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The Growing Adaptability and Momentum of Roofing Materials and Processes for Infrastructure & Industrial and Commercial Sectors

roofing materials

The characteristics of a roof are dependent upon the purpose of the building that it covers, the available roofing materials and the local traditions of construction and wider concepts of architectural design and practice and may also be governed by local or national legislation. When building a new roof, or refurbishing an existing roof, you should be aware of how important it is to choose a high-quality roofing material – capable of standing the test of time.

The demand

Global Roofing Materials Market size is witnessing growth owing to increase in demand for product from Infrastructure & Industrial and commercial sectors in the developing economies.  In addition, with wide range of construction and renovation works going on across the world, the manufacturers of product are finding a significant scope of opportunities. The roofing materials market is also effectively determined using single roofing materials systems, which are cost effective and flexible coupled with high rates of renovation technology in the developed countries of the world. Growth of energy efficient roofs and eco-friendly components are some of the propelling factors for roofing materials market growth. Improved standards of living and migration of people from rural to urban areas resulting in increase for construction projects are driving factors for the growth of the roofing materials market. Raw ingredients used in the construction of these constituents are commercially available products which includes tiles, thatches, plastic sheeting and slates. These products are known for mainly providing shelter from various natural climate. These are produced primarily from metal, cement and bitumen. An extensive range of product is available depending upon performance, aesthetic structure and economic reasons. In recent years, Industrial designs are turned into an architectural trademark which apart from being eco friendly is also aesthetically attractive, reasonably priced and structurally sound. Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global roofing materials market due to rapid industrialization and increased urbanizations in the region. China is the leading player in Asia Pacific roofing materials market, followed by India, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand.

The global roofing materials market size was estimated at USD 105.4 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% from 2016 to 2025. The demand is expected to be fueled by resurging building construction activities in developed nations, such as the US, which are expected to register positive growth rate. Further growth is likely to be supported by developing markets in Asia Pacific where new residential demand is likely to account for over 35% of the roofing materials demand. A wide range of roofing materials is available depending upon structural, performance, aesthetic and economic reasons. In recent years, roof designs have transformed into an architectural trademark which apart from being environment friendly is also aesthetically attractive, structurally sound and reasonably priced. A number of small regional markets, including those in India, Indonesia, etc. are expected to witness robust growth owing to increasing re-roofing demand in rural areas which is supported by government sponsored schemes. Developed regions are likely to register steady construction growth similar to the U.S. The U.S., which uses shingles on a large scale, is slated to account for over 50% of North American demand for roofing materials.

Quality should be the preference when selecting the roofing materials

Many people get carried away thinking about the design or colour of their roof, then forget to pay attention to how durable or long-lasting their chosen material is. However, just as it is important to make sure that the foundations that your structure is built on are secure, you need to be certain that your roof is capable of protecting you for decades to come. Make sure that the materials you choose have been carefully designed to suit your particular preferences. Before anything is installed, you should feel comfortable that your selected roof will protect you from: Heat absorption, Heavy rain and Excessive wind. High-quality materials will almost always last longer than low-quality materials. This means that even if upgrading your choice leads to extra initial expense, it could save you money in the long run by reducing your chances of having to pay for excessive maintenance or Of course, when you’re searching for the best possible materials to use in your roofing project, it’s worth keeping in mind that quality isn’t just about what kind of roof you choose, but the experts that you choose to construct and install it for you. If you hire people that aren’t well-qualified for the job, or attempt to finish the project yourself, you risk being left with a roof that simply can’t hold up under extreme conditions – no matter how expensive the materials involved might have been. When designing a roof, it’s important to remember that there are few things more important than selecting the right quality of materials, and ensuring the competence of the people who will be using those materials on your behalf.

Popular roofing materials: Metal Roofing and others

Discussed below are few of the most sorted and looked after option available in the market.

Metal Roofing

A metal roof is a roofing system made from metal pieces or tiles characterized by its high resistance, impermeability and longevity. It is a component of the building envelope. Zinc, copper and steel alloys are commonly used.


