Commercial Vs Industrial Roofs: How Do They Differ?

May 12, 2022

Commercial Vs Industrial Roofs: How Do They Differ?

We always find ourselves using the two terms commercial and industrial interchangeably. Yes! Most industrial activities are commercial but many commerce activities can’t be termed industrial. So, in many instances, the interchangeable use of these two terms is not justified.

When it comes to the roofing industry they are often very similar. But certain characteristics draw a thin grey lining between the two categories. The following blog highlights the key differences between a commercial and an industrial roof.

Industrial Vs Commercial Roofs

As the name suggests industrial roofing is meant for industries, think of places such as warehouses, shipping centres, manufacturing plants, factories, and power plants. While for commercial roofs the destinations are gyms, stores, restaurants, malls, and similar places.

Apart from this, other factors that differentiate the two are:

The Size Of The Roof

Probably the biggest difference between commercial and industrial roofing is the size.

In general, industrial roofs are much larger as compared to commercial ones. Consider the size of an Amazon warehouse or factory, their size is equal to several football fields.

When it comes to the installation of industrial roofs they must be installed in pieces. Owing to their unusual size it is very difficult to cover the whole area at once without excessive exposure and enough time.


Another differentiating factor between commercial and industrial roofs are the materials used. When it comes to commercial buildings any of the standard roofing materials will work.

At the most basic level of commercial roofing, a mixture of tar and gravel known as bitumen is used. EPDM and TPO are also more protective options for commercial roofing. Materials similar to residential roofing such as shingles, slated, tiles, can also be outfitted as commercial building coverings.

However, you will rarely and almost never find these materials in an industrial setting. As they are very large it will be difficult to install the shingles and will take too long. Similarly, metal roofing is another option but it will be way too expensive to execute.

Also Read: Residential Vs. Commercial Roofing – Is There A Difference?

For this reason, and also because these materials are more protective against corrosion (a common phenomenon in industrial environments), membrane structures such as EPDM and PVC are used.

Installation Time

Since industrial roofs are usually large and need more time to install. The installation time is prolonged if the roof needs layering.

Depending on the nature of the work being done, the industrial area needs you to place several layers of the roof to provide the needed protection. However, the time it will take to install the roof will increase with every layer as you’ll have to wait for every layer to set and cure to continue onto the next.

Ultimately it depends on the size and shape of the industrial roof you are installing. On the other hand, commercial roofs with metal commercial roofs being the most common ones takes less time and effort to install – again due to their comparatively compact size.


The next difference you can find between industrial and commercial roofing systems is the complexity and need for repairs. Commercial roofs are relatively easy to maintain and repair. While because of the size and complex installation process industrial roofs tend to have lengthy and expensive repairs.

About Us

Stahl Roof Systems provides a complete range of commercial and industrial roofing services in Edmonton and throughout the province of Alberta. From small businesses to large manufacturing facilities, our roofing solutions are designed to enhance the value of your commercial building and industrial plant.

New construction, metal roof installation, preventive maintenance, repair, coatings, and re-roofing are some of our services. As one of the most trusted commercial roofing contractors in Alberta, we empower each building with the best roof system available. Before starting a project, our experts make sure to clearly understand your requirements and future roofing needs.

If you’re not sure how much it will cost to repair or install a new roof, feel free to contact Stahl Roof Systems for an accurate and free estimate.