Florida is a unique state for many reasons. It’s a no-income-tax state, it has fantastic weather, and it happens to have some of the most stringent roofing laws, especially for commercial flat roofs. The state has a long history of hurricanes and strong winds. It has regularly updated its building codes and roofing laws to ensure commercial roofs can withstand the pressure of the winds, protect the tenants and save building owners from losses. One of those requirements is regular commercial roof maintenance and inspections.
Whether you’re planning to install a new roof on a newly completed commercial property or re-roof an existing one, it’s paramount to understand the flat roof and building regulations in South Florida before proceeding to prevent losses and building code violations.
You Should Only Work With a Licensed Commercial Flat Roofer
In South Florida, thunderstorms, inclement weather, and hurricanes can be frequent and destructive. That’s why the state has exhaustive flat roof and building regulations to mitigate damage during such weather. Because the roof is one of the most crucial parts of a building, roofers in the state must meet extensive requirements to qualify for a roofing license.
Your selected roofer must be a licensed roofer or registered roofer in Florida. In Florida, roofers are considered specialized contractors and can only work in the area for which they are licensed. Working with a licensed or registered roofer is not only a legal requirement, but also ensures you get a compliant legal roof, and the roofer can guide you through the regulations.
Law also requires that you use licensed and registered roofers for commercial roof inspection, repairs, and re-roofing.
Roof Installation Requirements
The 7th Edition of the Florida Building Code has robust requirements for new roof installations, by which all roofers and commercial property owners must abide.
For instance, underlayment types and installation of roof coverings must be consistent with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Only certain types of felt underlayment can be used, and the roof must also conform to the number of plies, lapping, and fastener spacing specified by the building code.
As a commercial building owner or manager, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the changes and requirements. This is why hiring a good, licensed roofer in South Florida could save you a lot of trouble and money. Experienced roofers know these regulations like the back of their hands and will build a roof that will pass inspection and give you and your employees the best chance of survival in a hurricane.
Minimum Slope Requirements
Although flat roofs in South Florida do not suffer the same problems as those in Midwest or other colder climates, like withstanding snow, or ice, they are not without challenges because of the Florida weather.
Ponding water and “alligatoring” are the most common problems. A professional roofer can mitigate these by ensuring the flat roof meets the necessary slope requirements. The roof should have a minimum of a 2% slope or a ¼ inch of pitch for every foot. This might not be noticeable to the naked eye, which is why you need a seasoned roofer that can install the roof accurately to help with water drainage when it rains.
Why Is Having Such Regulations Important For You And Your Commercial Building?
Everything that has benefits has downsides. This is true even for the Florida weather. Although you get to enjoy the warm weather most of the time, when it rains, it pours, and Florida is also highly susceptible to hurricanes.
As a commercial property owner or manager, it’s vital to ensure your roof complies with these regulations for safety and to avoid prosecution. It is more so the case if your property is in the High-Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ). The regulations apply to roofing components, assemblies, waterproofing, and systems. All these are vital factors that will determine how your roof holds up in case of a hurricane.
Why It Is Valuable To Work with A Qualified Roofing Contractor to Help You Understand These Regulations
Florida’s commercial flat roofing and building regulations are extensive and keep changing, usually after every big hurricane. Although you might understand them now, they might change in a year or two depending on the weather patterns.
Finding a reputable and qualified roofing contractor to install the roof and walk you through the requirements is the best and safest approach.
Although you might understand the regulations and codes by reading them, contractors understand how to implement and reinforce your flat roof to protect the occupants and your business.
Besides understanding, a qualified roofer will save you money in fixes after failed inspections. Most qualified roofers will build the roof to code on the first try without challenges.
Find the Right Roofer for the Best Roof
In Florida, the quality of your roof goes beyond the design and quality of the materials you use. You also have to work with a reputable, qualified roofer with an extensive background in commercial flat roofing. PSI Roofing in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a qualified and licensed roofer in Florida with experience in commercial roof replacement, maintenance, and waterproofing. We are also a certified general contractor. Our qualifications and experience in building commercial flat roofs to Florida building code standards are just what you need to make your project successful.
After building the roof, we can provide you with an exclusive premium roof maintenance program to keep your roof in shape and ready for Florida’s unpredictable and rough weather. Contact us for a consultation or for more information about our commercial flat roof services.