Whether your business already has a flat roof and you’re looking for the best ways to maintain it, or you’re considering a new flat roof, it’s wise to know the challenges inherent in this type of roofing. It comes with far more challenges than sloped roofs, such as ponding and weight considerations. Knowing these risks can help you keep up with the maintenance on your roof to avoid unnecessary repairs down the line.
First off, let’s take a look at the benefits that flat roofing poses. This is a desirable option for many business owners due to its high performance qualities, cost effectiveness, weather resistance and functionality. Not only are they relatively easy to install, they feature a flexible design with low-maintenance qualities. On top of all that, they’re easier to clean than pitched roofs because you can get up there easily and move around without the threat of falling off. Overall, there are a few types of flat roofs, including:
- Modified bitumen
- Built-up roofing (BUR)
Drawbacks of Flat Roofing
There are many disadvantages to flat roofing, not the least of which is poor roof drainage. Failure to keep up with regular inspection can lead to clogged drains. This in turn can cause damage and leaks. One solution to this is to apply a waterproof seal, but this also must be properly maintained to keep costly repairs at bay. The #1 reason flat roofs leak is lack of maintenance and inspection, so be sure to hire flat roofing specialists for this task at least once a year, advises SF Gate.
Another challenge with flat roofing is that you get less structure and stability as opposed to a pitched roof. Because the drainage isn’t as effective as pitched, your flat roof could develop ponding, or pooling of water. The National Roofing Contractors Association says any water that stays on your roof for more than 48 hours after a rain storm qualifies as ponding water, which is one of the most damaging effects of a flat roof. This standing water can get underneath your roofing system through even the slightest imperfection, such as a tear, hole, split, bare felt, unsealed seam or damaged flashing. When moisture gets into the insulation, this can result in rotted organic fibers and lowered thermal resistance.
Potential for Roof Failure
As the owner of flat roof, you also run the risk of roof failure, as heavy rain, hail and other storm-damaging effects can weaken it. In Texas, there are no worries about snow accumulation, but in the Northeast, commercial flat roof owners have to take this into consideration as they build regular snow removal into their budgets.
Bottom line: flat roofs come with many challenges, but overall they are a more affordable type of roof due to the use of fewer materials. If you like modern design, such as with a contemporary home or innovative office building, flat roof or one combined with a very low slope pitched roof is ideal for you.
Contact Ferris Roofing in Fort Worth, TX
Looking to install a flat roof? Want more information on the pros and cons? Schedule a free estimate with Ferris Roofing today, or contact us at 817-595-0500. Here at Ferris Roofing Contractors, flat roofing is one of our commercial roofing specialties throughout the entire Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. We offer everything from new construction roofs and repairs to storm damage and re-roofing.