2020 Guide to Flat Roof Pros and Cons in Youngstown OH

view of modern building with commercial flat roof

Before you get a flat roof for your commercial facility in Youngstown, do you consider flat roof structure advantages and disadvantages? Flat roofs are a unique kind. It’s a mistake to treat flat roofing systems the same way you do for pitched roofs. This is because both types have unique features and needs. Which is why today, we’ll dive deeper into these roofs specially designed for buildings.

This guide will give you good reasons to install a flat roof as well as reasons not to. But for the drawbacks of flat roofs, we’re going to share ways to overcome them.

Flat Roof Structure Advantages and Disadvantages

How Good Are Flat Roofs? 4 Benefits to Know

If there’s one thing we’d agree on, it’s that flat roofs are common among commercial buildings. Ask a building owner and he’ll tell you why he prefers a flat roofing system. Most likely, you’d hear him mention the following:

1. Cost-effective roofing solution

Can you imagine installing a pitched roof on a tall building? The building itself will not only look weird but the project would be much more complex. Building the rafters entail more work which results in higher costs. If you aim to get more ROI with a good roof over your head, definitely go for a flat roof.

While being cost-effective, you can save more in the long run by investing in the right flat roof materials. Speak with your roofer regarding the best low slope options that meet your budget.

2. Utilize the space above your building

hand touching trimmed green grass
Go green by installing a garden over your flat roof.

Flat roof pros and cons… Don’t miss the fact that flat roofing systems give you an opportunity to maximize building space. This feature is not possible with sloped roofs because basically, no person can walk on them! The bare area on a flat roof can be utilized for various purposes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

2.1. Roof garden (a.k.a. “living roof”) – Yes, definitely put a garden over an EPDM or PVC roof to cool down building temperature and reduce stormwater runoff. Consider whether you want an extensive or intensive living roof.

2.2. Space for solar panels – Another way to utilize flat roof space is to install solar panels. Businesses that make an effort to “go green” seek a renewable energy source through solar panels. And yes, you can go solar with a flat roof by means of flat solar racking.

2.3. Beautiful terrace – Own a hotel, cafe, or co-working office space? Transform a boring flat roof into an area where your guests and employees can mingle and relax. Among the flat roof structure advantages and disadvantages, this certainly is something to think of.

3. Maintenance is easier than sloped roofs

When we think of flat roof structure advantages and disadvantages, definitely consider maintenance. The fact that building personnel and roofing contractors can walk on flat roofs makes them easier to inspect, clean, repair. For example, if you would remove moss on the roof, there’s no way for you to fall off and hurt yourself! But heed our advice. Never tackle do-it-yourself roofing jobs for they can void the manufacturer’s warranty.

4. Widely available material choices depending on your end goal

flat roof structure advantages and disadvantages
TPO is a white flat roof that reflects the heat of the sun.

Every building owner has motives for installing a particular flat roof type. You’ll be glad about the fact that with flat roofs, you’re not limited to one option. Start by asking yourself what your goals are and letting a roofing contractor know about them. Here are some roofing goals and possible commercial flat roof materials:

4.1. Affordability – While flat roofs are affordable, you get to save more by choosing EPDM rubber and modified bitumen. According to roofingcalc.com, EPDM costs at least $4 per square foot while modified bitumen costs at least $3 for the same area.

4.2. Energy efficiency – TPO is an energy-efficient roofing material. Characterized by its white color, it reflects the heat of the sun, thereby reducing building temperatures. However, you have a dark roof, we can also make that more energy-efficient through the application of a roof coating membrane.

4.3. Aesthetic appeal and eco-friendliness – Both efforts compel you to opt for a green roof or roof garden. Have your roofing contractor decide which flat roof membrane to install beneath the vegetation. EPDM and PVC are good choices.

Is Flat Roof a Problem? 2 Drawbacks to Know

For the second part of this guide on flat roof pros and cons, let’s explore why you would not like a flat roof.

1. A flat roofing system is prone to leaking

view of flat roof with equipment
Flat roofs should not hold water for more than 48 hours. To prevent ponding, get regular roof inspections.

All roofing systems can leak at one point because of exposure to the daily weather and other factors. However, with flat roof structure advantages and disadvantages, flat roofs are known to leak easily.

Take a look at the structure of a flat roof and compare it with a sloped one. Isn’t it that flat roofs encourage water buildup? The longer water sits on the roof, the more likely it is to find holes to seep through. Try to observe the time frame it takes for rainwater to remain on the roof. If it sits for 2 days or more, it’s safe to suspect that you have drainage and moisture issues.

When it comes to flat roof pros and cons, you get to avoid leaks through regular roofing inspections. J&M Roofing LLC can help you with that.

2. Easy to maintain but requires frequent attention

Previously, we mentioned that flat roof materials can be maintained with ease because they don’t make it difficult for personnel to access the roof. But because they face the threat of ponding water and leaks, they need extra care.

Don’t ignore small problems. If you notice signs like cracks, bubbles, and increasing energy bills, call a roofing contractor to inspect the roof.

Final Thoughts

Businesses in Youngstown OH benefit from flat roof structures in many ways. Four of their advantages include affordability, additional space, ease of maintenance, and various material options. But flat roofs also come with some drawbacks which a roofing professional can help solve. Thank you for reading our guide on the common flat roof pros and cons.

Here at J&M Roofing LLC, we offer proven flat roofing solutions in Youngstown OH,  specifically roof coatings, that eliminate most flat roofing problems. We invite you to discover more about how we can help you attain a strong and lasting flat roof. Call us today at 330-575-4784 for your free estimate.