Because of their longevity, most metal roofs are less expensive than asphalt shingles in the long term. Metal roofing can consist of a high percentage of recycled material and is 100% recyclable. It does not get as hot as asphalt, a common roofing material, and it reflects heat away from the building underneath in summertime. On a larger scale, its use reduces the heat island effect of cities when compared to asphalt. Coupled with its better insulating abilities, metal roofs can offer not only a 40% reduction in energy costs in the summer, but also up to a 15% reduction in the energy costs in the winter according to a 2008 Study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This finding is based on the use of a strapping system of four inches between the plywood and “cool-color” metal on top, which provides an air gap between the plywood roof and the metal. Cool-color metals are light, reflective colors, like white. The study went on to say that re-sealing and insulating air ducts in the attic will save even more money.

Metal roofing is also lightweight, creates little stress on the load bearing roof support structures and can be installed on top of an existing roof. A lightweight roof is very useful for large and or old structures, as it helps to maintain the overall structural integrity of the building. Despite its light weight, metal roofing provides increased wind resistance when compared to other roofing materials. This is because metal roofing systems use interlocking panels.

Material Types of metal roofing

Originally, metal roofs were made of corrugated galvanized steel: a wrought iron–steel sheet was coated with zinc and then roll-formed into corrugated sheets. Another approach is to blend zinc, aluminum, and silicon-coated steel. These products are sold under various trade names like “Zincalume” or “Galvalume”. The surface may display the raw zinc finish, or it may be used as a base metal under factory-coated colors. Another metal roofing product comes in a rolled form of various widths of so-called standing seam metal. The material is “seamed” together using a special roof seaming machine that is run vertically up the panel to seal the joints and prevent water intrusion.

Metal tile sheets can also be employed. These are usually painted or stone-coated steel. Stone coated steel roofing panels are made from zinc/aluminium-coated steel with an acrylic gel coating. The stones are usually a natural product with a colored ceramic coating. Stainless steel is another option. It is usually roll-formed into standing seam profiles for roofing; however, individual shingles are also available. Other metals used for roofing are lead, tin and aluminium and copper.

Copper is used for roofing because it offers corrosion resistance, durability, long life, low maintenance, radio frequency shielding, lightning protection, and sustainability benefits. Copper roofs are often one of the most architecturally distinguishable features of prominent buildings, including churches, government buildings, and universities.


One of the biggest reasons metal roofing is commonly chosen in commercial applications is due to its superior weather resistance to wind and water, especially in areas where hurricanes or other tropical weather is a concern. Even when the structure isn’t in a tropical location, metal roofing gives business and building owners the peace of mind that their roof is destined to last and not need constant upkeep. Common uses:

  • Hospitals
  • Airports
  • Warehouses
  • Schools and universities
  • Churches
  • Government buildings
  • Military structures
  • Industrial Sheds
  • Transportation buildings

Metal Shingles

Metal roof shingles offer an unbeatable combination of traditional style and exceptional durability. They replicate the appearance of classic shingle roofing, while giving you all the strength and longevity you’d expect from metal. Interlocking metal shingle roof is one  of the most popular type of metal roofing. There is a huge variety of different metal shingle styles from many different manufacturers. Most common metals used to manufacture metal shingles are G90 galvanized steel and aluminum, though you can also find a few types of copper and even zinc shingles.

Metal shingles are manufactured using a stamping press, through which the metal coil is fed, and the die stamps the shingle in two or three steps. First, the profile of the shingle is stamped out, with the lock flanges. Then, in step 2 and/or 3, the locks are made, and the shingle comes out of the press and is packaged into the box.

Corrugated Metal Panels

Corrugated galvanised iron or steel (colloquially corrugated iron (near universal), wriggly tin (taken from UK military slang), pailing (in Caribbean English), corrugated sheet metal (in North America) and occasionally abbreviated CGI) is a building material composed of sheets of hot-dip galvanised mild steel, cold-rolled to produce a linear corrugated pattern in them. Today the corrugation process is carried out using the process of roll forming. This modern process is highly automated to achieve high productivity and low costs associated with labour. In the corrugation process sheet metal is pulled off huge rolls and through rolling dies that form the corrugation. After the sheet metal passes through the rollers it is automatically sheared off at a desired length. The traditional shape of corrugated material is the round wavy style, but different dies form a variety of shapes and sizes. Industrial buildings are often build with and covered by trapezoidal sheet metal. Many materials today undergo the corrugation process. The most common materials are ferrous alloys but may also span to stainless steels. Copper and aluminium are also used. Regular ferrous alloys are the most common due to price and availability. Common sizes of corrugated material can range from a very thin 30 gauge (0.012 inches, 0.30 mm) to a relatively thick 6 gauge (0.1943 inches, 4.94 mm). Thicker or thinner gauges may also be produced.

