Flat roofing has an undeserved reputation for encouraging water infiltration. To begin, “flat roofing” is not truly flat. It has to have a slight slope (often no more than 0.125” in 12”) to help water reach parapet scuppers or interior drains. Also, most materials for flat roofs, such as single-ply membrane, are impervious to water. Flat roofing saves your commercial property money for five reasons.
1. Construction Costs
Low-slope or flat roofing is far less expensive to build than steep-slope roofing. To cover wide expanses, as with industrial buildings or warehouses, low-slope roofing is just about the only option.
2. Installation Costs
Materials intended for low-slope roofs are purpose-built to cover large expanses. This makes them relatively inexpensive by the square foot when measured against asphalt shingles or metal panels for steep-slope roofs. Single-ply membranes can cover 10,000 square feet or more in just a few pieces; shingles must be laid down one at a time.
3. Ease of Installation
A low-slope or flat roof is far easier for commercial roofing crews to work on than a steep-slope roof. This means installation and later re-roofing (even involving tear-off) will be cheaper than similar work on a steep-slope roof.
4. Ease of Maintenance
While building managers and property owners should keep roof traffic to a minimum, walking on flat roofs is far easier and safer than walking on steep-slope roofs. Your maintenance crew, a commercial roofing crew, and building inspectors can all easily work on flat roofing.
Getting equipment up to and onto a flat roof is far easier, too, than getting it onto a steep roof. Gravity helps; you can put materials directly on the roof, even at a 3-in-12 slope, without worrying things will roll off the roof.
5. Energy Savings
Buildings with flat roofs allow for single-ply membrane in highly reflective, cool roofing colors, and materials. This means cooling costs are, on average, lower than for buildings without cool roofing.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides several tips on cool roofing with flat roofing, noting more ways for low-slope roofs than for steep-slope roofs.
Insulation also boosts energy savings on flat roofing. This is easily applied to low-slope roofing during roof replacement. The experts at FacilitiesNet point out increased R-value as an energy saver.
When you want to increase return on investment from your roof, contact us at PSI Roofing. We can provide sensible, economical, commercial roofing solutions.