option that is best for your unique situation.

Option #1: Repair

Some problems on a roof can be minor and easily repaired, so they don’t warrant the expense of a replacement. Repair is appropriate in situations where the membrane is intact and has not met its life expectancy, the roof has good insulation, or the business owner wants to keep costs to a minimum. Since repair is a quick-fix, low-cost option, it makes sense in many situations. While the repaired roof will never match the reliability or lifespan of a replacement roof, it’s also not the most long-term option.

Option #2: Re-cover

Even a roof that is too damaged to repair doesn’t necessarily require replacement. If the roof is fundamentally sound and was installed properly, the most effective solution may be to re-cover. In many cases, if a roof has only one membrane, you can add another membrane layer. However, keep in mind that a roof can only be re-covered once. If the roof is well insulated but the existing membrane is at the end of its life, re-covering may be the right option, saving you cost and time.

Option #3: Full Replacement  

If the damage is extensive, it may not be possible to re-cover. Also, if a roof has been re-covered once before, you’ll need to replace it. If repairs to the roof are extensive, or if 25% or more of the roof is damaged, it’s best to replace the membrane and start fresh. Also, if the roof insulation is not up to par, wet or damaged, it’s best to replace or supplement the existing insulation and replace the roof. In some situations, the business owner may be interested in a long-term replacement or looking to take advantage of new roofing technologies for energy efficiency or other reasons, warranting a full roof replacement.

Option #4: Coating

Many commercial roofs can be coated to extend their life. Coating is a relatively low-cost and painless operation that delivers extra protection from leaks and extends the life of the roof.

Reflective coatings provide energy savings by reflecting heat and UV energy away from the building, improving comfort inside the building by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the roof and keeping the roof and the building cooler. A coating also improves the look of the roof, giving you the appearance of a new roof at a fraction of the cost.

Regardless of which option is right for you, Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin is the right contractor to do the work. We’ll get your damaged roof back in great condition quickly and at a price you can afford.

The Best Commercial Roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls

Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin is your best bet for commercial roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls, and we have the experience, credentials, and referrals to prove it. Call us today at 262-349-6338 or visit our website and Contact Us today.

How to Choose a Great Roofer

A commercial roofing job is a difficult task, but perhaps the most critical step happens before the job is even approved. Choosing the right roofer for your job can be a huge undertaking, and many business owners simply rely on word-of-mouth and hope for the best. You don’t need to take a gamble on your choice of roofing contractor, however, because there are a few questions you can ask to vet your candidates and separate the best from the mediocre. Your Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls commercial roofing experts at Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin believe we’re the best bet for any project, but we want you to be educated about what a quality roofing contractor has to offer. Here’s what you need to ask:

1. Does the contractor carry insurance?

A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you, and their employees, in the event of a roofing accident. Many fly-by-night roofers will tell you this is not necessary and they can offer lower prices by remaining uninsured, but the risk outweighs the reward of saving a few dollars. Make sure your contractor is adequately insured.

2. Is the contractor licensed and credentialed?

Several roofing manufacturers offer a variety of programs to professional contractors that establish their credentials as a knowledgeable roofing company. Homeowners can view a contractor’s credentials as another indicator of their degree of knowledge, professionalism, and dedication to the roofing trade. It’s a telling sign if a contractor doesn’t carry a license or any credentials, avoid them.

3. Does the contractor have good references and referrals?

While positive word-of-mouth isn’t the only criteria you should consider, it is vitally important. It’s best to look into a contractor’s history and find clients that recommend them. While contractors with many years in business and many accolades are your best bet, everyone has to start somewhere. Newer contractors with great recommendations are often a great choice for your project as well.

4. Does the contractor supply a well-written proposal or estimate?

The contractor’s proposal is a great barometer for their level of competency and commitment to excellence. Simply put, a proposal is a tentative agreement for a project. It offers a choice of products by brand name, prices, services and even designs. Many other provisions may also be included such as change order conditions and financing options.

The business owner should expect three product choices. These could be presented in the typical range of good, better and best. Appropriate product literature and samples should also be offered. A proposal should be extremely customer-friendly, thorough, and leave you with very few questions.

The Best Commercial Roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls

All of these criteria are met and exceeded by the experts at Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin. We’re your best bet for commercial roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls, and we have the experience, credentials, and referrals to prove it. Call us today at 262-349-6338 or visit our website and Contact Us today.

Metal Roofs and Wisconsin Weather

At Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin, we spend a lot of time dealing with how our unique climate effects different roofing materials. Wisconsin’s weather is known for its wide swing from hot summers to frigid winters, and the quick changes that can happen at a moment’s notice throughout the year. Being commercial roofing experts in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls, Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin has some interesting facts about a material that we think is an excellent choice for Wisconsin roofs: metal roofs.

The benefits of metal roofs are endless, but let’s break it down by season. Here in Wisconsin, we have a vastly different experience in the summer months than we do in the winter months, and the change takes a toll on our roofs. Metal handles these changes with a unique durability and beauty.

Metal Roofs and Wisconsin Summers

We’re known for our winters, but summers in Wisconsin are something special. Tons of sunshine and ample precipitation keep everything a lush green color, but cause damage and wear and tear on traditional roofs. Metal roofs are much more resilient to the hot summer. Metal reflects the sun’s rays, not only protecting the roof but also keeping the entire building cooler, lowering cooling costs and saving valuable energy in the process. Water, hail, and wind shed off of the metal roofing easily, and a properly-installed metal roof is impervious to windstorms, holding up much better than shingle roofs.

