What is a Flat Roof?
Flat roofing is common in commercial construction since it is economical and practical for maximum usable space inside and out. In addition, commercial buildings benefit from the space flat roofs provide for necessities like HVAC units or solar panels.
However, commercial flat roofs are never entirely flat. Also grouped with low-slope roofs, flat roofs require a small pitch, or angle, to allow water and snow run-off. A flat roof can range in pitch from ¼:12 to 3:12 rise over run; this pitch translates to 1-12.5 degrees to 25 degrees.
Furthermore, flat commercial roofing typically lasts much longer than high-pitched roofs since the materials are more durable. Most commercial projects use single-ply roofing materials like TPO and PVC thermoplastic or EPDM thermoset membranes. These flexible materials can last decades with proper installation and maintenance.
Types of Flat Roof Systems
While single-ply roofing materials are typical for commercial roofs, many more options exist. Carefully consider the type of roof you need to suit your needs best, as an improper roof can lead to building damage and extensive repairs.
Before you choose a flat roof system, think about the following:
- Amount of foot traffic on the roof
- How vital is leak prevention
- What substances may be exhausting onto your rooftop
- Your climate’s weather patterns
- Amount of wind exposure
- Building height
- Roof aesthetics
Next, look at your list of options for commercial flat roofing materials and weigh the pros and cons of each.
EPDM, TPO, and PVC single-ply roofing materials last up to 25 – 30 years, provide UV ray reflection, have flexible membranes for easy installation, and have good durability. Austermiller Roofing in Tennessee provides single-ply membrane roofing materials for your commercial projects. Contact us today for an estimate.
Built-Up Roof or BUR systems consist of layers of bitumen (asphalt or tar) and fabric sheets of roofing felt. After 5 – 10 layers, contractors apply one last layer of bitumen and then spread a ½ inch layer of aggregate stone for protection against UV rays. While expensive due to labor costs, BUR roofs can last up to 50 years.
Metal roofs, or metal panel systems, are one of the oldest roofing systems and prove very durable and heat resistant. The sealant goes in between metal panels to ensure water resistance. Although more expensive than single-ply, metal roofs are more durable and can last up to 70 years!
Liquid coating goes on top of existing roofing material and provides a protective barrier against elements like water. The liquid rubber is resistant to expansion and contraction and can add to the longevity of your roof.
Installing liquid roofing is easy, making it a popular choice. But, it does require yearly maintenance and creates a slippery surface. Therefore, a liquid coating may not be ideal for high-traffic roofs.
Finally, Green Roofs, garden roofs, or vegetative roofs are gaining popularity with hospitality and event venue commercial buildings. Installation and maintenance are more expensive, but green roofs provide ecological benefits and a desirable aesthetic.
Maximizes Interior and Exterior Space
Durable and Long-Lasting Roofing Materials
Different Types of Roof Systems to Best Suit Your Needs
Easy Access to HVAC, Tanks, and Solar Panels
Easy to Renovate
Flat Roof Installation, Maintenance, and Replacement in Tennessee
When you request a flat roof installation from Austermiller, we will first work with you to determine the best type of roof for your project. Depending on the size of your building, you can expect installation to take from 5 days to 3 weeks. Then, if you need a roof replacement, we will clear and clean off any pre-existing roof. Next, we install the layers necessary for the type of roof you need.
Once your flat roof is installed, schedule annual inspections from a professional at Austermiller Inc. to look for any punctures, cracks, or loose seams. Also, schedule an inspection for damage after a significant weather event. These detailed inspections determine the need for repairs or flat roof replacement.
Regular inspections can increase the lifespan of your roof, but keep in mind potential factors that can limit your roof’s longevity. Potential factors include:
- Harsh climate
- Extreme weather, like hail, wind, snow, and harsh UV rays
- Poor drainage
If you need a roof replacement, consider requesting a different type of roofing system that may last longer. It could be you chose the wrong kind of roof for your needs.
To guarantee a quality commercial roof installation, hire a trusted commercial flat roofing contractor at Austermiller in Tennessee. Not only can a professional like us recommend the best type of commercial flat roof for you, but we can also ensure you have a proper slope to prevent leaks.
To start your next roofing project, contact us at Austermiller for a quote!