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Top 5 Commercial Roofing Materials for Michigan’s Climate

Posted on July 27, 2023

Top 5 Commercial Roofing Materials for Michigan’s Climate

Michigan’s climate has a harsh weather pattern, subjecting commercial buildings to extreme weather conditions all year round. With scorching, humid summers, and bone-chilling winters with significant snowfall, a Michigan roof must be as tough as nails. 

As a commercial roofing expert in the area, I am here to help you select the right kind of roofing material for your property. Explore the top four commercial and industrial roofing materials that can withstand Michigan’s climate with unwavering resilience. 

Best Commercial Roofing Materials for Michigan’s Climate

Each of these materials brings a unique set of benefits, ensuring that your commercial property remains secure, energy-efficient, and pleasing to the eye.

1. TPO 

TPO roofing

TPO roofs have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their exceptional performance and cost-effectiveness. This single-ply roofing membrane is made from a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, making it highly durable and resistant to tears, punctures, and weathering.

Lifespan: TPO roofing systems can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, depending on factors such as installation quality, maintenance, and climate conditions.

Suitability: TPO roofing is a great option for commercial buildings in Michigan due to its strong resistance to UV rays, extreme temperatures, and heavy rainfall. Its white reflective surface also helps in reducing cooling costs during hot summers.

Applications: TPO is now a commonly used commercial flat roof material, mostly found on warehouses, manufacturing facilities, retail stores, and office buildings. Its versatility and cost-effectiveness make it a popular choice for various types of commercial buildings.

2. EPDM 

EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofs are a widely used flat roofing material in Michigan and all over the United States. This popular commercial rubber roofing material is highly durable, making it resistant to tears, impacts, and inclement weather conditions.

Lifespan: EPDM rubber roofs typically have a lifespan of 30 years, making them the most long-lasting roofing option after metal roofs.

Suitability: EPDM is well-suited for Michigan’s climate as it offers excellent insulation, 

keeping the interior comfortable during cold winters. It is also highly resistant to UV rays, making it ideal for prolonged sun exposure.

Applications: EPDM’s flexibility and ability to conform to various roof shapes make it suitable for buildings with irregular architectural designs, such as schools, hospitals, and shopping malls.

3. Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is known for its exceptional resilience and versatility. It is a multi-layered roofing material that incorporates bitumen, reinforced fabrics, and modifiers like APP (atactic polypropylene) or SBS (styrene butadiene styrene).

Lifespan: Modified bitumen roofs have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years, depending on the type of installation and maintenance practices.

Suitability: Modified bitumen is an excellent choice for commercial buildings in Michigan due to its elasticity, which allows it to handle temperature fluctuations and resist cracks and leaks.

Applications: Modified bitumen is commonly used on commercial flat roofs with moderate foot traffic. It is frequently applied to restaurants, hotels, and schools, as well as buildings with rooftop equipment that requires regular maintenance access.

4. PVC 

A PVC roof is a durable, single-ply membrane that offers superior resistance to chemicals, fire, and UV rays. This material is a top choice for businesses that require strong chemical resistance, such as restaurants or industries that produce harmful pollutants.

Lifespan: PVC roofing systems can last up to 20 to 30 years or more with proper maintenance, making it a reliable long-term investment.

Suitability: PVC roofs are a good choice for commercial properties seeking chemical resistance and fire safety. They also provide exceptional protection against water infiltration and have a reflective surface that contributes to energy efficiency.

Applications: PVC is commonly used as an industrial roofing material. It is ideal for manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, and warehouses where chemical resistance and fire safety are essential considerations.

5. Metal 

Metal roofing

Metal roofing has been a favorite for commercial properties in Michigan for decades. Its exceptional durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions make it a reliable choice for businesses seeking a long-lasting roofing solution.

Lifespan: Metal roofs have an impressive lifespan of 40 to 70 years, depending on the type of metal and its coating.

Suitability: Metal roofing is a perfect commercial roofing material for Michigan’s buildings due to its longevity and resistance to snow loads, high winds, and temperature fluctuations.

Applications: Metal roofing is frequently used in different types of commercial roofing applications. It is suitable for a wide range of commercial buildings, including office complexes, retail centers, warehouses, and recreational facilities.

As we can see, TPO and EPDM are ideal for energy efficiency and weather resistance. Modified bitumen is a versatile option suitable for buildings with specific needs, while PVC provides exceptional chemical resistance. Lastly, metal roofing offers unmatched durability, weatherproofing, and a modern look.

Let’s take a look at some factors you need to consider before making a choice.

Tips to Select the Right Roofing Material for Your Commercial Building in Michigan

1. Consider Michigan’s Climate

Take into account factors such as temperature extremes, precipitation levels, and wind patterns. For instance, EPDM membranes and metal roofs are excellent options for their durability and resistance to weather conditions.

2. Evaluate Roofing Material Lifespans

Roofing material lifespans are a crucial aspect to consider, especially for long-term cost savings. Metal roofing stands out with an impressive lifespan of 20 to 45 years, while TPO and EPDM offer 15 to 25 years of durability.

3. Assess Energy Efficiency

Michigan experiences both hot summers and freezing winters. Energy-efficient roofing materials like TPO and PVC with reflective surfaces can help maintain comfortable interior temperatures and reduce cooling costs during the summer.

4. Examine the Building’s Unique Needs

Different commercial buildings have distinct requirements. For chemical-resistant properties, PVC roofing is a suitable choice, while modified bitumen is flexible and ideal for buildings with rooftop equipment requiring regular maintenance.

5. Seek Professional Guidance

Consult reputable roofing experts in your area. At Paramount Roofing, our friendly team will guide you through the selection process, providing valuable insights and recommending the best roofing material that aligns with your budget and building’s needs.

If you are looking for a new roof for your commercial building in Michigan, let our roofing experts help you with the best solution.

Get a Free Consultation on Your Commercial Roofing Needs in Metro Detroit, Michigan

Take the first step towards safeguarding your commercial property with Paramount Roofing. Our talented experts will go the extra mile to help you get the most economical and safe flat roof for your commercial building in Michigan. With us, you can experience the confidence of lasting protection, exceptional energy efficiency, and captivating aesthetics. So don’t wait to secure your business’s future. 

Contact us at (586) 571-9007 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experts, and learn more about our commercial roof replacement service in Metro Detroit. Let us provide our years of expertise and exceptional customer service to elevate your commercial building. At Paramount Roofing, we can help you get a long-lasting roof, turning your property into a cost-effective investment. 


A. The most commonly used commercial roofing material is EPDM, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer. It is a popular choice due to its affordability and durability. EPDM roofing is made of synthetic rubber derived from natural gas and oil.

A. The most durable commercial flat roofing option is metal roofing, lasting 20 to 45 years. Its sturdy and long-lasting nature makes it a popular choice for commercial buildings.

A. For commercial buildings, the best type of metal roofing is typically standing seam metal roofing. It consists of vertical metal panels with raised interlocking seams with a hidden fastening system. This design offers excellent energy efficiency and superior resistance to leaks and weather damage.

A. The best flat roofing material to walk on is a modified bitumen roof. It consists of multiple layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) and fortifying materials, such as fiberglass or polyester, which are used to create a sturdy and resilient surface.