What You Need to Know About Flat Roofs

A lot needs to be considered when you own a commercial property. An adequately installed roofing system is an investment that should last for many years and provide many benefits. There are a few different options available to commercial properties, but it’s hard to know which one will work best. With proper maintenance, a flat roof will outlive its value and improve the aesthetics of the building. Because a new system is a financial commitment, we wanted to take the time to answer the most common questions about the flat roof.

Flat Roofs Aren’t Completely Flat

Very few are actually designed to be flat. The vast majority of flat roofing installation includes a slight slope. The purpose is to allow water to drain to designated areas of the roof. Compared to traditional roofing systems, they appear flat because their pitch is slight and much lower than what you would see on a residential roof. Without this drainage application, the flat roof wouldn’t last very long, regardless of the material used.

Add Versatility with a Flat Roof

Flat roofing systems are applied to commercial buildings because they are durable and economical. Choosing a flat roof usually is less complex both in roof design and building structure, which saves you money during construction. Installation can be achieved through a variety of materials. This will allow you to shop around for the best combination of applications to give you exactly what you need. Additionally, they can become multi-purpose. If your commercial building has flat roof options exists for solar panels, vegetative planters or other practical applications that are not readily feasible for steeper sloped roofs.

Achieve a Longer Lifespan

Flat roofing systems are incredibly durable therefore they are popular with commercial building design. When correctly installed, they can last around 30 to 40 years depending on the material. Many of the current membranes and assemblies available from the roofing industry have been specifically engineered to withstand high wind, hail, fire, ponding water and UV exposure.

A Flat Roof is Energy Efficient and Economical

A professionally installed flat roof utilizes thermal materials to help with energy costs. Some of which are recyclable. There are a variety of ways your flat roof can help reduce the amount of conditioned air to warm and cool the building’s interior during the different seasons. The result is lower electricity bills. A conscious owner can use the flat space to install solar panels to help with reducing carbon footprint.

There are Minimal Maintenance Requirements

For instance, a common problem that will affect your roof is the clogging of drains. Because there isn’t the presence of a traditional steep pitch, the drainage will need periodic cleaning. Leaves, sticks, and other debris can get in the way of the drainage system. This should be checked every quarter and after any major storm to prevent the opportunity for leaks to present themselves. The good news is this type of maintenance is easy to complete.

Warning Signs Will Let You Know You Need a New Roof

There are different characteristics that you can look for in your commercial metal roofing.

Warping – The presence of bubbling, warping, split seams or blistering is a clear indication that there an issue with your roofing system. Water can seep between the layers. When it evaporates and turns to gas, it puts pressure on the roofing materials because it has nowhere to go. This action will distort the roofing materials.

Dips or Sagging – When water collects between layers and sits rather than evaporates it becomes dense. The pressure on the materials or insulation can cause sagging. When a roof is not installed correctly, and there is no room for draining, the water will pool. This can lead to structural damage. When you see pooling, call your roofing contractor for a proper inspection.

There are warning signs that you need a new commercial roof. But, with proper installation from a trusted roofing contractor, your flat roof system can last decades.

If you have more questions about the installation of a flat roof or for roof maintenance tips, you can call the roofing professionals JBK. We have decades of experience helping owners manage their properties through proper installation and maintenance. Visit our website to learn more.


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