Businesses both large and small tend to have a similar roof styles despite any other architectural differences. Flat roof styles abound on commercial properties since the roof doesn't detract from the rest of the building and allows for the installation of practical rather than stylish and expensive roofing materials. A flat roof does have a slight slope to help with drainage, but rainy areas might receive enough regular precipitation for the slope to become overwhelmed, which would leave your business' roof with potentially damaging standing water. Choosing a different roofing material can help improve your roof's drainage and minimize the risks of water damage. What are the best and worst roofing materials to discuss with your commercial roofing contractor?
Best: Metal Standing Seam Roofing
Improve drainage and waterproofing in one go with standing seam roofing made out of a smooth metal material. The standing seam planks snap tightly together to form waterproofed vertical seams and slick valleys that can rush the water off the roof and into your drainage faster than your existing roofing.
The standing seam metal might not look like the most elegant roofing material, but your flat roof isn't visible from the ground. Function should trump form in this situation. The metal requires little maintenance or upkeep and the somewhat high material costs will pay off when you don't have to repair drainage-related water damage to the inside of your business.
Best: Asphalt Roofing
Don't have the budget for a metal roof but desperately need to replace your current material? Ask your roofing contractor whether asphalt roofing would work for your situation. The thin, smoothly installed shingles can help with drainage, though not to the same degree as the metal roofing. Asphalt does win on cost since the composite material has one of the lowest price tags among roofing materials. The installation costs also stay low due to the simplicity of installing the lightweight, durable asphalt shingles.
Worst: Wood Roofing
Wood roofing looks beautiful but has a thick texture and an overlapping, gapped installation method that makes the material the perfect place to trap standing water on your flat roof. Wood won't help with either drainage or waterproofing and the material would quickly start to show signs of water damage of its own if left to sit in stagnant water for long periods of time.
Slate could also fall into the worst category but the tiles are actually slick and flat so drainage would improve. But you might not want to pay top dollar for stone tiles no one will see simply to improve drainage.