Polycarbonate roofing

Polycarbonate is a strong thermoplastic material that is lightweight and can withstand extremely low and high temperatures. This durable and practical roofing material is perfect for conservatories, patios, and deck areas, but it’s not practical to cover the entire roof of a house.

PVC roofing membranes

PVC roofing is made from two layers of PVC roof material with polyester added in between the layers to act as a reinforcement. The layers in a PVC roof include additives to make the material flexible, UV stable, and to prevent curing. By adding a layer of acrylic coating to roof membrane, a PVC roof is made reflective and repellent to dust and dirt.

PVC roofing membranes offer an impressive set of advantages, unmatched by competitors. Among the most notable benefits are strength, durability, resistance to moisture, wind, fire and chemicals. additionally, PVC roofs are consistently chosen by homeowners looking to install an Eco-friendly (green) system over their flat or low slope roof. PVC roofs are specifically engineered for strength, ensuring the membrane’s long service life. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) requires a roofing membrane to have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds per inch.

PVC roofing membranes far surpass this standard, all having a minimum breaking strength of 350 pounds per inch.

Standing Seam

When most people begin thinking about a metal roof, all they can envision are the roofs they have seen on barns and commercial buildings. Those types of metal roofs typically have panels that run vertically up the roof. These types of metal panel roofs are called “Standing Seam” because their prominent visual feature is the raised interlocking seam which joins one panel to the next. Often called “commercial roofing,” or “agricultural panel roofing,” or even “barn roofing,” these products do provide the great protection and durability for which metal is known. Classic’s ClickLock Standing Seam provides the look of the products that you see everywhere on restaurants and farm outbuildings.



Other Popular types

EPDM rubber roofing

EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane  (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) widely used in low-slope buildings in the United States and worldwide. Its two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene, are derived from oil and natural gas. EPDM is available in both black and white, and is sold a broad variety of widths, ranging from 7.5 feet to fifty feet, and in two thicknesses, 45 and 60 mils. EPDM can be installed either fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted, with the seams of the roofing system sealed with liquid adhesives or specially formulated tape.

Modified bitumen roofing

Modified bitumen is a modern take on built-up roofing, a traditional roofing material also known as “tar-and-gravel” roofs. Modified bitumen roofs afford the same levels of protection as built-up roofs. Despite its similarities to EPDM – in fact, the term “rubber roof” has been used interchangeably for both roof types – modified bitumen is entirely different: EPDM is made from recycled rubber, while modified bitumen is made from asphalt. Bitumen is inherently waterproof, and several layers of it on a properly-installed roof makes modified bitumen roofs the most waterproof commercial roofing choice available. he top layer can be treated to add “cool roof” features such as solar reflectance and thermal emission, or the ability to reflect sunlight, and release already-absorbed heat, respectively. This helps reduce your property’s indoor cooling requirements, resulting in lower energy consumption.

Clay Tile

Costs for repairs and maintenance may quickly exceed the amount saved when buying the component. Those calculating costs over the long term, will decide for quality and lasting operative readiness. This is particularly true for the tiled roof as compared to other cladding materials such as concrete roofing tiles, slate or metal. Modern roof materials such as clay roof tiles are used for single-family homes and apartment buildings, office and industrial complexes as well as refurbishment projects. The production process is based on the four elements of earth, water, air, and fire. The natural components promote a healthy living climate, provide reliable protection for residents and are additionally recyclable. The blanks are produced from a clay mixture, shaped as desired in a moulding process, dried and subsequently fired – that’s how a pure and natural ceramic product is manufactured. At Wienerberger, a computer-controlled production process and continuous quality control ensure that only top quality products are supplied. The colour of clay roof tiles is determined by the natural composition of clay. For natural red tiles, ferrous oxide contained in clay is responsible for the slightly iridescent colouration. If oxygen is deprived during the firing process, the unglazed ceramic material turns bluish. Another, almost unlimited colour spectrum is achieved when applying and firing clay slurries and their mineral composition. They are firmly burned in the roof tile and do not fade.

