The Pros & Cons of Commercial Flat Roofing

Pros and Cons of Commercial Flat Roofing

Commercial flat roofing applies to almost any business that you come across. It offers many advantages to business owners who don’t have a lot of time to worry about roof maintenance or even installation. 

They perform well in harsh conditions and can make your building more energy-efficient. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses with commercial flat roofing. Like all roofing systems, it has its fair share of detractors.

If you are a business owner looking to install a new roofing system for your commercial building, you should know all the essential pros and cons of commercial flat roofing before making a choice. Your business type and preferences may impact your final decision. Mobile Roofing and Construction takes a look at the pros and cons of different commercial flat roofing types. 

The Pros of Commercial Flat Roofing

People often ask, “why are commercial building roofs flat?” The fact is that not all commercial building roofs are indeed flat, just most of them. But there is a good reason for that. Commercial flat roofing holds a lot of benefits for the business and the owner. Benefits such as:

  • More Usable Space: With pitched roofing (usually seen in residential buildings), there is an upper area of the structure created by the roof’s slope that is practically useless for anything other than storage. The first and perhaps most compelling benefit of commercial flat roofing for business owners is that it makes for more usable space. 
  • Cost of Installation: Pitched roofing installation is cheap…when you’re dealing with a residential building. Why? Because residential buildings aren’t typically larger than commercial buildings. It typically costs at least double to install a pitched roof on a large commercial building than flat roofing. Owners tend to choose flat roofing because, quite simply, it keeps installation costs down. It can cost as little as $8,000 to install a flat roof.
  • Ease of HVAC Maintenance: Placing your HVAC system on a flat roof can eliminate difficulties during installation and maintenance. HVAC technicians have a flat, level area on which to work, which makes their job easier. Plus, as Roof Slope points out, having your HVAC system on your flat roof means that repair and maintenance work doesn’t occur on the ground level, where it can distract customers and employees.
  • Commercial Flat Roofs Last – Commercial flat roofing system’s longevity is tied to the materials you use and the abilities of the contractor your hire. So how long should a commercial flat roof last? Commercial flat roofing systems hold up for a very long time, by and large. You can typically expect your commercial flat roofing system to last between 20 and 25 years. And if you invest in higher quality materials, you can expect more than 50 years from your roof. 
  • Even More Usable Space: This is where the type of business you run may come into play. Many business owners find flat rooftops an ideal place to build a garden, dining area, rooftop deck, or entertainment venue. Of course, this wouldn’t be useful to you if you run an office building or own a retail/grocery shop. But it is an alluring prospect for restaurant or bar owners who want to give their patrons more room to stretch out, so to speak.
  • Energy-Efficient – Some commercial flat roofing systems – especially EPDM and Built-up roofing – can increase your building’s energy-efficiency. Some of these materials absorb heat to keep your building warmer in the winter, while some reflect UV rays to keep it cooler in the summer. 

Cons of Commercial Flat Roofing

  • Flashing Concerns: With any roof, proper flashing is essential. Commercial roofs tend to be more breaks in the roofline (vents, chimneys, piping, HVAC units, etc.) than other roofs. If not adequately flashed, these breaks in the roofline could cause leaks. Breaks become more of an issue with flat roofing as it the very slight pitch makes it challenging to drain water via gravity.
  • Fumes: Some commercial roofing systems require the use of noxious fumes and vapors during installation. Fumes create a health and safety hazard. 
  • Finding Leaks: While commercial flat roofing systems typically stand up well against leaks, no roof is perfect. And specific flat roofing systems like Built-up roofing can make it very difficult to find the source of a leak – sometimes you have to take the whole roof apart.

Quality Commercial Roofing

Here at Mobile Roofing & Construction, we are known for our high-quality, long-lasting commercial flat roofing coatings. To get all the benefits of commercial flat roofing mentioned above, and none of the disadvantages, get in touch with us.