Houses have pitched roofs so why not commercial buildings
This is often the question many people ask when they compare the two roofing styles. After all a pitched roof is supposed to help drain water, keep snow from piling up, as well as make the roof more maintenance-free.
These are all good reasons for requiring a pitched roof for commercial buildings. However, there are more good reasons why most commercial buildings have a flat roof. Keep reading to get those legitimate reasons.
Why are commercial roofs flat?
#1. Easier and faster- businesses are all about money. A pitched roof requires more materials, longer construction times, and so on. This construction option can be very expensive and time-consuming.
By going to a flat roof, the building is finished faster and for a lot less money. This allows a business to open sooner and start generating more money.
#2. Storage space- one of the greatest assets a flat roof provides is extra storage space. You get another entire floor of space when you build a flat roof on a commercial building.
Plus, it is more difficult to set up HVAC and other needed systems on a pitched roof. The cost adds a lot to the budget. A flat room provides a lot of space to place the HVAC and other systems and provides lots of room to safely maintain those systems.
It is just more practical to have a flat roof on a business.
#3. They help energy efficiency- when constructing a commercial building, builders have a variety of roofing materials that help reflect the heat of the sun away from the roof.
These materials help keep the interior cooler and allow a business to cut back on air conditioning use. The lower HVAC use helps extend the life of that expensive system and lowers maintenance costs.
If you want to save on electricity, a flat roof is perfect for a good solar power system.
#4. Easier to drain- the average commercial building’s roof is roughly 19,000 square feet. When it rains it can collect a lot of water, even with a pitched roof. That amount of water can easily overwhelm a standard gutter system and have water going where it will cause a lot of damage.
A flat roof allows for builders to implement an elaborate drainage system to protect not only the roof but other parts of the building.
#5. Construction demands- most commercial buildings are built out of steel and concrete. Those two construction materials make it very difficult to wood frame a pitched roof and install an aluminum gutter system.
It is just better to make a flat roof and save on construction costs and hassles. Then the expansion and contraction of all these materials happen at different rates. This does not provide building security and damage can easily be done to the roof and building.
#6. More space- besides using the roof for storage and HVAC and other equipment, a flat roof provides a nice coffee or lunch break spot. The flat roof can be designed to hold benches, tables, chairs, etc, and provide a great spot for employees in their free time.
This upgrade does not cost as much as building a pitched roof and can help employee morale by allowing them to relax in a nice comfortable spot away from customers and other people.
#7. It is safer- a pitched roof is very difficult to climb and doing so can lead to some very devastating injuries if someone were to slip off. Making it safer to climb a pitched roof can damage the roof as well or let water inside the building.
A flat roof makes it safer and easier to access as well as do maintenance work. Safety is always a chief concern for many businesses. You get better traction on a flat roof as well.
#8. Saves money- this goes without saying. A flat roof uses fewer materials, less construction time, and helps avoid construction risks. That means the business can use the savings for other purposes including developing a nice rest area for employees.
Besides, a pitched roof uses more square footage space than a flat roof does. That extra space adds up and makes construction costs a lot higher. Every business wants to save money and building a flat roof helps them achieve that objective.
#9. Easier to maintain- while a pitched roof requires less maintenance, it is still easier to maintain a flat roof over a pitched roof. Plus, maintaining a flat roof is safer than maintaining a pitched roof.
To maintain a pitched roof you need expensive safety equipment that a flat roof does not require. And with the ability to walk easier on a flat roof, maintenance can get done faster. Even though it may be harder to maintain.
Cutting down the risk makes hard-to-maintain roofs very easy to repair and look after.
#10. Longer lifespan- this is debatable due to the nature of the construction materials used for both types of roofs. Usually, when a company uses the best construction materials and the roof is well maintained, a flat roof will last for decades.
How long any roof lasts will depend on three things: How well it was put together, the type of construction material used; and how well it is maintained. However, a roof’s lifespan will depend a lot on the type of weather in the region.
