Why Are Flat Roofs Common On Commercial Buildings
When youre evaluating the cost of roof replacement and roof repair, you may notice big differences in cost, material, and maintenance between flat roofs and sloped roofs. So why do some buildings have flat roofs while others such as residences have peaked roofs? As it turns out, flat roofs are particularly common on commercial buildings, and theres a couple of interesting reasons for that.
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Why Do Most Businesses Have Flat Roofsjanuary 28 2015 1: 55 Pm Subscribe
Reddit discussion of this hereEtrigan1:10 PMRuthless Bunny1:12 PMferal_goldfish1:30 PMdeathpanels1:38 PMquince1:44 PMw0mbat2:15 PMlate afternoon dreaming hotel2:36 PMMitheral3:34 PMflat roofs are cheaperEyebrows McGee5:10 PMIt seems like wherever I go…pompomtom6:35 PMOne of the search terms you want is “wide span roof,”Longdon’tLionIndex8:23 PMLionIndex9:02 PM
w0mbat: A central peaked roof on, say, a Safeway, would enclose a huge volume of air since it would scale with the cube of the linear dimensions. That’s a lot of extra space to heat, extra materials to buy in construction, and it is not useful space to that store.
Pro: Cheap To Build And Maintain
If youre a new or up-and-coming business, then costs will be very important to you. The good news is that flat roofs are substantially cheaper than their pitched cousins.
While part of this is due to material costs, there are other factors that make flat roofs cheaper. Theyre safer to install, which cuts down on labor costs , and repair costs will also be cheaper.
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Its Economic And Efficient
Flat roofs can be expensive up front, nearly 80 cents per foot if youre using some of the higher end materials, But a person will quickly find that their roofs will last almost 30 years average with minimal maintenance. For those willing to increase their budgets and purchase some of the higher end roofing materials, this lifespan can become even longer. Additionally, many contractors will charge much less for labor on flat roofs due to the simplicity of installation.
Easier To Maneuver For Maintenance
When you get on top of your roof to inspect it, it’s probably a pretty big chore. You need to get on a ladder and carefully walk around your roof, taking care not to slip.
A flat roof is much easier to maneuver around, making maintenance a breeze. Instead of having to use a ladder, maintenance professionals can just use the stairs. Instead of having to negotiate a dangerous slant, they can walk around as normal.
Commercial buildings don’t have the same types of maintenance concerns as residential ones. With a home, you don’t want to climb on your roof to clean it every week. With a commercial building, this is less of an issue.
Ultimately, though, it really does all come down to cost. For commercial buildings, a flat roof is much cheaper than a slanted roof would be. When it comes to homes, the costs are reduced, because homes are much smaller than commercial buildings. With all other things being even, slanted roofs usually are beneficial, because they require less maintenance.
Want to know more about why flat roofs are common on commercial buildings? Exterior Medics provides not only general roofing services, but also flat roof repair and installation for businesses in all industries.
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Faqs About Flat Roofs
Are Flat Roofs Covered by Insurance?
Flat roofs are covered by insurance, but theyre more expensive to insure since theres a greater risk for leaks. So long as theyre made from durable materials and properly installed, most insurers will cover flat roofs if they start leaking or get damaged by weather-related events.
What Is the Best Material for a Flat Roof?
The best material for a flat roof is PVC roofing. Its durable, fire-resistant, water-resistant, and waterproof. PVC roofs are one of the most flexible and structurally sound types of roofing materials on the market today.
For more information on the flat roof design, check out this Flat Roof Construction Manual by Klaus Sedlbauer . The author explains the construction types as well as how to integrate flat roofs as circulation areas, green roofs, and solar roofs, making it an ideal reference to consider before embarking on installing this design.
Con: Water Drainage Is More Complex
Its popular wisdom that rain pools on flat roofs, causing damage to the buildings. This is incorrect, however.
While some flat roofs have better drainage systems than others, any reputable roofing company will install drainage systems on flat roofs. These prevent water from pooling and let you carry on business in almost any weather.
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Experienced Commercial Roof Installer
McDonald & Wetle has been in business since 1921 providing commercial customers with expert commercial roof installations. Whether you own a historical building with a sloped roof or a bigger industrial space with a flat roof, McDonald & Wetle can assist you with every aspect of your project, from the initial selection of materials to budgeting and planning.
What Are Some Repairs That Flat Roofs Need
If standing water accumulates on the flat roof, it needs to be removed immediately to prevent a leak. Keep an eye on your roof after it rains to see if water builds up. The same goes for heavy snowfall in the winter – if your building has an excess of snow on top, its a good idea to shovel it off once in a while. A flat roof should be inspected twice a year to make sure its in top shape. If you need roofing services – thats our specialty! Contact or call 204 233 3716 to speak with someone directly.