Metal Roofs and Wisconsin Winters

Wisconsinites are adept at dealing with the cold of our long winters, but we can’t expect our roofing materials to survive without maintenance and attention. With metal roofing, there is very little required. Snow and ice have no chance at finding a foothold on a metal roof, and they quickly and easily are shed off. Punishing winter storms are no match for a metal roof, as the durability of our installations is designed to withstand winter winds like no other.

Metal roofs excel at meeting these seasonal challenges, but there are a host of other benefits as well. Metal roofs can be painted any color, bringing more design options to the table for your building. Moreover, a color change is easy, making the 30-50 year lifespan of a metal roof less of a commitment in terms of color and design. Metal roofs are also completely fireproof, and 100% recyclable. Combine that with their energy-efficiency potential and you have a truly green material.

The Best Commercial Roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls

Interested in a metal roof for your commercial building? Call Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin today at 262-349-6338 or visit our website and Contact Us today.

What’s New in Commercial Roofing?

The commercial roofing industry has seen changes and challenges in recent years, and despite adversity has remained very strong. Bolstered by an active and strong materials market, installers have had great success in providing new technologies, materials, and innovative design to their customers. Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin is passionate about commercial roofing services, and we deliver the best service and quality installations to our customers all over Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls.

The global market for commercial roofing materials has seen new manufacturers and high level of competition in recent years. This competition, along with mergers, acquisitions and collaboration, is leading to innovative breakthroughs and new ideas. The traditional segments of commercial roofing materials fall into categories, such as modified bitumen materials, single-ply products, spray polyurethane foam, metal roofing, built-up roofing, and others. Modified bitumen has typically led in popularity, however, analysts are predicting strong growth in single-ply roofing due to its easy installation and high level of flexibility.

Single-ply membranes are installed in one layer, which saves time, money and effort over many other types of roofing material. The Thermoset variety of single-ply membranes includes EPDM roofing, among other polymers. Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin has installed this fantastic material on countless commercial roofs in the Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls areas. We’ve seen firsthand the benefits to our customers, such as cost savings, better flexibility and longer life, not to mention a shortened install time, which reduces impact on the business.

With the short summers in our Milwaukee climate, cool roofing materials aren’t in as high demand as they are in other parts of the world, but we have still seen interest by efficiency-minded companies. White- and light-colored membranes, as well as metal roofing materials, help to reflect the sun’s radiation better than traditional black or dark materials. This leads to better efficiency and lower cooling costs in the hot months. We expect to see continued growth in interest in these materials. At Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin, we’re ready to meet our customers changing needs and expectations with the best materials and the best installation services.

As we continue to work with accuracy and accountability to ensure that our customers’ investments are protected, we help to build and improve our industry. In these times of new technology and change, we’re committed to providing the best service to our customers.

The Best Commercial Roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls

Interested in a new roof for your commercial building? Call Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin today at 262-349-6338 or visit our website and Contact Us today.

The Science Behind EPDM Rubber

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is extremely durable and widely used in low-slope buildings. Available in both black and white in a wide variety of widths, an EPDM roof is commonly used in single-ply roofing because it is simple to apply and readily available. At Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin, we’ve installed EPDM roofing for our great customers all over the Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls areas, and we’re a big believer in this amazing material.

A synthetic type of rubber, EPDM is closely related to ethylene propylene rubber. With an ethylene content of around 45% to 85%, EPDM exhibits high loading possibilities, and superior mixing and extrusion. This allows the roofing material to have an extremely consistent thickness and ease of manufacture, lowering costs and improving installation. EPDM rubber is also extremely stable, and resists creep or flow after installation.

EPDM has outstanding heat, ozone, and weather resistance. In our Milwaukee area climate, this property holds special significance. EPDM roofs shed ice, snow and rain easily, and are also resistant to oils, solvents and acids. Excellent electrical insulation properties also deliver protection for the building and its inhabitants, and also make EPDM an excellent material for electrical cabling insulation.

EPDM rubber is also used as a safety material. EPDM granules are a component in a slurry that is sprayed onto concrete, asphalt, interlocking brick, wood, and other surfaces to create a non-slip and soft surface. This material is frequently found on pool decks or under playground equipment to help lessen incidences of injury.

Another extremely popular use of EPDM rubber is in the seals and weatherstripping around doors, windows and other openings of automobiles. This allows for a flexible, long lasting seal that conforms and fills the space tightly, inhibiting air infiltration and reducing noise. EPDM is also used in many hoses and tubes in the engine compartment, again for its properties of durability and flexibility.

EPDM is extremely versatile, but perhaps its best use is as a roofing material. Its relatively low cost, ease of installation, resistance to scuffs and tears, and warranted lifespan of 30 years means you get an attractive, durable roof that will last for decades with minimal maintenance. At Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin, we’re standing by to deliver on our promise and provide your business with the best roof possible.

The Best Commercial Roofing in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls

Interested in a new roof for your commercial building? Call Commercial Roofing of Wisconsin today at 262-349-6338 or visit our website and Contact Us today.