No two commercial roofing systems are similar. While one type of roofing system might be ideal for one building, it might not be the best option for others. However, commercial roofing contractors recommend flat roofing for commercial buildings. The affordability and efficiency of flat roofing make it the best choice for almost all commercial buildings. Not only that, but flat roofs are also easy to install and maintain. Let’s talk about flat roofing systems for commercial buildings in detail below.
Different Types of Flat Roofs
Flat roofing systems have become increasingly popular because they offer better protection, water resistance, and tightness. However, you must choose the right type of flat roof for your business for optimal performance and durability. The best place to start with flat roofs is to understand the different flat roof types in the market today. So, keep reading to discover the various flat roofs available today.
Built-up roofs have been the go-to option for ages. They consist of multiple layers of materials. The bottom layer consists of an insulation board, while the middle layers contain bitumen alternated with numerous layers of roofing felt.
The top layer of gravel protects the roof assembly from the elements and UV light. These layers are then asphalt-stuffed and soaked in bitumen. Usually, builders use a hot swab to apply the roofing felt to enhance the stability and durability of the flat roof. Installing a built-up roof is no easy task. It requires the expertise and precision of an experienced roofer.
Modified Bitumen Roofs
Unlike built-up roofs, modified bitumen Roofs only have a single layer of adhesive roofing material. As a result, these roofing system allows for DIY installations. Moreover, modified bitumen roofs can reduce HVAC costs because they reflect the sun’s infrared energy. The major downside of torch-applied modified bitumen roofs is that they increase the risk of fire hazards. Also, modified bitumen is less resistant to foot traffic and blown debris than other flat roof options.
Single Layer Membrane Roof
Also known as elastomeric or plastomeric roofing membrane, single layer Membrane roofs are another popular option for commercial constructions thanks to their flexibility and elasticity. Popular single-layer membrane roofs include:
- Polymer-modified bitumens
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Polychloroprene (Neoprene)
- Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)
- Chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets and chlorinated polyethylene
Membrane roofs can be partially loose-laid or fully adhered to the roof deck. They can also be attached using river rock ballast.
What are the Advantages of Flat Roofs for Commercial Buildings?
Installing a flat roofing system instead of a pitched roof offers countless benefits to business owners. Let’s discuss the benefits of flat roofs for commercial buildings below:
Cheaper than Steep Pitched Roofs
Flat roofs are the way to go if you want to save more money upfront. They tend to be cheaper than pitched roofs. You will likely spend anywhere from $4 to $13 to install a flat roof per square foot.
Flat roofs also have the edge over pitched roofs because they can allow you to maximize space. Commercial building owners who install flat roofs have additional space for various functions. The extra space can be used as a rooftop garden, office, or relaxation area. Business owners can also install solar panels and HVAC units in the extra space.
Faster Installation Process
Flat roofing systems are easier to install than pitched roofs. This is because roofers need less equipment and materials to install a flat roof. As a business owner, you will be glad to know that the installation process is less disruptive and won’t interfere with your daily business operations.
More Energy Efficient
Since almost all types of flat roofs are considered cool roofs by the Department of Energy, opting for a flat roof will reduce your energy bills and enhance the efficiency of your air conditioners. Moreover, flat roofs can improve solar panel efficiency and output because your panels can get more direct sunlight.
Easier to Inspect and Clean
Flat roofing systems are also easier to clean and inspect than slopped roofs. You can walk around on a flat roof to check for leaks and other issues.
What is the Major Drawback of Using Flat Roofs for Commercial Buildings
Like any other roofing system, flat roofs also have their fair share of disadvantages. The most significant burden of a flat roof is that it requires more maintenance. Flat roofs are also susceptible to cracks, leaks, and pooling water. Luckily, you can work with a reputable commercial roofer to overcome most of these challenges.
Ready to Install a Flat Roof? Turn to a Dedicated Commercial Roofer Near You
The experienced and dedicated commercial roofers at Premier Commercial Roofing are ready to use their expertise and cutting-edge technology to solve all your commercial roofing needs. You can count on us for all your commercial roofing services, from membrane roofing and coating systems, fabric reinforced roofing systems, and commercial roof restoration services to commercial roof maintenance. Talk to us today to learn more.