Replacing a Flat Roof with a Pitched Roof: Everything You Should Know

view of warehouse with metal roof in sunny day
Ever thought of replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof? Is that even possible to start with? Not every commercial property owner in Youngstown OH would ask these questions as most people are already satisfied with the roofs over their head. Another fact to note is that most commercial buildings use flat roofs – and flat roofs are the standard for such.But if you’re from a different camp, this guide is for you. J&M Roofing LLC is here to tell you that replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof is possible. It is never an easy task, but it is possible.  In today’s guide, we’ll discuss four essential areas:
  • The advantages of changing a flat roof into a pitched roof
  • Replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof costs
  • Considerations for this major roofing job
  • A reason not to convert a flat roof into a pitched roof (and WHAT TO DO INSTEAD)
Let’s get started.

Advantages of Replacing a Flat Roof with a Pitched Roof

Yes, a flat roof is a popular choice among commercial properties. But while common, it comes with some drawbacks. One is that flat roofs are prone to ponding issues. To understand what this replacement project brings to the table, here are some benefits:

1. Perceived aesthetic value

Pitched roofs are usually regarded as more attractive to flat roofs. This is especially true for steeper roofs. Your choice of roofing material also matters. For example, a pitched roof with architectural or asphalt shingles on a coffee shop or apartment complex looks very attractive. You can also use a metal roof this time with a unique color that fits your business.

2. Longer lifespan

top view of red metal roof with vents
Rainwater doesn’t remain on a sloped roof.
One of the reasons why pitched roofs generally last longer is that they quickly shed water. When it rains, water can directly drain from the roof and into the gutters. During freezing winters, you won’t have to worry much about snow and ice building up. Also, less debris will remain on a pitched roof. This means less cleaning.

3. Various style options

With a low pitch or steep roof pitch, you’re not limited to one style. A commercial property owner can take advantage of roof shapes used by houses. Here are some examples: butterfly, combination, dome, gable, and shed. Combination roofs are the typical choice for apartment roofing. Some office buildings or warehouses may use a gable roof style.

How Much Would It Cost to Replace a Flat Roof with a Pitched Roof?

Replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof is going to be expensive. Not every commercial building owner is up to the task unless he has a solid reason. So, how much would you expect to pay for this major roofing job?According to Modernize, a conversion will cost you up to $30,000. This is especially true for more complex designs and higher-end roofing materials. A flat roof can easily be converted into a shed roof which may lower down the cost.

Things to Consider Before Replacing a Flat Roof with a Pitched Roof

Before undertaking this project, there are certain aspects to think about carefully. Below are some of them.

1. Whether to remove the old roof or leave it in place

There are instances when contractors leave the old flat roof. Sometimes, they remove the roof. The method that they use will affect the costs of the job. For example, leaving the previous roof in place eliminates most of the labor and will, therefore, cost less. A roofing contractor also needs to consider the combined weight of the old roof + new roof. Essentially, the walls of a building should be able to support it.

2. Time of the year and weather

view of tree and building on a sunny day
The weather — it’s a big consideration in any roofing project.
It would be challenging to replace a flat roof with a pitched roof during winter and on rainy days. The interior of the roof will get exposed to the elements. You wouldn’t want anything in your facility to get damaged. That said, consider the season and the weather for a successful project. If in case it rains, roofing contractors will cover the exposed areas with heavy-duty waterproof construction tarps.

3. New location for your rooftop equipment

If you already have HVAC, a water tank, and solar panels on your flat roof, you need to plan where to install them this time around. Make sure that the new placement will still allow convenient access by maintenance personnel. When it comes to solar panels, they can easily be installed on a sloped roof using mounts. Or, you could have your roofer install solar shingles if they have those.

A Good Roofing Project (But Not A Must)

Early in this post, we stated that replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof is one project to undertake if you have a solid reason for it. But just because you want to avoid a disadvantage of a flat roof, doesn’t mean you can jump right in. First, consider all the ways to prevent these flat roofing issues.Here at J&M Roofing LLC, we recommend these proven and cost-effective solutions:

1. Hire a qualified roofing contractor right from the start

Choosing the right roofing contractor in Youngstown OH will guarantee a quality flat roofing installation. Also, they use materials from industry-leading manufacturers. If you need honest roofing advice, they will provide you with that. Most importantly, good roofers offer warranties.

2. Invest in regular flat roof inspections and maintenance

contractor inspecting black flat roof of building
J&M Roofing LLC helps you care for your flat roof through complete inspections.
Previously, we wrote up a guide about the ways to care for your commercial roof. Do check that out. When it comes to keeping your flat roof in good shape, don’t neglect regular inspections. A flat roofing contractor like us will be able to detect roofing issues in their early stages. We’ll list all the problems we find and give you a FREE ESTIMATE based on the roofing solution that’s needed.

3. Apply acrylic elastomeric roof coatings

There is a way to prevent most flat roof problems so you can avoid costly tear-offs and replacements. We introduce our roof restoration services that primarily uses acrylic elastomeric roof coatings. Our contractors apply Conklin reflective coatings on your single-ply (even metal) roof. These coatings reflect UV rays, thus lowering your energy costs. They make your roof look brand new.

Will You Replace Your Flat Roof or Restore It Instead?

We hope that you’re enlightened by this post. Replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof isn’t for everyone. If you choose this path, re-read all the considerations we outlined. If you prefer a restoration service, choose J&M Roofing LLC, your #1 Youngstown OH company, for a quality outcome.Let us help you get a better commercial roof! Get in touch with us today. We’re more than happy to serve your roofing needs.