Some additional words
While a pitched roof may look better than a flat roof on any building, building the latter is the better option. It just comes with more benefits as well as being very versatile.
Having extra space for a variety of equipment and activities leaves more room for supplies, stock, and other business necessities inside the building. With all the cool roof materials technology has developed over the years, a flat roof makes good business sense.
Cutting down on operating costs is something a business is always interested in doing. A good flat roof will save the business lots of money.
Metal Roofing vs. Shingles
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, simply put. There are a few different materials that can be used for a roof, and a lot of people tend to prefer something that looks aesthetically pleasing but is also functional. The mention of a metal roof likely brings to mind a commercial building and not a typical residence, but the truth is that a metal roof is far more useful than a shingle roof in a few ways. Motor City Roofers, located in Detroit, Michigan, is here to make certain that people know the advantages of selecting a metal roof over a shingle roof. There are a couple of obvious reasons why a metal roof is superior to a shingle roof, but some folks still need to be convinced.
Metal roofs last longer.
The average metal roof is far more durable and will have a longer life if with regular maintenance and upkeep over the years. Used primarily for commercial buildings, metal roofs are sometimes considered to be less aesthetically pleasing to some customers. There are also concerns that the noise heard during intense storms or rain showers can be extremely nerve-wracking. The counter to this is the fact that metal roofs, when installed correctly, are much more efficient at keeping the weather out of a home and have greater structural integrity than shingle roofs. It is not always common to see metal roofs in a community, but there are plenty of homeowners that have seen the wisdom in switching from traditional shingles to metal roofing. It's not tough to think that a business would desire a metal roof to maintain the integrity of their goods and overall structure, but the truth is that many businesses, and homeowners, that opt for metal roofing do so because of its longevity.
Maintenance and upkeep are easier.
Shingles are easier and even cheaper to install than metal roofing, but the drawback is that they are not nearly as durable or as easy to maintain. The simple act of pressure washing a metal roof as compared to shingles proves this. Moss can settle easily on shingles and is tough to dig off with a high-powered pressure washer, while metal is far easier to clean. An expertly installed metal roof will not typically require a lot of maintenance other than cleaning and possibly painting depending on where the home or business is located. Shingles, on the other hand, are at the mercy of one climate or another and don't typically have the same type of durability or stability that metal roofing has. A great example is a snowy climate where a significant amount of snow can pose a major problem for shingles. Metal roofs are normally capable of handling a wide variety of weather issues and can last for far longer in such conditions than shingle roofs can. Not only that, but shingle roofs can lose bits and pieces of roofing when the weather turns foul.
The upkeep for a metal roof usually only needs to be considered when it comes to accidents or possible faults in the installation. At Motor City Roofers we pride ourselves on hiring only the best roofers who know the business inside and out. A properly installed metal roof can last for several decades or more with minimal care, and the warranty is bound to last for a while as well. A shingle roof can last for a while but will need far more upkeep and is much more prone to damage from the weather and other conditions. For instance, in various climates, shingle roofs will attract moss without fail and could be compromised if proper care isn't given.
There are several deciding factors that are wise to think about when trying to determine if a metal or shingle roof will be better for your home or business. The truth is that a metal roof will last a lot longer, so long as it's installed by someone who knows what they're doing. Any roof can suffer a short lifespan if there are mistakes made during the installation process. At Motor City Roofers it's a point of pride that our roofers know what they're doing, and are highly skilled in various roof installations that will keep the customer happy while maintaining the security of their home or business for many years to come.
With a metal roof, there is a risk of placing too much weight on the structure it is covering. The truth is that metal roofs do typically weigh a bit more than shingle roofs, but the overall durability is a worthwhile trade. Plus, any roofer worth their tools will know what type of weight a structure can support and what type of metal roofing will be best for each job.
