Types of Commercial Roof Construction

Written by marjorie gilbert
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Commercial roofing is different from residential roofing in many regards. Perhaps the greatest is the sheer scale. Some commercial buildings like warehouses or stadiums have roofs that seem acres wide. Because of their scale, these can be more vulnerable to exposure to the elements such as wind, rain, and the weight of snow. There are different types of commercial roof construction. Each type requires different considerations to help them endure the test of time and the elements.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are just that: flat. They have no slope and water can be a major concern. These roofs consist of three important layers that work together as a whole. The bottom, weather resistant layer keeps out water. Above this is reinforcement to protect it from punctures. A top coating helps preserve the two lower layers from the rays of the sun as well as foot traffic or even hale. Proper drainage systems are an integral part of flat roof construction as well.

Low Slope Roofs

These roofs have a slope that's not more than 3:12 (a drop of 3 inches per foot). As with flat roofs, water is a concern. This means they need to have the same kind of layers as the flat roofs to make sure water does not collect and penetrate the roof covering to the building systems beneath.

Steep Slope Roofs

Steep slope roofs are those that have a slope greater than 3:12. Water is generally not an issue, thanks to the slope. Because of this, the roof covering, on top of the weatherproof membrane, can be asphalt shingles, slate, man-made materials, concrete or clay tile, wood shakes or metal panels.

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