If you take a look at large business buildings across the country, you will definitely notice a major trend; many commercial businesses have a flat roof system primarily because of how the building is structured. As a business owner yourself, it is best to get familiar with flat roofs if you have one, and the best way to do this is to get some of the wrong assumptions out of the way first. Take a peek at some of the most common assumptions about flat roof systems that business owners have and why they turn out to be wrong.
Assumption: Flat roofs rarely require maintenance.
Truth: It is true that flat roof systems will not require as much upkeep and attention through the years as an asphalt shingle or metal roof, but a flat roof does still need ongoing maintenance by a commercial roofing company to last as long as it should. Many commercial business owners have their flat roof checked out by a commercial roofer annually just to ensure there are no issues present, like improper water drainage or damaged areas.
Assumption: Flat roofs don't do a very good job of draining water because of their flat state.
Truth: Even though a flat roofing system is deemed with the "flat" descriptor, most flat roofs do have a little bit of a slope to them. Otherwise, they would not be able to properly allow water to drain from the roof. In most cases, the substrate materials used under the outlying roofing layer will be slightly angled to encourage proper water flow.
Assumption: Flat roofs can be covered with shingles if the original material fails.
Truth: You technically could put shingles on a flat roof if it started leaking, but there would be no need to do so and shingles don't fare very well on the low-slope design of a flat roof. In most cases, a roof that starts showing signs of failure before it should will be coated with a spray or rolled-on material that is designed to seal any cracks or pores in the roofing material. There are even coatings that can be applied on a flat roof that help insulate the building.
In the end, a flat roof system actually offers a lot of advantages for commercial business owners, but they do have their limitations just the same. Talk to a commercial roofer for more information and guidance about maintaining the flat roof you have on your business building.