Stay up-to-date with

News and Events

Anatomy of a Commercial Roof

Anatomy of a Commercial Roof

Commercial roof construction combines a complex arrangement of layers, each designed for a specific purpose to ensure the proper functioning of the roof as a whole. Damage to any layer can affect a roof’s performance and diminish its life expectancy. Knowing commercial roof anatomy can help you prevent small problems from worsening.

Commercial roof systems have many structural aspects in common, but each roof is unique on its own. Here is a detailed explanation of the anatomy of commercial roofing systems.

Commercial Roof Components

The basic components of commercial roofing are the same across building types. Structural components are layered in a very specific way for specific purposes.

Roof Deck- Most commercial buildings have low-slope roofs (under 3:12 pitch), which require a roof deck. The structural deck forms the foundation for a commercial roof’s other components. The roof deck spans the open spaces above roof joists and can be made of wood, concrete or steel. A structurally sound roof deck is essential to ensure the entire roof functions properly.

Vapor Barrier– A vapor control layer sits directly on top of the roof deck. The vapor barrier prevents moisture and air from moving in and out of the building through the roof. Most vapor barriers designed for commercial roofs are classified as Class 1 vapor retarders. The vapor barrier helps reduce energy costs, improves indoor climate control and slows rusting or rot on roof joists and roof decks.

Insulation- Commercial roofing insulation is usually applied in rigid panels and may be tapered to add some pitch angle to flat roofs. Insulation helps to control indoor climate easier and provides energy cost savings. Tapered insulation provides proper drainage outlets for parapet drains and scuppers. Insulation helps prevent water from pooling on the roof, prevents clogs from forming in the drainage system, and adds another layer of water resistance to roof components beneath.

Roof Deck- Most commercial buildings have low-slope roofs (under 3:12 pitch), which require a roof deck. The structural deck forms the foundation for a commercial roof’s other components. The roof deck spans the open spaces above roof joists and can be made of wood, concrete or steel.

Adhesive- Roofing adhesive connects rigid insulation with a waterproof cover called a weatherproof membrane. Commercial roofing installers commonly apply a thin layer of a durable rubber-based adhesive product specifically designed for attaching insulation boards to single-ply weatherproof membranes.

Weatherproof Membrane- The weatherproof membrane is a thin sheet of waterproofing material that is laid on top of the rigid insulation board. The weatherproof membrane protects the roofing components beneath and prevents water from seeping below the membrane. The type of weatherproof membrane used depends on the roof structure, climate and other environmental factors.

A reliable roofing company can ensure all your commercial roofing components are functional, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing.

We are a locally-owned and operated roofing company with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We specialize in roofing systems and structures for both residential and commercial clients. Whether you need roof repairs or a complete roof installation, we have the solution for you. Give us a call to speak with a local roofing contractor and schedule an appointment today! For more information or an estimate, call us today and experience The Rosie’s difference!

Contact Us

View our business page on the Better Business Bureau View our Business' Page on GuildQuality We are proud to be an Owens Corning Preffered Contractor We are proud to be a part of UASRC Rate and Review me on Kudzu! Click here to see Rosie's Roofing and Restoration's Profile.