commercial roof

Thanks to innovative materials and decades of experience, materials for your commercial roof are available in a wide range of choices and budgets. Selecting the best material for your Tulsa business depends on many factors, such as slope, wind direction and energy efficiency. 

Two Basic Beginnings

Commercial roofs, no matter their slope, can be protected numerous ways. Steep slope roofs may use metal or shingles; low-slope roofs use two basic materials:

  1. Single-ply—This refers to thermosets and thermoplastics, such as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), category-defying Hypalon, and a hybrid called modified bitumen
  2. Built-up Roofing (BUR)—Going old-school, this is built on site from layers of roofing felts alternating with hot asphalt or bitumen

Each type is deserving of some detail, since your Tulsa business deserves a durable commercial roof matched to your needs.


Single-ply materials for your commercial roof may not sound very substantial, but they are remarkably sturdy. The industry breaks these out in three categories:

  1. ThermosetsEPDM and TPO gain strength when heated, but once heated, cannot be reformed or reshaped. Thermosets are between 45 and 90 mils thick.
  2. Thermoplastics—PVC is a thermoplastic; it can be reheated and reshaped. PVC membranes are amazingly tough. Most PVC is between 40 and 50 mils thick.
  3. Hypalon®—A separate group unto itself, this brand of chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) synthetic rubber (CSM) begins life as a thermoplastic but sets over time, like a thermoset.

Some single-ply types can be prefabricated in factories to exactly match your commercial roof with minimal seams.

Modified Bitumen

A hybrid, modified bitumen uses layers of roofing felts of organic or synthetic fibers impregnated with asphalt. Laid out at perpendicular angles to each other, with hot asphalt or bitumen added, the multiple layers provide weather resistance and prevent water infiltration.

Modified bitumen roofing has seams closed with heat, hot-mopping, or solvents. These seams are the most likely places leaks will develop.

Built-Up Roofing

BUR is probably the oldest commercial roof material still in use. These “tar and gravel” roofs have covered low-slope commercial roofs in Tulsa and nationwide for more than 100 years. Roofing felts are alternated with asphalt; the entire surface is often covered in crushed stone.


For help choosing the ideal commercial roof material for your Tulsa property, contact Perfection Roofing today. We have experience in every type of commercial low-slope roofing material from the leading American and international manufacturers.

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