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Why Are Flat Roofs Common On Large Commercial Buildings
June 27, 2019Guest User
Flat roofs are roofs that are almost completely level, in contrast to the many types of sloped roofs we are used to seeing in residential areas. Flat roofs still have a slope, or pitch, of up to 12 degrees. Flat roofs have been around for a long time, and in the past have mostly been used in desert climates where the worry of strong rainstorms was practically non-existent. In third world countries, such rooftops are used as storage areas, and even as a place to do clean dishes and laundry or raise livestock.
Origins Of Flat Roofs
Almost all of the first buildings that were constructed had flat roofs. In fact, until about 120 years ago, flat roofs were mostly found in areas with arid climates that experienced less rainfall and freezing temperatures were unlikely to occur.As a result, they were common in the American southwest and the Middle East since the climates there were generally dry with minimal rain. You can often see flat roofs in ancient Egyptian and Arabian architecture. The original flat roofs were often thatched, which means they were made up of leaves, straw, and branches. The materials they collected were pressed in clay to fill in the empty spaces and create a solid barrier for the top of their homes and buildings. Although, the concept of a flat roof failed in many ways at this point in time, in part because it lacked a basic drainage system. Geographic areas that experienced heavy rain or snow needed a sloped roof that would keep it from pooling and causing the roof to leak or sag. Simply put, the evolution of the flat roof was very dependent on factors such as the available materials and technology that would be developed over time.
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How Long Do They Last
The endurance of a roofing system is dependent on how well its taken care of – it also varies depending on the material used. Without proper installation and preventative maintenance, a flat roof may need a replacement sooner than youd expect. A flat roof thats regularly maintained and installed by experienced contractors can last up to 30 years.
Do you need experienced roofing contractors to assess whether flat roofing is right for you? We provide roofing services that are reliable and reputable. Contact Transcona Roofing’s customer service today and meet with us for a commercial roofing consultation.
Why Are Flat Roofs Common In Commercial Buildings
Roofing solutions in the commercial sector come with different components to satisfy the needs of the building. There are two types of roofs typical to the commercial, industrial, institutional sectors out of necessity. Buying a replacement roof or repair for your facility will see different expenses come to the fore based on the need. Roofing contractors in Toronto will help identify the needs and act according when you require advice to repair or replace your roofing system.
Sloped and flat roofs are the choices they come with different costs and materials to create the roofing solution you require for your building. One thing to keep in mind, though, general maintenance is the key to preserving a roofing system. Roofers in Toronto can provide the support and advice you need for your structure.
The industry standard for a commercial or industrial building is the flat roof. And there are many benefits associated with a flat roof for your building. At Integrity Roofers, we are one of the leading roofing companies in Toronto, and we would like to introduce you to the advantages that a flat roof provides.
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They Are An Efficient Use Of Space
Commercial properties usually have a very large selection of assets, so they need to optimize the space of their buildings. The flat roof, allowing air conditioner units, and solar panels, and other objects to be installed on the roof, maximizing interior surface area. Industrial properties use their flat roofs for storage, as they can support the weight of their ventilation and HVAC systems safely. Extra roof space can also be used for projects like rooftop gardens, making our world a greener place. Large commercial buildings such as hotels can even have a night sky bar area or deck. With careful architecture and design, flat roofs can even accommodate pools!
Commercial Buildings Do Not Need The Appeal
When you are constructing a residential home, you want to make it beautiful because it is actually a representation of you. When it comes to large commercial buildings you do not need an attractive looking roof, no one ever sees it most of the time. You are also trying to go for a formal look. It is, after all, a commercial building.
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Why Use Flat Roof For Your Commercial Building
Its no secret, pitched roofs and flat roofs are incredibly different. In terms of engineering, flat roofs take a lot more thought and work than pitched roofs. While pitched roofs direct the water away from the building, flat roofs actually hold the water. Also, while flat roofs can be used on residential structures, they are much more commonly used on commercial buildings. Now that you are aware of some of the main differences between these two designs, lets take a moment to discuss the benefits of flat roofs.
Increase In Usable Space
Many people dont often think about this when it comes to large commercial buildings, but it is a definite benefit. Much the same as homes with a flat roof, when used in a commercial property a flat roof can help increase the amount of usable space on the top floor.
If space means money, and it often does when it comes to commercial office buildings, it is a must to squeeze out every last square foot. With a flat roof, there is no concern regarding strange structures on the top floor that can cut into the amount of usable space.
