When a client approaches us with a Tennessee commercial roofing project, there may be some analysis of the different types of commercial roofing that are available. They vary based on cost and materials used. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types of Tennessee commercial roofing available to clients in the communities of Chattanooga, Hixson, Cleveland, Dayton, Dunlap, Knoxville, South Pittsburg, and Kimball.

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

This time-tested option for commercial, industrial and manufacturing roofs has a lot of advantages over other types of commercial roofing material. Chief among these is longevity, as a properly installed and maintained Single-Ply Membrane Roof can last for 25-30 years. Having been around on the market for so long, the industry has been able to study its performance in the lab and in field studies under different conditions.

Another benefit of Single-Ply is the flexibility of having more options to choose from for insulating the roof.


For commercial flat roofs, we often refer to the terms TPO (thermoplastic olefin) membranes and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).

TPO roofs generally cost more as they are made from a base of polymerized polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, reinforced with fiberglass and talc to match the durability of steel and withstand decades of abuse from weathering, harsh rainstorms, and hailstorms. The installation with fastening plates requires special equipment but can save on future maintenance. EPDM is generally most cost-efficient as a single-ply solution. It is made from recycled rubber from old tires, boots, and other sources mixed with slate and sawdust to add density and strength. EPDM is easier and cheaper to install by applying deck adhesive.

By adding fire retardant chemicals during manufacturing, both can achieve fire resistance listings. TPO is generally white and reflective, while EPDM is better suited for darker roofs due to the natural color of the rubber membrane.

Tennessee Metal Roof Installation

Metal roofing may consist of corrugated galvanized steel, aluminum or tin, depending on the exact product a contractor uses. Light in weight, metallic roofing can typically be installed on top of a flat roof, making it very beneficial to structures that already have existing roofing. It is important to waterproof metal roofs, add rust protection, and UV protection. The pricing of a Tennessee metal roof installation can vary according to the exact materials and labor needed.

A good commercial metal roof that’s properly maintained should still work 40 years later. It generally holds up to high winds and show, is resistant to fire damage, can be made from recycled material, and comes in a wide range of material and colors.

Built-Up Roofing Systems

“Tar and gravel” roofs have a long history. These are installed with alternating layers of asphalt or tar with supporting fabrics, topped with stone or gravel. Properly installed and maintained, built-up commercial roofs can also last for a couple of generations. The absence of joints or seams removes leak-vulnerable areas, minimal upkeep is needed after it is installed, and the building has strong ultra-violet protection.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

“SPF” is an eco-friendly option because it is sprayed as a liquid that expands into foam to create a solid layer across an existing roof, eliminating the need to tear off an original roof in favor of a new one. The technology has been around since the early sixties, so we know that a correctly installed and maintained SPF roof can last over 50 years.

It is energy-efficient with thermal, air, and moisture barriers. The expansion and contraction of the foam material decrease the likelihood of cracks or splitting, and because it forms a continuous surface, there are no joints or seams that can be prone to leaking. The materials used in SPF roofing systems have low potential to deplete ozone, are free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and will not contribute to global warming as much as other materials might.

Recommended Commercial Roofing Systems

Generally speaking, Tennessee Roofing and Construction recommends TPO Roofing Installation or Metal Roofing Installation for a winning combination of cost, durability, and energy efficiency.

When combined with our Roof Inspection Services, commercial buildings can enjoy decades of use. For additional information, call Tennessee Roofing and Construction at 423-842-8826 or contact us online.

Tennessee Roofing & Construction, Inc. provides roofing and construction services in and around South Central Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, and Northeast Alabama.

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