Residential Vs. Commercial

The Differences Between Residential & Commercial Roofs

Roofing Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

The care that a residential roof needs when it comes time for repair is not the same as what a roof on a commercial building will require. This is because the types of buildings, and what their occupants require from it, differ greatly. In order to offer effective and lasting repairs, it is important for any roofing company to have a comprehensive understanding of what a particular building will need to succeed. Some of the most significant differences between residential and commercial roofs include:


This is likely one of the most visually obvious differences between the two types of roofs. While the vast majority of residential homes tend to have steeply sloped roofs, commercial properties often have a much milder slope, if not a roof that is completely flat. Commercial buildings usually favor this style of roof because they are easy to maintain, comparatively inexpensive to install, and allow for efficient use of space to house things like HVAC systems and other equipment. Additionally, to build a sloped roof we are used to seeing on homes on the scale of most commercial buildings would be impractical, if not outright impossible. On the other hand, residential properties benefit from roofing systems that allow water, snow, and debris to run off as much as possible. When roofers approach a repair project, understanding the differences in design is paramount to providing the appropriate care.


In some cases, the differences in the roof’s design necessitate differences in the materials used to achieve it. What works on the flat roof of a warehouse would likely not be practical on a home’s sloped roof. Further, a commercial building’s larger surface area may mean that tougher materials are needed, but don’t necessarily need to be as attractive. Home roofing materials tend to have a far wider selection to suit homeowners’ many aesthetic preferences.

Some of the most common roofing materials for either kind include:

  • Metal roofing
  • Wood shakes
  • Slate, asphalt, ceramic, and tile shingles

Installation & Service

Overall, residential roofing installation tends to be a fairly straightforward project. Most homes have very few obstacles for roofers to deal with - a chimney here, a skylight there, minimal disruption. Commercial roofing installation, on the other hand, requires much more skilled service, taking into account numerous structures and pieces of equipment unique to the building. Once complete, however, the situation is reversed. Maintenance or repair on a flat commercial roof tends to be far less involved, and certainly less precarious, than repairs done on a pitched home roof.

If you need access to a company that can do both, Lyons Roofing is here to help. Call (520) 447-2522 today to schedule your appointment for residential or commercial roof repair.