Commercial vs. Residential
Typically, one will see residential residences opt for a shingle roof instead of a metal roof. Shingles are the default for many residences since they are aesthetically pleasing and will, if installed correctly, last for a decade or two. But as many homeowners know, it depends on the climate and where one lives when determining how often the roof will need to be fixed/replaced. A metal roof will last far longer and require much less maintenance in the long run, but does not always play up to the aesthetic that is desired in a neighborhood. Residential homes have utilized metal roofs in many parts of the world, and the benefits are easy to understand. Trends do matter to many homeowners, however, which means that commercial businesses utilize metal roofing far more than residential neighborhoods. The overall benefits can be easily listed and delivered in a manner that many will understand, but at the end of the day, the customer's decision is the most important.
At Motor City Roofers we understand the need to cater to our customers, and how to help them understand the benefits of our services. When it comes to roofing materials, metal roofing will last longer and require less care.
A WILD MEASURE OF METAL ROOFING EFFICIENCY: THE TRUTH ABOUT METAL ROOF SCRATCHES
A wild measure of metal roofing efficiency: The truth about metal roof scratches.
Metal roofs are a popular choice because of their durability, energy efficiency, and longevity - not to mention that they boost the market value of your property! When considering a metal roof installation, ask each contractor numerous questions before accepting their prices. Some may offer online testimonials from previous clients or images of jobs performed locally.
The Causes of Scratches?
Metal roofs are famed for their durability, but no roof is impervious to damage. While scratches, dents, and flaking are less common on metal roofing than on other roofing materials, it is prudent to be cautious and take preventive measures against potential problems. Scuffing and scratches on metal roofing are typical during installation. Therefore, storing and carrying panels at an angle is preferable to dragging them across each other while unbundling. Furthermore, installers should avoid walking on panel flats near or over purlins and supporting structures, as well as walking on them too close to purlins; if any scuffing or denting appears after installation, please get in touch with them as soon as possible.
Roof scuffs may sometimes be restored using a color-matched touch-up pen, but if they pierce through to reveal the bare metal underneath protective coatings, they must be repaired or replaced entirely. You may prevent this danger by hiring a reputable roofing services business for regular inspections and maintenance checks. Wind, rain, and seawater may wreak havoc on metal roofs, causing wear-and-tear damages such as scuffs and scratches and other types of damage requiring frequent examination. If your roof is exposed to harsh weather like these, regular checks for scuffs and scratches, as well as indicators of other types of damage like corrosion and pitting, should be undertaken on an ongoing basis.
In addition to scuffs and scratches, your metal roof may begin to fade with time. Fading occurs when the pigment in paint breaks down due to water penetration, air pollution, or UV radiation – yet most metal roof warranties include early fading as part of their coverage. Other issues arising from improper roof maintenance include corrosion, rust, and leaks. Corrosion and rust can be incredibly damaging to both homes and businesses; following manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules can help avoid this situation, while frequent roof inspections will allow you to spot faults promptly before they become significant concerns, such as leaky gutters.
Will scratching do harm?
Metal roofs are durable, but they are not invincible. Metal roofs can be damaged over time by things like falling branches or being scraped with ladders, scrapers, and other harsh cleaning tools; larger or deeper scratches may stand out more when viewed from below; however, there are steps you can take to prevent further scratching of your beautiful home's metal surface. Covering metal roof panels with touch-up paint is sometimes discouraged because damaged paint absorbs dirt, further deteriorating its surface. Furthermore, finding a precise color match for existing paint on the roof can be difficult, especially after extensive exposure has changed and degraded the color. This becomes more difficult when scratches form and the original color no longer completely matches the affected panel regions.
To protect a metal roof from scratching, keep it clear of impediments. A soft-bristled window cleaning brush is ideal for sweeping dirt off your metal roof without harming its surface. Having neighboring trees and bushes trimmed by experts regularly will help guarantee no branches. If you need to clean your metal roof, soft-bristled brooms are more effective than wire or plastic scrapers in removing debris and won't scratch up the panels as readily. After severe rain or snowfall, avoid stepping on your roof unless you have a safety harness; for the best results, use expert roofing services. If your metal roof slopes steeply, it is also advisable to contact expert services for any required repairs.
