Roofing comes in either a sloped or flat style. You normally see houses with slanted or sloped roofing and commercial buildings with flat roofs. There are a few things to consider when choosing the roof style that will work best for your building.
Flat or Sloped Roofing for Your Commercial Building?
- Space: Flat roofing offers more usable space which is why it is used on commercial buildings. Imagine how much space you would have in your attic though if you switched to a flat roof. Space matters to business owners and developers and the goal is to use as much space as they can in the most efficient way. Extra storage space can be created on site eliminating the need for expensive storage units.
- Equipment: Commercial buildings often have large air conditioning units and other bulky equipment that needs a designated home. Building codes limit the locations where these items can go inside the building, so the flat roof makes a perfect solution. In addition to this, keeping the loud units outside protects people from noise pollution which can cause serious disruption and even hearing loss.
- Cost: When it comes to cost, sloped roofing has the advantage. There are more steps and components involved in flat roof installation that makes it more expensive. Typically, flat roofing systems have to be installed with insulation and depending on the project that can be costly. An old project may only need 1” thick insulation between the old and new roof, but a new project can require as much as 5” in order to meet energy codes. Even though the insulation will save you money over time, it is an expensive upfront cost associated with flat roofing.
- Longevity: Sloped roofing can use composition shingles, wood shingles, concrete, tiles or dimensional shingles and all of these materials last longer than those used for flat roofing. Additionally, snow, rain and severe wind take a greater toll on flat roofing. There is no slope to draw water or snow away, so it can pool and cause damage and leakage.
In reality, flat roofing is necessary for commercial buildings because several slopes and valleys would be needed for space. Working on a flat roof is also much safer than a sloped roof and people are required to go up on flat roofs more often, so this is important. Flat roofs also allow for solar panel installation, and by lying flat, the panels can catch more sun than angled panels on a sloped roof. Flat roofing also provides space for gardens and recreational space and given the focus on the environment that we see today, this is a major plus.
Sloped and flat roofing both have advantages, and when it comes to residential housing, sloped roofing is more aesthetically appealing. As for commercial buildings, the need for space, efficiency, accessibility, and maintenance outweigh appearance, so a flat roof is the better option. Should appearance be an issue, that green roof garden you have will be just the talking point you need.