Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs and Residential Homes Have Sloped Roofs?

Before adding a new roof to your new home or business, homeowners should consider the types of roofs available. The two major types of roofs are pitched and flat. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and the type the customer ultimately chooses will depend on preferences and the type of structure the roof is to be placed on. A professional roofing contractor, such as Ja-Mar Roofing of Austin, can help you with a consultation to decide which type is best for your needs.

Pitched Roofs

This type of roof is more commonly seen in residential homes, as the space directly underneath it is an attic. Their pitch, or slope, can be steep or gradual depending on the home’s design and layout. It’s easier for water to drain on a pitched roof compared to a structure that’s more flat. However, they’re also generally harder to maintain given their steep slopes. Many people will want to call a professional for cleaning or roof maintenance. While it is more difficult to service a pitched roof, they also require much less maintenance overall.

Flat Roofs

Calling this type of structure flat is a bit of a misnomer because no roof is ever really flat. A more appropriate name is “low-slope” roof. All roofs must be slightly sloped to allow for proper drainage. Flat roofs must be slightly sloped towards the middle or the edges to allow water to drain properly. Flat roofs require more maintenance to make sure seals remain watertight. Many flat roofs experience leaking problems because of poor drainage, so ongoing maintenance is important.

Commercial Buildings

Commercial Roofs are flat roofs because they are much more cost-effective compared to pitched roofs. It’s easier to put a sloped roof on a small residential home, but to do the same on a very large commercial building would be impractical, dangerous and difficult. It also allows businesses to store and service A/C units on the roof easily, which saves real estate within the store and frees up parking spaces as well. There are also typically water abatement structures on the top of commercial buildings to further assist with drainage, whereas a residential home works just fine with gutters. A commercial business with a low slope or flat roof doesn’t have to worry about the aesthetic appeal of the outside of its business as much as a homeowner does.

While the differences between sloped and flat roofs are numerous, the one you ultimately choose will depend on the professional advice you receive from your local roofing professional, such as Ja-Mar Roofing of Texas.