The Pros and Cons of Commercial Roofing Styles

Let’s dive into the different commercial roofing styles. Aside from material, what is the structural style of your commercial roof’s slope? Each style has its own pros and cons for upkeep and maintenance that are important to consider. 

Low Slope Commercial Roof Style

Also referred to as flat roofs, commercial low-slope roofs are a very popular roofing style in Wisconsin. The term ‘flat roof’ might be deceiving because even roofs that look flat have a slope to them so that water and snow can leak off or leak toward a drain or downspout. Low-slope roofs are often covered in a PVC, TPO or EPDM membrane, or metal.   They also host different mechanical units to sit on top. Low-slope roofs are commonly found on factory buildings or large warehouses because of their low cost to construct. 

low slope, flat roof

Pros of a Flat Commercial Roof:

They are seen as affordable roofing options because their construction allows for better insulation solutions, meaning the interior space will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. With proper maintenance and repairs, flat roofs can last for over 20 years, making the investment well worth it. Low slope roofs are also easily walkable, making them cheaper to maintain and repair when needed. 

Cons of a Flat Commercial Roof: 

Flat roofs often fall victim to pooling water and sitting debris. This can cause severe issues with the membrane which lead to roof leaks. 

Steep Slope Commercial Roof Style

Steep slope roofs are commonly used for residential homes. The roof is on a steeper slope, giving it that traditional peaked roofing style. Steep slope roofs can diversify their materials and use traditional shingles, which flat roofs cannot. You will see steep sloped roofs, covered in shingles or metal roofing, for commercial buildings like churches or apartment complexes. 

Steep slope roof


Pros of Steep Sloped Commercial Roofs:

For commercial properties, these roofs are advantageous because of their low-maintenance benefits. Any debris, rain or snow that falls onto the roof will immediately slide off. There will be no water pooling which eliminates a substantial risk of roof leaks. The pitch also allows for internal storage of mechanical units or even inventory, in attic spaces. 

Cons of Steep Sloped Commercial Roofs: 

Steep sloped roofs, depending on the pitch, are often harder to access and walk on. Due to this limitation, maintenance and repairs usually come at a higher cost due to the added difficulty of the slope. 

Though water and debris running off the roof is a good thing, it can also clog gutters and downspouts, requiring regular clearing and maintenance. 

Not sure what commercial roof slope style you have? 

Commercial roofs can be a tricky puzzle to figure out. If you’re unsure of which commercial roofing slope style you have, or you have a mixed style roof, call an expert. Your roof  needs consistent maintenance to ensure that they are working properly and most importantly, protecting your business space correctly. With a free inspection from ARC Contracting, we will make sure that you are enrolled in the maintenance plan that best suits your roof pitch and roofing materials alike. 

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