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News & Advice

What Goes On A Commercial Roof?

What Goes On A Commercial Roof

A commercial roof can have various elements like HVAC units, ventilation systems, roofing membranes, insulation, and sometimes green roofing systems or solar panels.

Commonly found layers on a commercial roof…

  • Structural Decking – The foundational layer of the roof, typically made of plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), or steel, provides support for the roofing materials.
  • Underlayment – A waterproofing layer is installed directly over the structural decking to provide an additional barrier against water intrusion. This may include asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic membranes, or self-adhering membranes.
  • Insulation – Installed above the underlayment to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance. Common insulation materials include rigid foam boards, fiberglass batts, and spray foam insulation.
  • Membrane – The primary waterproofing layer of the roof, often made of single-ply materials such as EPDM, TPO, PVC, or modified bitumen, protecting against water infiltration.
  • Cover Board – Optionally installed over the membrane to enhance durability and puncture resistance, typically made of materials such as gypsum, fiberglass, or composite materials.
  • Surface Material – The outermost layer of the roof, protecting from the elements, UV radiation, and foot traffic. This may include gravel, stone, reflective coatings, or vegetative roofing systems, depending on the specific requirements of the building.

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