Slate Roof

The biggest advantage to installing a slate roof on your home is the appearance. Slate roof tiles are made of 100% natural stone, and have a naturally cleft surface with beautiful color variation ranging over the entire roof. Slate roof tiles are also extremely durable, outlasting the buildings they are installed on in some cases. In fact, installed and cared for properly it is not unheard of for a slate roof to last 150 years or more. In addition to being beautiful and durable, slate roof tiles are also fireproof and environmentally friendly. Being made of natural stone, the tiles don’t give off VOCs or other pollution during manufacturing. They can also be recycled after they are used on the roof or if they outlast the building they are installed on. They can also help to insulate the home below them, which can lower energy costs in the houses that use them.

Concrete Tile

When installing tile in your home, you’re no longer limited to run-of-the-mill factory-produced ceramic, porcelain, or vinyl floor tiles. A new budget friendly, versatile, and long-lasting alternative is precast concrete tile, custom made for your application. Concrete tile can be used just about anywhere, indoors or out, including floors, walls, fireplace surrounds, pools and patios, shower enclosures, countertops, backsplashes, and building façades. In many cases, concrete tile sizes, finishes, and colors can be customized to suit your design needs. You can find concrete tile patterns that fit any room size. You’re not limited to standard-sized squares. Although you can certainly recreate the look of tiles with repeating squares, concrete allows more versatility for including cutouts and embeds, imprinted patterns, three-dimensional sculptural designs, and more. One of the best attributes of concrete is its ability to be tailored to any budget. Certainly, there are types of ceramic or vinyl tiles that may cost less, but you’ll generally have to make sacrifices in quality and design versatility.

Wood shingles

Wood shingles are thin, tapered pieces of wood primarily used to cover roofs and walls of buildings to protect them from the weather. Historically shingles were split from straight grained, knot free bolts of wood. Today shingles are mostly made by being cut which distinguishes them from shakes which are made by being split out of a bolt. The simplest form of wood shingle is a rectangle about 16 inches (41 cm) long. The sides and butt of a shingle are often irregular; the sides may taper and the butt may not be square with the sides. Shingles that have been processed so that the butt is square to the sides are called rebutted and re-squared or rebutted and re-jointed shingles, often abbreviated R&R.

Shingles and shakes may be tapered, straight, split or sawn and any combination of these except straight-tapered. Different species and quality of wood are used as are different lengths and installation methods. Shakes and shingles may also be treated with wood preservatives and fire retardants before or after installation.

Thatched roof

A thatched roof gives you a very relaxing view and feeling, as if you live close to the sea and nature. If you are planning to get your own roof thatching for your home, then you might want to know what benefits you will be getting from having a thatched roof. Advantages of a thatched roof:-A thatched roof is ideal for places with a hot climate because it acts as an insulator. The thicker the layers of the thatch roof, the cooler your house becomes and the more you save on cooling costs. In cooler days, a thatched roof keeps heat sealed in.-A thatch roof is naturally waterproof. Water reed is used as a material for making a thatched roof. Reeds are hollow and does not absorb water. It is recommended to layer the reeds a foot high. This will ensure that no moisture will penetrate your roofing.-The lifespan for a thatched roof is fairly long, especially if it is made of high grade synthetic materials. With proper maintenance and care, a thatched roof can last for up to 50 years or more. There are special instructions on how to take care of your thatched roof.

Solar Roofing

Similar to conventional solar PV panels, solar roof tiles can generate electricity that you can use to power appliances at home. However, this piece of technology is not bolted to your roof. Solar roof tiles are sleek solar panels that look like traditional tiles. It can replace some of your existing roof tiles or be laid on top it. There are two main types of solar roofing called Crystalline and BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic). Both of these electricity making systems have a moderate cost when it comes to the initial installation, but over time they’ll pay for themselves by saving you money on energy bills. By cutting down the reliance on electricity, they have a positive effect on the environment by reducing pollution caused from power plants. It is designed to be integrated discreetly onto your roof so you can enjoy a streamlined roof design. Solar energy is free but converting it to electricity will cost you. Installing either traditional solar PV panels or BIPVs is an investment, but it can save you from the increasing electricity costs. It also produces fewer greenhouse gases, which is good for the environment.