Does Scratching Cause Leakage?
Metal roofs are built to survive, yet even they can sustain slight damage over time. Metal panels can be scratched by persons working on them or by items like branches falling from above. Deep or noticeable scratches on a panel surface may be difficult to spot at ground level; nevertheless, more profound or more apparent scratches are more significant, typically indicating substrate damage, which can eventually lead to corrosion and leakage difficulties. Touch up any paint scratches on metal roofs to maintain the underlying metal and improve the exterior appearance of homes or structures. Touch-up paint designed particularly for metal roofs might be more effective. Use the same touch-up paint used on vehicles, but choose a color comparable to your roof panel color when matching colors with this roofing material! Contact the firm that supplied your metal roofing panels for the best results since they frequently sell touch-up paint developed exclusively for metal roofing panels.
Metal roofs should be properly inspected at least once a year to look for damage that needs to be repaired. Hiring an expert for examination and guidance; will know whether the scratches are aesthetic and can be cleaned up with paint or whether they have entered the substrate and created leaks. Check gutters, pipes, sidings, chimneys, and air conditioners as part of your roof inspection to ensure no contact or harm to metal roof panels. When different materials come into touch with metal roofing panels when wet, less active chemicals may discolor or corrode them and modify the galvanized coating, which a professional may avoid by properly sealing all contact points or lining all seams.
Generally, metal roofs are popular because of their durability, energy efficiency, and lifespan; nevertheless, scuffs, dents, and flaking can cause damage. Scuffs, scratches, and other wear-and-tear issues should be avoided with regular inspections and maintenance checks. Falling branches and scraping can damage metal roofs, but there are preventative measures you can take, as discussed in this article. To protect the underlying metal and improve the outer appearance of metal roofs, touch up any paint scratches. Inspect for damage that has to be corrected at least once a year.
Metal roofing can rust over time, but proper maintenance and treatment can minimize rusting. Metal roofs are often galvanized or coated in aluminum or zinc, which forms a protective barrier against corrosion. When this coating is intact, oxygen and moisture cannot reach the metal underneath, and rusting is prevented.
However, the coating can become scratched, dented, or imperfect over time, exposing the bare metal. At these spots, rusting can develop. Regular inspections, touch-ups of any damage, and occasional cleaning/lubricating of the metal panels help sustain the rust-proofing. Periodic re-coating of the entire roof may also be needed for best results.
While some rusting is inevitable with metal roofs, especially in humid or coastal areas, proper care and maintenance techniques can maximize the time between re-coating or replacement. When rusting does occur, minor surface rust can often be simply painted over, while more extensive rust may require sanding and re-coating the affected areas. With the right approach, metal roofing can provide durable, long-lasting protection against the elements while minimizing undesirable rust.
How can you tell your metal roof is rusting?
If you suspect your roof is rusting, here are a few things to look out for:
Visual Inspection Carefully check your roof for any visible rust spots, stains, or flaking metal. Rusting will often appear as reddish-orange spots or patches on the metal surface. Peel or flake off any loose rust before it spreads further. Serious rusting will require sanding, priming, and painting for prevention.
Water Staining Excessive water buildup on the roof or running down walls, especially after rains, can indicate rust forming at weaknesses or seams in the metal surface. Rust discoloring the surface of puddles is a clear sign to inspect the underlying metal thoroughly. Rust holes or perforations can lead to leakage and water damage.
Paint Peeling If your roof has a coat of paint or another protective coating, peeling or blistering paint around seams or edges may indicate rust forming underneath. Gently pry up peeling paint to check for visible rust. Bare rust requires priming and matching paint for appearance.
Pooling & Leaks If water is pooling on certain areas of the roof or if leaks develop inside the structure, it likely means rust has formed holes or perforations in the metal surface, allowing water to penetrate. Leaks from rust can cause interior water damage and require roof patching or metal repair/replacement.
