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.