Choosing The Right Commercial Roofing Material for Indianapolis Businesses

You have just purchased a brand new office building and you are excited to open its doors and start leasing the space out to tenants. You got a great deal on the building because there is one caveat: the roof is falling in. 

You need to get a new roof for your commercial building and you want something that will last a long time, look great, and not send you into bankruptcy. You do an internet search for “commercial roofing Indianapolis”, and a hundred names come up. Some of the results are even for residential roofing in Indianapolis.

With all of those choices, it can be hard to know which one to pick. Jackson Contracting is a locally owned company that employs trained and licensed contractors. We will never use scare tactics to get you to replace a roof that does not need to be replaced or to get you to use more expensive materials than you need. 

Why do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

Flat roofs are easy to install. Hence, most commercial buildings have them. There are a few other reasons that commercial roofs are almost always flat.

A flat roof will make it easier to install a drainage system. Homes often have pitched roofs, so water can slide down the sides and fall into the gutters. Gutters can be clogged easily. Therefore commercial buildings do not use these kinds of channels, but instead, rainwater runoff systems that can only be installed on a flat roof.

Commercial buildings need larger, more powerful HVAC systems than residential buildings. If you own a commercial business, you need a place to put that HVAC system. You can install such a system on a flat roof without using any extra space on your property. It will be protected from damage as well. You can store all kinds of equipment on a flat roof without fear of theft.

When you have a lot of tenants in a building or you have a building used as a warehouse, you are likely to have more maintenance calls than you would if you were renting out a small bungalow. You will have to do frequent maintenance checks on your roof. A flat roof can be walked on and is easily inspected. It can be dangerous to inspect a sloped roof.

Jackson Contracting Rooftops

Factors to take Into Consideration

There are a few factors that you must take into consideration before you decide on roofing material. When Jackson Contracting comes out to give you an estimate, there are a few things our specialist will look for.

  • The type of roof that is currently on the building
  • Protrusions from vents, heating or cooling systems, or building designs
  • Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility concerns
  • What the space will be used for

The professionals at Jackson Contracting are very familiar with building codes regarding 

roof replacement in Indianapolis. They also understand the particular problems that the Indiana climate will bring. 


If you own a business or commercial property, it is important to consider your carbon footprint. Not only will owning a building made with sustainable materials make you feel good, but you may also get a tax break. 

Why the Building Use is Important 

The purpose the commercial space will be used for is key to figuring out the type of roof to install. For instance, if your building will be used as a warehouse, you may not need the same type of temperature controls as a commercial building would need.

Financial Considerations

It is never a good idea to use the cheapest material available for your roof. You will end up spending more money on repairs than you would have spent on the roof in the first place. However, you do not want to get yourself in debt.

The sales representative you talk to at Jackson Contracting can help you with financing and a maintenance program that will fit your budget.

The Most Common Types of Materials for a Flat Roof

Commercial flat roofs will normally be composed of metal, rubber, or asphalt. Knowing the advantages and drawbacks to each will make your decision easier. 

Metal Roofs

Made from galvanized metal, metal roofs last a long time and are very energy efficient. They are resistant to wind, and they look good too.

There are several different types of metal to choose from including:

  • Zinc
  • Steel
  • Tin 
  • Aluminum
  • Copper

Copper metal roofing materials will last the longest, but it may be a bit extravagant. The price will fluctuate based on the market value of Copper. It is mostly used for residential roofing.

An aluminum metal roofing is lightweight and resistant to corrosion. In addition, Jackson Contracting will use a paint system that resists corrosion. An aluminum roof can last up to 70 years. It is prone to denting and it is not cheap. It may cost $12 per square foot. 

Steel is one of the strongest materials and one of the least expensive. It will cost more to transport, but it is highly resistant to damage from weather. As Indiana winters can be brutal, it is one of the best types of metal roofing for Indianapolis


Rubber roofing systems are relatively new. They were not even around until the 1960s.  It became popular with roofing contractors in the 1970s.

Rubber is an inexpensive material only costing between $3.00 and $4.00 a square foot. It is lightweight and easy to install. It is fully fire-resistant which will lower your insurance costs.

Rubber roofing is not especially attractive or energy-efficient. It attracts heat and may drive up cooling costs in the summer.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is one of the most common types of roofing material used in roofing in the U.S. They are economical and they install quickly.  

Although they are recyclable and rate high in energy efficiency, this material takes a lot of energy to produce. They will not last as long as metal or rubber roofing.

Jackson Contracting can help you with roof repair, installation, and the installation of solar panels. We can also help you with residential roofs. Give us a call today.