Noisy Rustling Sounds As rust expands, metal flakes break off, and rust particles crumble, it can produce small creaking, grinding, or rustling noises that get louder over time. Sounds of metal-on-metal movement require immediate roof inspection and potential roof stabilization. Loose or unstable metal sheets are unsafe.
What are some common causes of rust on metal roofs?
Typically, most metal roofs can last decades. However, there are situations that can reduce their lifespan by causing the to rust. They include:
Exposure to MoistureMetal roofs can rust when exposed to constant moisture due to factors like high humidity, leaky seams or joints, or inadequate ventilation. The moisture condenses on the metal and accelerates oxidation and rusting. Installing gutters and downspouts, sealing seams or holes, and improving attic ventilation can help prevent excess moisture buildup.
Salt AirMetal roofs located near coastal areas or heavily salted roadways can rust quickly due to airborne salt particles. The salt promotes the oxidation of iron and steel. Wash metal roofs periodically in coastal areas and consider coatings like galvanization for added protection.
Acid RainThe acids in pollution and acid rain damage the protective layer of paint or other coatings on metal roofs and cause rusting. Acidic precipitation can alter the pH of the metal surface and speed up corrosion. There are protective coatings available for metal roofs in high-acid areas.
Metal ImbalanceIf a metal roof contains different alloys or metals, galvanic corrosion can occur where they meet. The metals form an electrolyte; one metal corrodes while the other is protected. Using compatible metal types, insulators, or coatings can prevent this rust.
Lack of Proper Coatings
Uncoated or unpainted metal roofs will rust more quickly due to a lack of environmental protection. Paints, galvanization, patinas, and other anti-weathering coatings help shield metal roofs from rusting agents like moisture, oxygen, and salt. Applying or reapplying roof coatings will help stop and prevent rust on metal roofs.
What are some common maintenance practices for metal roofs?
Metal roofs require routine inspection and maintenance to maximize their longevity. Here are some of the best practices for metal roof care:
InspectionsConducting periodic visual inspections of the roof, especially after severe weather, is critical. Check for leaks, damaged or loose panels, rusted spots, or other issues. Early detection of problems prevents further water damage or structural issues.
Sealing and PaintingUnpainted metal roofs like galvanized steel will develop a natural patina over time. But painting or sealing the surface helps prevent excess oxidation and rust. Metal roof coatings provide a durable, waterproof barrier. For perforated or copper roofs, sealants can be applied to the underside.
Tightening FastenersMetal roof panels and flashing joints are fastened with screws or special metal roofing clips and bolts. As the roof ages, these fasteners can loosen slightly. Use an impact driver to tighten all screws and bolts every few years. Loose screws affect the panel's integrity and weather resistance.
CleaningWashing metal roofs with detergent and water and then rinsing thoroughly removes built-up dirt and grime. For steel roofs, a pressure washer can be used at moderate pressure (1200-2000 PSI). Avoid abrasive cleaners, which can damage the metal surface. Harsh detergents can strip the natural protective oil coatings from copper and zinc roofs.
Snow RemovalPromptly remove excess snow from metal roofs to prevent leaks at joints and seams. Use a roof rake for slope roofs and a paddle for flat roofs to prevent water damage during spring thawns. Excess weight from snow can also cause panels to buckle or loosen from fasteners.
Insect/Pest RemovalInsect nests or pest droppings must be fully removed from metal roofs as they promote corrosion and reduce water resistance. Use professional pest control services to treat the underside and adjacent attics or crawlspaces. Clogged gutters increase moisture problems, so inspect and clean gutters at least once a year.
Metal roofs are popular for many homes and businesses due to their durability, longevity, and weather resistance. Proper maintenance and routine inspections allow a metal roof to last many years without deterioration or rusting. Common maintenance practices for metal roofs include inspecting for damage, sealing, and painting, tightening fasteners, cleaning, snow removal, and insect/pest removal. By following these practices, homeowners can extend the life of their metal roof and ensure its maximum protection and performance.