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While their importance is often overlooked, commercial roofing systems such as flat roofing are carefully designed to keep buildings air and water-tight to maintain their integrity. Roofing options have expanded over the past 50 years, ensuring every building has a roof that meets its specific requirements. As such, building owners, architects, and contractors must be well informed on the different types of roofs available.

Flat roofs are typically used on commercial buildings and they can be found in factories, warehouses, box stores, apartment buildings, and schools or universities. Flat roofing was designed with efficiency in mind. Clients interested in flat roof installations can trust our experienced commercial roofing team!

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Flat Roof Material Options

EPDM Membrane Roofing

EPDM roofing, (or Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer roofing), consists of a synthetic rubber black membrane that is often used for the construction of commercial and medical buildings. EPDM is considered to be the ideal option for a garage roof or other space that can be seen from above, as the black color doesn't reveal dirt like white does.

EPDM is an incredibly durable material, making it one of the best choices for commercial roofs. A fully bonded EPDM flat roof can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years.

TPO Roofing

TPO roofs are categorized by their bright white color. These are among the most common roof types of commercial buildings since they offer incredibly high energy savings. A single-ply roofing membrane, thermoplastic polyolefin has exploded in popularity in recent years. TPO membranes are manufactured in sheets 10, 12, or 20 feet wide, and the systems consist of both synthetics and reinforced scrim.

TPO has become widely embraced across the industry due to its naturally reflective surface, which deflects UV rays.

PVC Membrane Roofing

Another commercial roofing type we highly recommend is PVC membrane roofing. Like TPO, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a single-ply white membrane that has become a popular option for commercial facilities. PVC also resembles TPO in its chemical formulation, and the installation process is also very similar.

The primary differences between PVC and TPO are that PVC is a more flexible roofing material and it has been in use longer in the industry than TPO has. PVC flat roofing systems are high quality, and usually last about 25 years.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

A standing seam metal roof system is essentially a group of metal panels that are connected at the seams. This setup ensures that the metal panels can move easily during thermal expansion. A standing seam metal roofing system is a great option for flat roofs. Furthermore, it comes with more color options and is longer-lasting.

Properly installed metal roofing systems typically last 30-50 years. It should be noted that these benefits are what make this approach more expensive than the aforementioned options. More info about standing seam metal roof cost here.

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Why Choose LOA for Flat Roofing Installations?

At LOA Construction, we let our work speak for itself. When it comes to flat roofing installations, our team values integrity above all else and we always inform our customers if they don't need roof repair. We want our customers to be well-informed before making a decision on their home.

Our team believes that doing right by our customers is the only way to have a healthy, long-standing business. The good rapport we have created with our clientele over the years is the result of our honesty and commitment to excellent service. Call us today to schedule a consultation for a flat roof repair or installation in Austin, TX!

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Pros Of Flat Roofing


Flat roofing systems are often more cost-effective than pitched roofs, primarily due to the use of cheaper materials such as EPDM, TPO, and PVC, which are less expensive than the materials typically used in pitched roofs like tiles, shingles, or metal. This material cost advantage significantly reduces the overall expense of the roofing project.

More Flexible

The flexibility of flat roofing systems offers a range of advantages over their pitched counterparts, significantly enhancing the functionality and usability of the building space. One of the most notable benefits is the ability to utilize the roof area for practical purposes, such as the installation of air conditioning units. This not only optimizes the space within the building by freeing up areas that would otherwise be used for such equipment.

Lower Utility Bills

Flat roofs offer significant energy-saving advantages, making them an ideal choice for clients looking to reduce their energy bills. One of the standout benefits is the ease of installing solar panels on a flat surface compared to the complexities involved with pitched roofs. This straightforward installation not only simplifies the process but also maximizes the efficiency of solar panels by allowing for optimal positioning towards the sun. Additionally, flat roofs are known for their superior insulation properties to help regulate a building's temperature.

Easier Installation

Flat roofing simplifies and accelerates the roofing process, which is advantageous for businesses and property owners alike. This efficiency is not just about saving time; it directly translates into cost savings, as the reduced labor and shorter project timelines lower the overall expense. The quick turnaround is especially beneficial for commercial entities, since it allows businesses to resume their normal operations much sooner than with a pitched roof.

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Cons of Flat Roofing

More Complex Water Drainage Process

Many people hold the incorrect belief that rainwater accumulates on flat roofs. The truth is that these roofing systems come with sophisticated drainage systems. Overall, this aspect is a pro, as it prevents water from collecting on the roof. However, the drainage system may need to be inspected on occasion to ensure that it is working properly. Over time, debris and other blockages can compromise the system's efficiency, potentially leading to ponding water on the flat roof's surface.

Regular inspections can identify and rectify such issues before they become problematic. In instances of ponding, measures such as adjusting the roof's slope, installing additional drains, or clearing existing pathways can be effective solutions.

Flat Roofing

Better For Small Buildings

Flat roofing systems are often deemed suitable for smaller structures due to their design and weight distribution characteristics. These roofs excel in covering the expanse of commercial buildings efficiently, providing a practical and cost-effective solution for businesses. However, their application isn't without limitations. In particular scenarios, especially when dealing with larger or more complex structures, flat roofs require careful consideration to ensure structural integrity.

Limited Lifespan

While it's true that flat roofing systems generally have a shorter lifespan compared to pitched roofs, with an average durability of around 25 years, this factor is effectively offset by their lower overall cost. The initial investment required for a flat roof, along with the expenses associated with its maintenance and eventual replacement, is significantly less than that for pitched roofs. This cost-effectiveness is a key consideration for property owners.

Membrane Shrinkage

Materials used in flat roofing systems, particularly those that make up the waterproof membrane, are sometimes susceptible to shrinkage over time. This phenomenon largely stems from the membrane's exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a common issue under the relentless sun. The shrinkage not only affects the roof's aesthetic and structural integrity but also its functional performance, potentially leading to gaps or weakened areas that compromise the roof's overall waterproofing capabilities.

By identifying early signs of wear and taking preventative measures, such as the application of UV-protective coatings or conducting timely repairs, the integrity of the flat roofing system can be preserved.

Flat Roofing FAQs

  • Are flat roofs less aesthetically pleasing than pitched roofs?

Ultimately, this is subjective as everyone has their own preferences for the look of their roof. Generally speaking, when roof space is used with aesthetics in mind, a flat roof can be very visually appealing. Clients who create a roof garden or terrace, for instance, find that their roof is one of the most positive features of the entire facility.

  • How often do flat roofs need to be inspected?

Roof inspections on flat roofs should be conducted twice a year, preferably in March and November. This will allow for a better understanding of the roof’s status in different weather conditions. It is a good idea to inspect it following heavy rain or snow.

  • Can my business stay open while the roof is being worked on?

Generally speaking, businesses can remain open while repairs are taking place. Under certain circumstances, this even applies to a full roof replacement. This is especially true if the roof is being redecked, leaving the old membrane in place. Businesses can stay running, as the membrane protects customers from being exposed to elements in the roof.

Near Our Flat Roofing Company

At LOA Construction, we're proud to provide trusted flat roofing services to communities in and around the cities of Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Round Rock, Belton, Temple, and Killeen. We are located not far from:

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