Does your commercial building have a sloped rooftop that needs replacement? If so, you may be considering replacing it with a flat rooftop. A non-sloped roof is a popular choice for commercial buildings, but it does have drawbacks that could offset its benefits. Is a non-sloped roof right for your building? The following benefits and drawbacks can help you decide.
Benefit: Less Expensive than Pitched Roofing
Flat roofs cost less to construct than pitched roofs, which require more construction materials and labor. If your company is on a budget, opting for a slope-less rooftop could be a wise decision, at least for the time being.
Drawback: More Prone to Leaks than Pitched Roofing
Over time, a rooftop with no slope can allow water to pool, which could lead to damaged decking and leaks that necessitate roof replacement. Instead of opting for no slope on their roof, many building owners opt for a slight slope of roughly two degrees-a move that could reduce maintenance and prolong a roof's lifespan.
Benefit: Excellent for Green Roofing
A pitched roof cannot accommodate a green rooftop that features greenery, walking paths and sitting areas. In addition to offering a scenic reprieve, a green roof also reduces leaks by being absorbent and preserving its moisture barrier from temperature fluctuation year round.
Drawback: Can Require Constant Maintenance
Flat roofs receive more water exposure and feature coatings that deteriorate faster than shingles, resulting in more maintenance issues than pitched roofs. To minimize maintenance, invest in the best materials, and have a company that specializes in flat rooftops implement and maintain your rooftop.
Benefit: Offers Usable Space
Sloped roofing creates dead space that gathers dust. Conversely, non-sloped roofing creates space that can be used for commercial HVAC elements such as air handlers, as wells as green roofs, terrace areas, rescue areas and even helicopter pads.
If your building features limited square footage, a slope-less roof could provide a strategy for maximizing its space.
Drawback: Replacement is Labor Intensive
Flat rooftops are less expensive to construct than pitched rooftops, but they cost more to replace. Consequently, some building owners repair flat roofs well beyond their useful lifespan. The best strategy for extending the lifespan of slope-less rooftops is to make them green rooftops, which can exceed the lifespan of a rooftop by 100%.
Benefit: Safer to Stand on than Pitched Roofing
Both sloped and non-sloped rooftops require maintenance, and the latter are safer to work on thanks to their slope-less surface. Falls from rooftops by roofing contractors and maintenance workers are common, and non-sloped roofing helps to prevent them, protecting companies against workers compensation cases and potential lawsuits.
Drawback: Inefficient During Hot Weather
Due to the closeness of its surface to a building's interior, a flat commercial roof can increase air conditioning demand in the summer. There are two ways to minimize this effect: implement a green rooftop, which can reduce air conditioning demand in the summer by 75%, or implement a light surface material that amounts heat.