How Are Commercial Roofers Different From Residential?

When most people think of roofers, they think of the guy who comes to their house to fix a leaky roof. However, there is a big difference between commercial and residential roofers. Commercial roofers have different training and experience. They work on large buildings, such as office buildings, warehouses, and shopping malls, whereas residential roofers work on smaller projects like single-family homes. 

If you’re considering hiring someone to work on your building’s roof, ensure they have the appropriate experience.

Commercial Roofers Work On Much Larger Roofs Than Residential Roofers

Commercial roofers focus on commercial buildings. These structures can be several stories tall and have roofs that are tens of thousands of square feet in size. Because of these projects’ roof size and scope, commercial roofers must have the training and experience to work safely on these roofs.

On the other hand, residential roofers typically work on house roofs, usually a few thousand square feet in size, and are only one or two stories tall. Working on these smaller roofs is relatively easy and doesn’t require the same level of training as commercial roofing.

Commercial Roofing Needs Specialized Equipment

Ladders and scaffolding simply won’t suffice when you’re working on a roof that’s several stories tall. That’s why commercial roofers need to have experience operating cherry pickers, cranes, boom lifts, and other types of construction equipment. These machines allow roofers to access even the most difficult-to-reach areas of a commercial roof. Most residential roofers don’t have experience operating this type of equipment and, as a result, cannot work on projects that require it. 

This specialization allows them to better serve the needs of their commercial clients by providing a more tailored service that is better suited to the specific requirements of a commercial roof.

Time Of Completion

Commercial roofing projects can take weeks or even months to complete, whereas most residential roofing jobs only take a few days. Commercial roofs are generally much larger than residential ones and require more time to properly repair or replace.

Roofs on commercial buildings also tend to be more complex, with multiple levels, ventilation systems, and other features that need to be considered. These factors can add time to the project, which is why commercial roofers must be prepared to work with clients for extended periods.

On the other hand, residential projects tend to be much simpler and can usually be completed in a shorter time frame.

Commercial Roofing Companies Usually Have Larger Teams

Commercial roofing companies usually hire large teams of workers to handle projects efficiently and execute the work on time. These teams include inspectors, project managers, architects, engineers, truck drivers, and, of course, roofers. 

In contrast, most residential roofing companies only have a few employees. In some cases, residential roofing projects may only require one or two roofers to complete. 

Commercial Roofers can plan and manage a project and collaborate with hundreds of workers in tight spaces, which is not as easy for residential contractors.

Installation Methods

Commercial Roofers are trained to have higher expertise in installing various types of roofs, such as flat roofs, metal roofs, sloped roofs, membrane roofs, solar roofs, and green roofs. Each type of commercial roof has its own set of installation requirements that must be followed to ensure the roof is installed properly. 

For example, modified bitumen roofing, a flat roof, must be installed in layers using different types of adhesives, torches, or cold processes. If even one layer is installed incorrectly, it can affect the longevity and performance of the entire roof.

On the other hand, residential roofers typically deal with simpler roofing systems. This is because most houses have a single level and are made with similar materials. As a result, residential roofers don’t need as much training or experience as commercial roofers.

Safety Concerns

OSHA has much stricter requirements for safety on commercial roofing projects than they do for residential roofing. This is because there are typically more people working on commercial roofs, which increases the chance of accidents. Commercial roofers must be trained in fall protection and other safety measures to protect themselves and others from injury.

In order to work on a commercial roof, a roofer must be OSHA certified. This certification shows that the roofer has completed the necessary safety training and is qualified to work on commercial roofs.

Area Building Codes

Commercial roofers must also follow different building codes. These codes are set by the International Code Council and cover everything from the materials used on a roof to the installation methods that must be followed. Also, commercial roofers have to be familiar with the constantly changing local building codes of different areas. If roofers don’t comply with these codes, they could get fined or lose their contracting license.

The bottom line is that commercial roofers are not the same as residential roofers in various ways. They have different training, expertise, safety standards, and building code rules to follow. If you’re searching for a roofing contractor, make sure they specialize in the type of roofing system you need for your next project.

If you have a commercial project to be completed, contact our team of commercial roofers at Eskola Roofing Company for all your commercial roofing needs! Get a free quote now.