Should Your Commercial Roof Be Sloped?

Should Your Commercial Roof Be Sloped?

When people look at the residential roof of the average American hope, it will be at an angle most of the time. This is known as a sloped or pitched roof. However, when it comes to commercial buildings, such as offices, retail spaces, or industrial facilities, the roof is typically not sloped but flat.

This isn't to say that all commercial roofs are flat. There are indeed some commercial facilities that have a sloped or pitched roof. But why is this not a more common choice? Does it affect the resilience of roofs against severe storms during the season or increase the risk of hail damage to the building? Here are the factors that influence whether you should get a sloped or flat commercial roof.

Gravity Does The Work

The reason sloped/pitched roofs are so typical for residential homes is that they allow gravity to do most of the "work" in water management. With a roof at an angle, water will naturally flow down the slope, which means it doesn't stay on the roof.

For buildings, this means that a gutter system is common to handle the water running off. That water is then carried from the gutter down a drainpipe. It then flows some distance away from the building to ensure the water doesn't make contact with the foundations, since water, given enough time, can erode even something as Saturday as a building foundation.

The Commercial Consideration

So if a sloped roof is so efficient, why is it not also used for commercial facilities? There are two big reasons:

Cost:

A sloped roof will cost more than a flat roof. The simple reason for this is that a sloped roof uses more material over the same space than a flat roof. For smaller residential properties, this rise in cost is negligible, but for larger properties, the size increase makes for a significant bump in construction costs.

Vulnerability:

A sloped roof is also frailer than a properly constructed and reinforced flat counterpart. This means that a large commercial facility's size requires more cost to go into reinforcement. In contrast, a lower price is involved for a flat roof.

A sloped roof cannot provide the same "support role" to a building as a flat roof. For example, HVAC equipment can be placed on a flat roof, but not a sloped one.

Make The Decision

Depending on the type of business you run and the size of the building a sloped, or low sloped roof may be a cost-effective solution that provides years of low maintenance protection. On the other hand, a cost-benefit analysis for a bigger facility may show that a flat roof is still the most cost-effective solution.

Every business is different. Every property is different. If you run a business and are thinking of investing in your own property and facilities, you'll have to decide for yourself as to what type of roof is appropriate to your financial and business requirements.

This is where we can help. Contact Gulf Tex Roofing & Services. We can help you make the right choice for installing your commercial roof.