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Residential VS Commercial Roofing - What's the Difference?

A roof’s sole purpose is to protect the occupants and property of the building it is on top of. Whether that be from the elements or falling debris, having a sturdy roof is vital for the safety of any type of building. Commercial and residential roofs both accomplish this, but they do have major differences between them. This can be their form, the materials they are made out of, the aesthetics, and ultimately their design. Although they do share some common similarities, read on to learn about how they differ.


This is one of the major differences between residential and commercial roofing. Residential buildings usually have a pitched or sloping roof, and the greater the slope the more adept it is at getting snow and other debris to slide off of it and away from the residential building. Residential roofs are typically smaller in size because they are meant to cover a smaller sized building or house.

Commercial buildings, on the other hand, usually have flat roofs. Commercial roofs are larger in square footage, because the buildings they are meant to cover are typically a lot larger than residential buildings. These roofs are able to have other things installed on top of them, such as generators, gardens or solar panels.


Both types of roofing must be made out of durable materials that can withstand the elements. The size of the roof, the design and other factors also play a role in deciding what materials to go with.

Residential roofs are typically made from asphalt or ceramic shingles. But can be made with wood shakes and metal as well. It depends on the location of the building and what kind of inclement weather it will endure.

Commercial buildings are more expensive to roof, due to their size. They are commonly made out of Built-up Roofing (BUR) membrane, metal and even a special type of PVC roofing.


Both residential and commercial roofing requires specific maintenance procedures. Debris and debris build-up is a large concern with both types of roofing. Building managers and homeowners both need to be aware of debris build-up on their roofs, and work hard to remove it before it can cause further damage or problems with the roof. Gutters and downspouts need to be especially looked after when it comes to debris removal so that they are not blocked, especially during the fall and winter.

Installation and Cost

This is another big difference between residential and commercial roofing. Because commercial roofs are larger they tend to be more costly, as well as longer to install. The opposite is true for residential roofs. It’s important to get quotes from various roofing companies in order to see what fits your budget.

Contact Oakwood Roofing for all your roofing needs in the Winnipeg area. We specialize in both residential and commercial roofing in all different types of materials. Give us a call today for a quote, or if you have any questions that weren’t answered here.


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