March 8, 2023

Choosing the Right Roof System for Your Building

Compared to residential properties, commercial building structures have much more complexity and nuance. With this complexity comes more options when deciding on roof systems and roof types. Choosing the right roof system for your building depends on a variety of factors. Read on to learn what factors to consider when choosing the right roof for your commercial property!

How Do You Choose the Right Roof System for Your Building?

Since choosing the right roof system for your building is complex, we’ve boiled down a list of the most important factors to consider. These factors include the following.

  • Building use and location
  • Structure and load-bearing capacity
  • Desired lifespan and maintenance requirements
  • The roof structure’s slope and drainage

Building Use and Location

Building Use

Building usage and location are important factors to consider when selecting the ideal roof system. For example, is your building an ambient warehouse or a hospital? Is it an office space or a laboratory? Is it a dental office or an auto repair shop? Obviously, the nature of the business conducted within the building has a significant bearing on the type of roof required. Ambient warehouses or auto repair shops are not usually climate controlled.

A leaky roof is undesirable in any situation, but can you see the difference between a roof on an auto repair shop versus a hospital? Depending on the type of building, it might mean the difference between choosing an exposed fastener metal roof and a PVC/kee roof. Both are durable but have different maintenance requirements and offer varying levels of protection from the environment.


Sun exposure is also a significant factor, especially here in Florida. For site locations with full sun, metal, TPO, or PVC/KEE roofing systems are ideal. These systems are durable, provide protection from the elements, and have higher heat reflectivity. Shaded areas may benefit more from an asphalt shingle roof, depending on the slope of the roof and the building’s architectural characteristics.

Structure and Load-Bearing Capacity

The building structure and load-bearing capacity are additional important factors in choosing the right roof system. When the load-bearing capacity of a building is a concern, metal or asphalt shingles would be a better choice over clay or concrete tile for pitched roofs. For example, metal and asphalt shingle roofs weigh anywhere from 1.6 – 4.3 lbs/square foot compared to clay or concrete tile, which weighs anywhere from 6-11 lbs/square foot.

A picture of a tile roof. This is used in the roof system blog.

The Roof Structure’s Slope and Drainage

Distinct from residential roofs, commercial roofs often come in both pitched and sloped forms. Metal, tile, and asphalt shingles are ideal for pitched roofs. PVC/KEE, TPO, and Modified Bitumen are ideal for flat roofs. Additionally, flat roofs drain rainwater much differently than sloped roofs and require far different types of gutter and drainage systems.

Desired Lifespan and Maintenance Requirements

If you plan on occupying your commercial building for a significant period of time, metal, tile, and TPO roofing have a long lifespan when they’re well maintained. Exposed fastener metal roofing requires more maintenance than standing seam metal roofing because of the exposed fasteners that are present. It’s important that these fasteners be replaced about once every 10 years. Metal roofing also requires more maintenance when a building is located in a shaded location with overhanging tree limbs.

Again, other factors like site location must be weighed when considering desired lifespan and maintenance.

Big D Is Here to Help You Choose the Right Roof System for Your Building in Ocala, FL

Working with a reputable local commercial and residential roofing contractor like Big D gives you the knowledge and expertise you need to make the best decisions for your business. We can help you choose the right roof system based on your budget and needs.

We provide exceptional customer service and follow industry best practices. We use high-quality roofing materials to provide our customers with beautiful shingle, metal, or tile roofs that last.

If your residential or commercial property is located in Ocala, FL, The Villages, FL, or the surrounding area, contact us today to get started on your roofing project!