Everything You Need to Know About Flat Roofing Systems for Commercial Buildings

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Flat Roofing Systems for Commercial Buildings

    Date
    Tue May 16

    Author: Rener Vieira

    Selecting the right type of flat roofing system for your commercial building is a big decision. There are countless factors to take into consideration, such as your building’s location, site specifications, your budget, and maintenance requirements. With so many options at your disposal, it can be overwhelming to determine which flat roofing system will be the smartest choice for your building.

    Luckily, Landmark Roofing and Siding is an experienced commercial roofing company and we have gathered all the information you need to know about flat roofing systems. Our team has crafted this blog post which outlines important factors to consider when selecting a flat roof, the advantages of flat roofing, and our top four recommendations for flat roofing systems. We hope this article helps you to make a well-educated decision for your commercial or industrial building’s next roofing system.

    Why Use a Flat Roofing System For Your Commercial Building?

    The answer is typically flat roofs are best for commercial buildings. The reasoning is twofold. First, commercial buildings are usually much flatter and less steep than residential homes. This means that a flat roof is easy and quick to install on even a large commercial building. Since the material is often ‌one large panel, your roofing contractor will not have to take the time to nail down individual tiles or shingles across an entire warehouse.

    Secondly, commercial buildings do not have the same aesthetic needs as one’s home. When deciding on a commercial roofing system, durability is key and looks tend to be less of a priority. You want something that will last for years with minimal upkeep on your part – usually found with a flat roof.

    Factors to Consider When Weighing Your Flat Roof Options

    Before choosing a flat roofing system for your commercial building, educating yourself on the various aspects that come into play is essential.

    Cost

    Choosing a flat roofing system that is within your budget, while also providing your required level of protection and durability is a balancing act. Typically, the cost of your flat roofing system will depend on numerous factors, such as the material used, labor costs, maintenance costs, and the roof's lifespan. However, keep in mind that cheaper material options may require more frequent repairs, thus adding to your overall cost. Therefore, evaluating both price and quality is crucial when selecting the best flat roofing system for your commercial building.

    Durability

    Next to cost, durability is also a serious aspect to consider when choosing a roof. Your roof is your first line of defense against the outdoor elements and must protect the inside of your business from damage. Additionally, it protects the structural integrity of your entire building, which is typically your biggest business investment. You will want to find a roofing system that can withstand extreme weather, fire, punctures, tree damage, and general wear and tear.

    Maintenance

    As a busy business or commercial property owner, you will not typically have much time, nor want to, spend time on maintenance and upkeep. This means it is crucial to find a flat roofing system that does not require constant maintenance, which can be seen with certain types of residential roofs such as cedar, tile, or asphalt shingles. When selecting a flat roofing system, we recommend evaluating your team's maintenance capabilities and choosing a roofing material that requires a maintenance level that you can manage.

    Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing for Commercial Buildings

    Pros of Flat Roofing

    Flat roofing systems offer several advantages for commercial buildings:

    1. Flat roofs provide you with more usable space if your building specifications allow for it. This space can be used for things such as solar panels, rooftop gardens, or as an outdoor hangout area.

    2. Flat roofs are generally easier for contractors to install and maintain, saving you labor and maintenance costs.

    3. Flat roofs are typically more energy-efficient than sloped roofs as they reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

    4. Flat roofs are often more durable and long-lasting than other roofing systems, meaning they are a smart business investment.

    Cons of Flat Roofing

    While flat roofing systems offer various benefits, it is important to note that they also have some drawbacks:

    1. Water and debris accumulation can cause leaks and damage to the roof

    2. Regular maintenance is still required to prevent a variety of issues.

    3. Some building owners may find flat roofs less visually or aesthetically appealing than sloped roofs such as shingles or tile.

    When deciding between a flat or sloped roof for your commercial building, we recommend reviewing each option’s pros and cons and how they align with your building’s specific needs.

