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Why a Flat Roof is Perfect for Commercial Buildings

Why a Flat Roof is Perfect for Commercial Buildings

Flat roofs are common on commercial buildings because they are less expensive to install, easy to maintain and they allow the more efficient use of space both inside and outside.

Flat roofs cost less for several reasons. There is less surface area to cover than on a pitched roof, and flat roofs are easier to install, which saves on labor costs.

Maintenance costs less for flat roofs because they are easier to get to and walk around on than a pitched roof. That also makes it easier to spot leaks or other problems. When it’s time to repair or replace a flat roof, the project often can be completed in a day, depending, of course, on the size.

Strategic business owners who choose a roof with a flat design have opportunities to lower operating costs in multiple ways. For example, since this roof’s foundation isn’t sloped, air conditioning units can be placed above a property instead of on the ground. This installation strategy for AC units can prevent vandalism and accidents in risky neighborhoods and communities. If a commercial roof is large enough,

other items can be installed on the flat foundation as well, such as solar panels.

Extra roof space can also be used for projects like rooftop gardens. Flat roofs also allow for a more efficient use of top-floor space in buildings.

To appreciate all the maintenance and functional benefits that a flat roof offers, you must select a proper roofing solution that suits your needs and situation. Flat roofs made with traditional materials last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Roofs made with newer – although more expensive materials – can last up to 25 years.

A traditional built-up roof is made from layers of hot tar and gravel. Gravel is fire-resistant, and the gravel is more attractive when seen from nearby windows.

A modified bitumen roof is assembled with the peel-and-stick material is easy to install and can be coated with a light-colored material to reflect heat from the sun.

Rubber membrane is a great solution for businesses that are located in severe weather zones. This commercial roof material doesn’t tear or scuff easily during storms. Also, whenever leaks develop on the foundation, they can be repaired fairly quickly.

When you’re planning a new flat roof, call Quality Discount Roofing in Jacksonville, 904-396-5000, or visit our website for more information.

Should You Install an HVAC Unit on Your Commercial Property's Roof?

Should You Install an HVAC Unit on Your Commercial Property’s Roof?

Many commercial buildings have their heating-ventilating-air conditioning (HVAC) equipment mounted on the roof. This is an attractive option in many respects, especially if the roof is flat. There’s usually plenty of unused space up there, so it saves what might be scarce square footage in the basement or at ground level. It places the equipment out of reach of vandals and tampering. And it’s often a good way to get equipment noise away from areas of business activity where it might be unwelcome.

There are also potential problems with roof-mounted HVAC, but they can be overcome through attention to the following issues.

Access

Is access to the roof easy? Will HVAC installers be able to bring the unit up to the roof via stairs or an elevator? If not, they’ve had to use a crane (or a helicopter!), which will add to the cost of installation.

You don’t want maintenance personnel carrying tools up and down ladders, so access must also be convenient for regular servicing. If you need to add stair access, you’ll have to make modifications to the roof itself, so consult with a roofing company before you make commitments.

Weight

HVAC systems are heavy. Have an engineer confirm that your roof structure is capable of supporting it, and have them engineer a solution to increase the strength of the structure if necessary. Aside from the safety issue, you’ll probably need to do this to obtain a building permit for the installation.

Mounting Issues

What is the roofing material? Can the equipment be placed on it without damaging it? When the installers drive screws to install mounting hardware, how will they seal the holes to keep out the elements?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, balance is a concern for all HVAC units. All units vibrate to some extent, so they must be solidly anchored to the roof. Installers must understand the nature of the roof structure in order to install proper anchors in the right locations. Done poorly, vibration from an HVAC unit can cause fasteners to loosen and pull out from their positions, causing damage to the roofing material and structure and allowing rain to penetrate.

Most HVAC technicians are skilled and knowledgeable about their craft, but they are not roofing experts, according to Ask A Roofer. When you have an HVAC company inspect the roof for a potential installation, have a roofer attend to consult with them. Most HVAC companies will welcome the professional input, helping them ensure that the installation won’t cause problems for the building owner. The roofer should also consult during the installation itself, and may work alongside the HVAC installers to take care of issues as they arise.

If you’re considering installing, repairing or replacing commercial roof-mounted HVAC in the Jacksonville area, contact Quality Discount Roofing at 904-396-5000. Our experts will evaluate your roof for suitability, maker installation recommendations, and work with your mechanical systems installer to make sure your HVAC system and your roof work together to keep your building secure and comfortable.

Other topic: Quality Discount Roofing, LLC. Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Related topic: Roof