Advantages of Flat Roofing Systems
Property managers, owners, and developers have two choices when deciding on a roofing type for their property. The first choice is a flat or low slope roofing system. While these two terms are used interchangeably, they both describe any roof with a slope less than 14 degrees. Flat roofing systems are frequently used for commercial buildings.
The other choice is a steep slope roofing system. When the slope exceeds 14 degrees, they are considered steep slope roofs. Steep slope roofs are very common on single family homes, older commercial buildings, and historical properties like churches.
Modern commercial buildings primarily install flat roofs because they offer many advantages over steep slope roofs. While they are not used on every commercial building, here are the reasons properties frequently choose a flat roof.
Affordability of Flat Roofing Systems
Flat roofing systems offer many advantages to commercial properties. Chief among them is their general affordability. Flat roofs require less materials during construction or replacement than steep slope roofs. For example, a flat metal roof will cost significantly less than a steep slope metal roof. This can even be true for different types of roof materials depending on the pitch of the roof. While cost is always a top factor, there are other reasons commercial buildings take advantage of flat roofing systems.
Easy Roof Maintenance
As any experienced property manager will tell you, replacing a roof is extremely expensive. As a result, roof maintenance is incredibly important. Compared to steep slope roofs, low slope roofs are easier to inspect and maintain. This is because they are more accessible and easy to work on than steep slope roofs. Additionally, it can be easier to detect and repair leaks on flat roofs before they cause major damage. Since flat roofs are susceptible to water pooling and the build up of debris, annual roof inspections are extremely important.
Using Rooftop Space
While it is outdoors, flat roofs create additional space. As a result, it is normal to see this space being used for practical applications at modern commercial buildings. First and foremost, flat roofs offer a convenient location for mechanical equipment. For large facilities requiring powerful mechanical systems, such as data centers or cold storage facilities, this is a major advantage. This saves interior building space, increasing the amount of leasable square footage. In turn, this makes a commercial property more profitable.
While mechanical equipment is the most common use of rooftop space, it is not the only one. Other uses of flat roofs include installing solar panels, creating a green roof, or building an outdoor space such as a rooftop pool or BBQ area.
Lowering Energy Costs
During installation, it is commonplace to apply a reflective coating to flat commercial roofs. According to the National Coatings blog, reflective roof coatings can reduce the surface temperature of a flat roof by 50 degrees. Consequently, air conditioning usage can decrease by as much as 15% during peak demand. By cutting air conditioning usage, properties are able to lower energy costs. This is especially important for facilities like hospitals, data centers, and cold storage facilities. On existing flat roofs, these coatings can be used to extend roof life.
Free Commercial Roofing Quotes
Property managers can use BidSource to have our team find a commercial roofing contractor ready to provide a free quote to repair or replace their flat roof. Just fill out the form below and our team will be in touch with a qualified commercial roofing contractor!