    Top 4 Types of Flat Roofing Systems for Commercial Buildings

    After determining that a flat roof is best for your commercial building, you will then have to decide what type ‌of flat roof you want. Our roofing experts here at Landmark Roofing and Siding have compiled a list of the top 4 flat roofing types. This research is aimed to help you make an informed ‌decision when choosing which roof to install on your commercial building.

    Metal Roofing

    Metal roofing is a top choice for commercial buildings due to its quick installation and advanced strength and durability. Metal roofing systems are typically made of galvanized steel, aluminum, and tin meaning they are highly resistant to fires and other extreme weather conditions.

    Because of this high level of durability, metal roofing is an expensive investment, typically costing more than other types of roofing materials. However, keep in mind that metal roofs require very little maintenance and repairs over the years. This means that even though you will pay more upfront, it will be a smart investment in the long run as it will require fewer repairs and can last as long as 70 years! A bonus of metal roofing is that it is easy to install, meaning you will save on labor and materials and reduce the chances of disruptions to your business.

    TPO Roofing

    Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO roofing, is a type of flat roofing system hailed by property owners due to its sustainability and durability. It is a single-ply roofing membrane made of a combination of rubber and plastic materials, making it resistant to ruptures, holes, and UV rays. One of the main benefits of TPO roofing is that it is extremely sustainable and energy efficient. It has reflective properties that allow it to reflect heat and UV rays, thus helping to reduce your building’s utility bills. It can also be recycled and repurposed at the end of its lifespan, allowing you to save on waste and disposal costs. Therefore, TPO roofing is an excellent choice for commercial property owners that want a strong, energy-efficient system that is also low-maintenance.

    Modified Bitumen Roofing

    Modified bitumen is a commercial roofing material made from asphalt and modifiers, such as plastic or rubber. This material is typically applied in layers and fortified with fiberglass. Modified bitumen roofing is known for its durability, flexibility, and affordability.

    One of the main advantages of modified bitumen is its toughness and flexibility. It is highly resistant to punctures, tears, and other types of damage, making it an excellent option for commercial buildings surrounded by trees or that incur frequent foot traffic. Additionally, modified bitumen is highly flexible and can expand and contract in different weather conditions. This type of roofing can also be customized to fit the specific needs of each building, as it can be applied in different layers or in combination with other roofing materials.

    Built-up Roofing

    BUR roofing consists of multiple layers of felt, tar, or asphalt, with a top layer of gravel or mineral granules. Hot tar or asphalt fuses these layers to create a durable, waterproof membrane. Because of this protective membrane, BUR roofing can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as snow, winds and heavy rainfall, and even fires. This is great for commercial buildings that live in places subject to forest fires, snow, or windstorms.

    BUR roofing is also a breeze to maintain, as damaged areas can quickly be patched or replaced. Additionally, BUR roofing is energy-efficient, as the top layer of gravel or mineral granules reflects sunlight and helps to reduce your AC bills.

    What Flat Roofing System Should You Choose?

    Ultimately, the type of flat roof you choose should rely heavily on factors such as your location’s climate, building type, and budget. It is best to work alongside a trusted commercial roofing contractor and property manager to evaluate these factors and make the best decision for your needs. For example, if money is not a barrier, you will want to choose the most durable option, such as metal. If you need something that is more budget-friendly and you have the maintenance capacity, then BUR or Modified Bitumen are good options.

    Ultimately, the type of flat roof you choose should rely heavily on factors such as your location’s climate, building type, and budget. It is best to work alongside a trusted commercial roofing contractor and property manager to evaluate these factors and make the best decision for your needs. For example, if money is not a barrier, you will want to choose the most durable option, such as metal. If you need something that is more budget-friendly and you have the maintenance capacity, then BUR or Modified Bitumen are good options.

    Commercial Roofing Contractor in Redmond, WA

    Do not look to just any commercial roofing contractor to help you decide on a flat roofing system. Choose a trustworthy roofing company such as Landmark Roofing and Siding, Inc. We have years of experience working with flat roofs and installing them using best industry practices. To learn more about how we can help you with your commercial roofing needs, call us at 1-855-413-3024 or request a free estimate online.

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