Low-slope roofs or flat roofs are standard on most commercial buildings in America. There are several reasons for the widespread popularity of flat commercial roofs, but all of them are related to the fact that flat roofs make a great deal of sense for commercial structures. Flat roofs provide space for the structure’s HVAC system and other mechanical components. They allow better utilization of the interior space; the sloped walls of a pitched roof limit the ability to maximize the use of space. Since commercial buildings often contain a great deal of square footage, a flat roof can be more economical, but it also eliminates the need to construct a pitched roof of unusual height. However, flat roofs can present a few challenges that property managers or owners must face occasionally. Here are some of the most common.
Commercial Flat Roof Issues – Standing Water
Standing water is a common issue for flat roofs and can be caused by a variety of problems. For example, rooftop HVAC units must have condensate drain lines. The slope could be incorrect, drains could be clogged or the deck could have sagged.
Commercial Flat Roof Issues – Improper Installation
Flat roofs require special skills and knowledge that not every contractor possesses. For example, before installing a BUR system, the area must be properly cleaned, allowed to dry and then primed. If the roof calls for torch-applied MB, the sheets must be relaxed prior to installation and a moisture barrier should be installed beneath coping caps or parapet walls. When used, flashing must be installed in the correct areas and fastened properly. If all steps prescribed by the manufacturer are not followed, the life expectancy of the roof may be compromised.
Commercial Flat Roof Issues – Abuse
Careless foot traffic or dragging heavy objects across a flat roof can cut or scrape the membrane and damage the substrate. HVAC technicians or other tradespeople must know the proper way to walk on flat roofs. Designated walkway paths can help; if the people accessing the roof are employees, proper training may eliminate damage caused when moving objects on the roof.
Commercial Flat Roof Issues – Neglect
Like any building component, a flat roof needs regular maintenance to prolong its life. Flat roofs should be inspected regularly and minor issues fixed promptly. It is also important that the correct materials be used when making these repairs. For example, you should not use plastic roof cement to repair a single-ply membrane.
Commercial Flat Roof Issues – Damaged Roof Insulation
Roof insulation can be compressed during construction or by heavy equipment that has been installed after the roof was constructed. Water will tend to collect in the depression, and should it find a way to saturate the insulation, the insulation can start to dissolve and disintegrate. The plates and screws that once held the insulation in place will become more prominent and can tear the membrane covering them.
Trust Alpha Roofing for Your Flat Roof Needs
At Alpha Roofing, we have the training, experience and knowledge to install your flat roof efficiently and correctly. Our highly qualified crews only install and repair roofs for our company, and they are committed to quality workmanship and outstanding customer service. We deliver exceptional results at competitive rates. In addition to flat roofs, we also install asphalt shingles, metal roofing systems, siding, gutters, attic insulation and skylights, and we also offer repairs, roof inspections and a number of other services in Austin, TX. To request a free estimate, submit the online form or call (512) 777-1086.
Alpha Roofing Industries is the expert in Austin Commercial Roofing!
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