Flat roof systems are a popular choice for commercial buildings, and for good reason. Since there are no slopes to worry about, maintenance of the roof, including cleaning and snow removal gets much easier. The roofs are also more suited to covering wide commercial spaces, and the flat surface can offer a variety of applications that pitched roofs cannot. For instance, many office buildings have flat roofs that double as recreational spaces or rooftop gardens.
Despite all the positives that a flat roof system offers, some business owners are still not fully convinced that such a roof would be best for their commercial building, mainly due to certain misconceptions about flat roofs. This article will look at two such misconceptions and offer the truths behind them, so as to better help you decide whether a flat roof system would be best for you:
Misconception #1: Flat roofs are expensive
The number one consideration for any type of commercial roofing upgrade is the price, so the myth that a flat roof for a commercial building would be more expensive than other alternatives can be a real deterrent for many entrepreneurs. Contrary to popular belief, a flat roof system may actually be more material efficient than pitched roofs.
Relative costs may be hard to enumerate, but the fact that a flat structure covers less surface area than a sloped one can translate to significant savings on the amount of materials used. This also means that the roof will be constructed in less time, translating to reduced business downtime.
Pitched roofs require materials for the slope including collar ties, ridge posts and rafters that are not required for a flat structure, making a flat roof a cheaper choice for covering an expansive commercial space.
In addition, all the heating on a flat roof goes into areas that you use, unlike in a sloped roof where the space above the ceiling is often unused but nonetheless heated.
Misconception #2: A flat roof can’t support heavy snowfall
A very valid concern for anyone considering flat roofing is its ability to support heavy snow build-up. The myth is that a flat roof will allow snow to accumulate and therefore could easily crumble under the weight or at least suffer significant damage in winter.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, as engineers are able to design a flat roof to not only handle heavy amounts of snowfall, but to also stand up to winds, seismic loads and other weights. When designing the roof, engineers follow guidelines on the depth of structural framing needed below the roof to support local snow loads, so the roof is more than capable of keeping you safe even during the dead of winter.