To sum things up, here are just some of the many reasons why flat roofs are common on larger commercial buildings:
- Economical when compared to the cost of a similarly sized pitched roof
- Easier to inspect regardless of time of the year or the person doing it
- Increase in usable space, allowing the building owner to increase revenue
Now that you are aware of the benefits associated with the installation of a flat roof, you should be able to understand why so many commercial building owners are opting for this type. It can save them money upfront, make them money in the long run, and ensure that the roof is easy to inspect. These benefits are often times enough for a confident decision to be made.
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Con: Best For Smaller Buildings
Flat roofs become more unstable the larger they become. While flat roofs will be fine for the vast majority of commercial buildings, some measures may need to be taken on larger buildings. In general, these measures will take the form of changing weight distribution on the buildings interior to improve stability.
Are Pitched Or Flat Roofs Better For Vancouver Buildings
Looking towards the skyline, Vancouver has a mixture of flat roofs and pitched roofs both have their advantages and disadvantages. Commercial buildings generally have flat roofs while residential buildings have sloped, but that isnt always the case.
This blog is going to break down the pros and cons of both pitched and flat roofs, so you can make the best decision based on the budget and the goals for the project.
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Theyre Easy To Maintain
Gone are the days of falling off precariously angled shingles, as flat roofs arewell, flat. This means that the roof is now much easier to get to and much safer to walk around on than a regularly sloped roof. You also dont have to use other equipment like ladders, unlike roofs with slopes or valleys. This makes it less time consuming and much easier to find and deal with leaks and damages.
When thinking of maintaining roofs, the thing that comes to mind after shingle health is probably gutters. Nobody wants the job of cleaning out year old, half composted leaves and garbage that have found their way into the roofs gutters. Flat roofed building owners do not have to worry about gutters at all, as they allow commercial properties to install a new type of water removal system. A reliable rainwater roll-off system ensures the rain will not clog or damage any flat roof drain. These new systems are even able to redistribute rainwater as a renewable resource to water rooftop garden plants or fountains.
Top 4 Flat Roofing Materials
Replacements for commercial roofs isnt the same way as purchasing a new blend of coffee making a particular decision like this is a big deal. Doing research could help you find the best materials for this roof and what fits the budget. Most of the marketplace has been crowded already with tons of options for roofing materials and it can be difficult to distinguish which one is better. Lifespan, ease of maintenance, bottom line price are the three main factors to consider when analyzing the roofing material type.
Today we are breaking down some of the most high-performing, high-quality roofing materials types for commercial buildings.
For many roofing projects, PVC roofing is definitely the preferred option by most roofers as they often suggested it to their clients. PVC is also known as the best flat roof material available on the market. PVC roofing is also somewhat costly compared to other single-ply roofing materials, yet it still offers various benefits when it comes to its price. First and foremost, the reinforced membrane can turn PVC roofs more resistant to any impact damage and possible cracks. Cracks usually shorten the lifespan of single-ply roofs and it is a good thing that PVC is capable of resisting it. PVC roofing is also very low maintenance and has a long lifespan. Another great thing about it is that it can lower the energy bills because of its reflective white color.
4. Modified Bitumen Roof
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The Purpose Of Gravel On A Flat Roof
On many flat-roof commercial buildings, its common to see gravel on top of the roof. Have you ever wondered why contractors install gravel on flat roofs?
Gravel is used on flat roofs for two reasons:
- To protect the underlying layer of roofing materials, as is the case with built-up roofs .
- To weigh down or secure the roofing material, as is the case with single-ply flat roofs.
There are different types and weights of gravel used on flat roofs for these purposes.
Gravel to protect Built-Up Roofs
A built-up roof , sometimes called a tar-and-gravel roof, is a tried-and-true style of flat roof. Here, alternating layers of roofing felt and hot-applied asphalt are combined to create a long-lasting roof system.
A layer of gravel, or small stones, is applied on top of the final coating of asphalt to protect the roof from the elements, including ultraviolet rays and hail. The gravel is embedded into the top coat of asphalt , which helps the gravel stay in place.
The weatherproofing layer of gravel gives the roofs surface a longer life and helps prevent cracking, blistering and degradation, which could lead to leaks or other material failures over time.
Even though the asphalt waterproofs the roof , the gravel provides an important, life-extending extra layer. Although commonly called gravel, the top layer is usually some sort of aggregate material .
Added benefits of BUR flat-roof gravel
Gravel on a ballast roof system
Additional benefits of ballast on a flat roof