If you have a commercial building and need a new roofing system, you have probably considered a flat roof. Flat roofing is level to the building versus a roofing system that has a slope, which is important to consider when you are thinking between a flat roof vs sloped roof. In regards to the most popular commercial roofing systems, flat roofs are typically the most sought after. This is because flat roofs come in a wide range of materials. So what’s the best flat roof system? Honestly, it’s all going to depend on the preference of the building owner. If you are interested in a flat roof, it’s important to know the different types of flat roofs so you can decide which one is the best.
- Built Up Roofing: Built up roofing, also known as a gravel and tar roof, is one of the oldest flat roofing options. The way that these commercial roofing systems are constructed is alternative bitumen and other fabrics and then adding a membrane at the end. This type of roof is very durable, but it is going to require reinforcement if extra weight is added to the roof.
- Modified Bitumen: This type of flat roofing system is made from asphalt and other materials that are either torched down or rolled on the roof. Because it is made of several layers, which offers it more protection, but it is known as being difficult to install if the roofer doesn’t have the correct tools or doesn’t have the experience needed.
- Roof Coating: If you have a flat roof and you are wanting to keep it in good condition or extend it’s life, investing in a roof coating is a good idea. There are a couple of coatings to choose between, which include acrylic, elastomeric, polyurea, and silicone. These coatings are liquid that is either sprayed, rolled, or brushed on and then they dry to form a protective layer on the roof. You get great protection for your roof, but you do have to re-coat every couple of years.
- Single Ply Roofing: Single ply roofing is really popular because there are a couple of choices to choose from–EPDM, PVC, and TPO. Single ply roofing is very strong roof membranes that are rolled on. Commercial property owners love single ply roofs because they are durable, affordable, and energy efficient. However, it’s important to note that since there are three types of single ply roofs, the will have downfalls like not being as durable as one or another not being as affordable. Depending on what you want out of a roof is going to depend on what kind of single ply roof you want.
There are a ton of flat roofs to choose from and the best way to find the best one for your roof is by contacting professional flat roof contractors. If you needed a plumbing inspection, you wouldn’t call anyone but a roofer–the same applies when you need advice about flat roofs.
Flat Roof Benefits
A lot of people who are interested in a flat roof tend to ask, “What were two advantages of having a flat roof?” the cool thing about flat roofs is that they have more than two advantages. One of the things that really get commercial property owners interested in flat roofs is that they are very affordable. Another thing that is beneficial is that they are easy to maintain because they are easy to access. There is no need to use safety equipment when you get on a flat roof–all you have to do is get on the roof and you are safe. Having a flat roof also makes for great storage; you are able to store stuff on your roof and you can also have commercial HVAC systems installed on your roof. Lastly, installations are very easy, so building owners will get to enjoy their roofing system a lot sooner than other kinds of commercial roofs.
Flat Roof Issues
While there are a ton of advantages to having a flat roof, they also have their drawbacks. One of the biggest obstacles that commercial property owners have when choosing between a flat roof is that there aren’t that many choices. Something else to think about is that they have to have good drainage; because they are flat, water isn’t able to run off as freely as sloped roofs. Another thing that isn’t thought about when choosing this roof is that there isn’t a ton of room for insulation, which is needed to retain warm and cool air. Also, while these roofs are durable, when there is a lot of weight on them, they can become damaged.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Flat Roof?
Now that you know the pros and cons of flat roofing systems, you are probably curious about how long does a new flat roof last? Because flat roofs can be made from different materials, that will determine how long a flat roof is going to last. When it comes to single ply roofing, they can last upwards of 30 years, but that really depends on what kind of single ply roof you get. Built up roofing lasts 15 to 20 years, whereas modified bitumen can last 10 to 20 years. It’s also important to consider that maintenance is a big part of how long a roof lasts, so without proper maintenance, your roof isn’t going to last as long. So, how often does a flat roof need to be replaced? Whenever the roof is past its lifespan, which will depend on the material.
If you are interested in a flat roof installation for your building, call R & J Contractors at (214) 504-2684 for commercial roofing in McKinney, TX. We will be able to inspect your roof and see what type of flat roof material would be best for your budget and needs.