Sloped roofing is the most common choice for residential roofing projects in Littleton. This traditional roof style undeniably presents several benefits to homeowners. However, if you own a commercial building or are seeking a modern twist for your home’s roofing system, a flat roof is an option to consider. 

Like any roof design, a flat roof presents both pros and cons. Below, we’ll define flat roofing, then discuss the main benefits and drawbacks of a flat roofing system in Littleton

What is a Flat Roof?

First off, let’s cover the definition of a flat roof. Contrary to what you may assume, a flat roof isn’t completely flat. While a flat roof looks perfectly flat to most, it actually has a slight slope. ¼ inch is the minimum slope for a flat roofing system. 

The slope of a roof exhibits the angle of its rise in relationship to its run. The rise of your roof is how much it changes vertically per unit of horizontal distance. The run is the horizontal distance from the edge of your roof to the point right below the middle of its ridge. 

Why is Slope Important in Flat Roofing?

A degree of slope is important for all roofing systems to produce runoff. This means that when it rains, water won’t collect and pool on your roof. Instead, it will run to the edges of your roof and fall into your gutter system. When water sits on your roof for an extended period of time, it will cause the roofing materials to deteriorate and may even create water damage within your home. 

The Pros of Flat Roofing

Flat roofing offers numerous benefits for commercial and residential applications. These key benefits include: 

  • Additional space

One surprising benefit of flat roofing is that it can provide extra space for both business and homeowners to utilize. Since a flat roof can be safely walked on, it may be used as a social gathering place, or as a spot to station an outdoor air conditioner unit. Especially in areas where square footage is a precious commodity, the extra space provided by a flat roof can be put to good use. 

  • Safe, convenient maintenance

Again, given the ease of walking on a flat roof, maintenance is far more convenient for a flat roof than for a sloped roof. Routine inspections and basic roof repairs can be completed quickly and easily on a flat roofing system. 

  • Lower installation costs

Flat roofs are more affordable to install than sloped roofs. Flat roofing materials are less expensive, as is the labor required for installation. Lower labor costs are attributed to the ease and speed of installing a flat roof. So, all in all, you can save money by opting for a flat roof. 

  • Boosted energy efficiency

With flat roofing, less air circulation moves through the roof and attic. This prevents air from the outside from reaching the interior of your home. Your HVAC system may work more efficiently when less air from the outside comes in through your roof. 

The Cons of Flat Roofing

While the benefits of flat roofing are significant, there are also some drawbacks to consider. 

  • Higher maintenance needs

Flat roofs are in fact easier to maintain than sloped roofs, but that comes along with higher maintenance needs. Flat roofs are inherently less stable than sloped roofs, meaning that your installer will need to compensate in other areas during construction to keep the structure strong. Additionally, debris tends to accumulate more frequently on flat roofs, meaning that frequent cleanings will be required to keep a flat roof in peak condition. 

  • Higher risk of leakage

Water is more likely to accumulate on a flat roof, which heightens the risk for leakage. Since water can’t drain as effectively from a flat roof, it may pool on the roof and eventually create a leak. 

  • More susceptible to temperature changes

Flat roofing provides less available space to install insulation. This makes it more likely that a flat roof will experience extreme shifts in temperature. These temperature changes can impact your attic and, in some cases, your home’s living spaces. 

To learn more about flat roofing for your Littleton property, contact our expert Littleton roofing team today.

Commercial roofing systems often require different considerations than home roofing systems. From aesthetic to functionality, commercial roofs need to support your Littleton business. 

One of the biggest decisions in the planning process for any commercial roof involves the materials. Many materials work well for commercial roofs, providing benefits from durability to water resistance to affordability. Your Littleton roofing experts can help you select the best roofing material for your needs. 

Here, we’ll go over the top three commercial roofing materials available for Littleton businesses. You can reap many benefits just by selecting the best possible material for your roof. 

Commercial Roofing Types

The best material for your commercial roofing project will depend on the roofing system that you select. Several different commercial roofing systems are available and could benefit your property. 

Residential roofs for most Littleton homes are sloped. This isn’t the case for commercial roofs. Flat and low-slope roofing is very common for commercial buildings, regardless of the type of business.

Flat Roofing

A flat roof has very little slope, generally around 10 degrees. This minimal slope is required for water drainage, but the roof still appears flat. 

For commercial projects, flat roofing can provide several benefits in comparison to pitched roofing. These benefits include:

  • Ease of installation

Installing a flat roof is a less involved process than installing a pitched roof. With less time spent installing your business’s new roof, you can get back to work faster. 

  • Lower costs

Flat roofing is less expensive than pitched roofing in several ways. For one, given that installation for a flat roof is faster and easier than that of a pitched roof, labor expenses are lower. Additionally, a flat roof doesn’t have as much surface area as a pitched roof. So, less material is needed to complete the roof – this significantly cuts down the cost of the roof.  

  • Convenient maintenance

Flat roofs are safer and easier to maintain than pitched roofs. This is because walking around on a flat roof is much simpler, allowing your roof maintenance team to spot and address issues quickly. By reducing the amount of time required to maintain and repair your roof as needed, you can save money with a flat roof. 

Materials For Your Commercial Roof

For a flat or low-slope commercial roof, the following materials are great options:

Metal Roofing

With a large variety of metal materials available in roofing, a metal roof can serve your commercial property well. You’ll have the flexibility to choose a type of metal that best suits your needs and preferences. 

Some of the most popular types of metal in commercial roofing include:

  • Aluminum
  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Copper
  • Stainless steel
  • Tin
  • Lead

Metal roofing looks sleek and attractive for any commercial property. But, equally (if not more) importantly, it’s incredibly durable. Metal will provide excellent longevity for your commercial roof, along with great fire resistance. 

It’s worth noting that metal is prone to rust. To minimize this risk, your roofing contractors will add protective layers to the surface of your metal roof. These layers will protect the metal from extended periods of sun exposure and other harsh weather conditions. 

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

A built-up roofing system, BUR, is made with a combination of base, interply, and cap sheets, along with surfacing materials like gravel. This type of roof is created on-site. To adhere the layers of sheets together, bitumen is used. Bitumen is heated asphalt and acts as a waterproofing and bonding agent. For just about any low-slope roofing system, bitumen is a great option of roofing material. 

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roofing, as the name suggests, also includes bitumen. But, instead of using sheets, reinforced roofing fabrics are used. These fabrics are considered to be carriers for the bitumen, allowing it to be applied in layers for strength and longevity. Modified bitumen roofing systems are typically two-ply, meaning that for maximum strength and durability, they’re attached to the roof deck.

Two major benefits of modified bitumen roofing are strength and easy maintenance. This type of roofing system can be managed with annual inspections and maintenance. Plus, modified bitumen can withstand wear-and-tear, such as being walked on, remarkably well. So, if people often set foot on your commercial roof, modified bitumen could be a stellar choice. 
To learn more about your options in commercial roof installation, contact our expert team of Littleton roofers today.