Terracotta Roof Tiles

Terracotta tiles do not warp or decompose the way asphalt tiles will on a roof. In addition, the colour of the terracotta tile is fade proof. Tiles of terracotta also stand up under sunny, rainy, windy, snowy and icy weather conditions. The insulating ability of these clay tiles is high, so homeowners can save money on utility bills all throughout the year. This roof tiles require low maintenance.

Growth of newer Roofing techniques

Re Roofing

Reroofing is the process of layering one set of new shingles over a set of existing shingles. It can only be done once, so if you already have two layers of roofing in place, reroofing is not an option for you. Because there is no tear off, reroofing can go much faster and be much less expensive than a complete roof replacement. A roof replacement involves tearing off everything on the roof down to the deck, then putting on new felt paper and shingles. A roof replacement can be done no matter how many layers of shingles are already on the roof, so it can be done even when a reroofing is not an option. Because of the extra labor involved, it can be more expensive than a reroofing.

Roofing fasteners

There are two types of metal roof fasteners: exposed and concealed. The latter are tucked away, hidden by the roofing panels themselves, making for a more time-consuming and costly installation. Exposed fasteners are, as their name implies, visible to the naked eye because they are installed on the top side of the roofing panels. Thus, the screw heads rest – exposed – on the panels.

You may also see them referred to as “screw-through” or “channel drain” fasteners. Some of the advantages of exposed fasteners are: Quicker installation, Easier for do-it-yourselfers to install. Available for a variety of roof panel options, Cost efficiency to name a few.

Roofing waterproofing

In construction, a building or structure is waterproofed with the use of membranes and coatings to protect contents, and structural integrity. In building construction, waterproofing is a fundamental aspect of creating a building envelope, which is a controlled environment. The roof covering materials, siding, foundations, and all of the various penetrations through these surfaces must be water-resistant and sometimes waterproof. Roofing materials are generally designed to be water-resistant and shed water from a sloping roof, but in some conditions, such as ice damming and on flat roofs, the roofing must be waterproof. Many types of waterproof membrane systems are available, including felt paper or tar paper with asphalt or tar to make a built-up roof, other bituminous waterproofing, ethylene propylene diene monomer EPDM rubber, hypalon, polyvinyl chloride, liquid roofing, and more.

Seamless Roofing

Simply put, seamless roofing refers to roofs that have a unified, consistent membrane body, or, in industry lingo, have a “monolithic” membrane composition. Because they do not have any seams, seamless roof systems are not vulnerable to leaks, drips, or water penetration in some of the ways that membrane roofs with seams are. Generally speaking, seamless roofing is used to describe one facet of liquid-applied roofing, which is also known as a “roof coating membrane system”—or just roof coatings. Some roofing product manufacturers do refer to membrane roofs with very-tight seam seals as being so watertight, they are “seamless” sheet membrane roofs (so they are “seamless” EPDM rubber roofs, for example). But like with all roofing products, the principle of “buyer beware” applies. Careful research is needed on these systems. Plus, it is advisable for people to consider whether the likelihood of these tightly-sealed seams coming apart over time is outweighed by the benefits the roof system delivers.


The key is to select the best suited material that satisfies your need. Immense care is needing for roofing segregation that would suit you the best.

Info and image source-

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  • grandviewresearch
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  • https://www.classicmetalroofingsystems.com
  • https://www.concretenetwork.com/
  • https://www.roofcostestimator.com/
  • http://www.epdmroofs.org/what-is-epdm
  • https://www.camporoof.com/
  • https://www.slideshare.net/
  • https://www.sheffieldmetals.com/
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  • https://tatabluescopesteel.com/products-solutions/lysaght/ilios/
  • Roofix
  • https://www.choiceroofcontractors.com/the-benefits-of-seamless-roof-systems/


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