There aren’t that many parts of a building that contribute more to its overall health than the roof, and one of the biggest problems with roof maintenance is that it tends to get overlooked or even ignored. If there’s a problem with your doors, walls, or floors, you see it every day. You watch it get worse as time goes on. If there’s a roof problem, you may not realize it until it has become a major issue. You may not be aware of the many options that are available for your building’s roof.
The Advantages of Commercial Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are one of the most common types of commercial roofing. Since the 1920’s, commercial flat roofs were a symbol of industrial commerce and a more “modern” America. Before then, pitched roofs were more common (even for larger commercial buildings). For many building owners, the transition to flat roofs had a number of benefits. Some of the advantages of a flat roofing system include but may not be limited to:
- They can be a lot more cost-effective to build than pitched or steep slope roofs, because they don’t need as much material due to less square footage making up the roof itself.
- They can be installed more easily and in a shorter amount of time, which can result in a great deal of savings for the building owner. It will also affect the ease and potential price of repair.
- Air conditioners can be moved from the ground to the roof. Solar panels and satellite dishes are also easier to install on commercial flat roofs than on pitched ones.
- Maintenance and drain cleaning are easier on flat roofs, because work crews can walk on them more easily and safely (regardless of weather conditions).
You have a lot of choices when it comes to materials and membranes, which can include but may not be limited to:
- Rubber rolled roofing
- Modified bitumen
- Built-up roofing
While there are many color options with every one of these materials, many building owners choose to stick with white. This can help with energy efficiency because of its reflective properties.
The Disadvantages of Commercial Flat Roofs
While commercial flat roofs have several advantages, they do have their drawbacks — the most obvious one being poor drainage. Standing water can cause the roof to degrade faster than they normally would, which is something you wouldn’t have to worry about with a pitched roof. Breakdown of the materials can cause leaks, which can eventually lead to water damage. Flat roofs have a limited lifespan, which is between 10 and 15 years. After that, it may need to be replaced. But because of this issue, installing a drainage system can be more complicated. While some flat roofs have better drainage than others, any reputable roofing company will install some kind of drainage system on a flat roof. This will keep water from pooling, so you can get on with your business regardless of weather.
Depending on the material you used to build a flat roof, you could have an issue with shrinkage. Some membranes are susceptible to ultraviolet radiation, which can cause the membrane to shrink. This can make hail a much greater hazard. Some membranes may be more advantageous than others, so make sure you discuss it with a professional roofer.
Advantages of a Pitched Roofing System
While pitched roofs are seen as more as a residential than as a commercial roofing type, they’re still commonly used in these types of properties. There are some advantages to a pitched roofing system. The main one is better runoff for water and snow, which can prevent pooling. The steeper the slope, the easier it will be for liquid and debris to roll off. There is less of a chance for water buildup, which could lead to leaks and mold damage.
Your Choice for Commercial Roofing in the Coastal Bend!
If you own a commercial property in Corpus Christi and need to install a new roof, Bayfront Roofing has a team of people that can help you. We’re one of the best commercial roofers in Corpus Christi, and we can help you with any installation, repair, or inspection. We can work with a number of materials, including a variety of flat roof options. So if you’re ready to install a new roof on your building, be sure to get in touch with us. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs.