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Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

Posted on September 7, 2023

Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

As a commercial roofing expert, people often ask me: why do commercial buildings have flat roofs? You’ve probably noticed that many businesses, factories, and warehouses have these seemingly unexciting, completely flat roofs. If you are wondering why, I’m here to explain the intriguing reasons behind this architectural choice.

Why Do Business Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

When you walk up to a commercial building, the first thing that probably catches your eye is the exterior. And let’s be honest, the roof plays a significant role in forming those crucial first impressions. That’s where flat, or low-slope, roofs come into play. They exude modernity and minimalism, giving commercial structures a sleek and professional look.

First Impressions Matter

First impressions often stick in our minds, and businesses know this well. A flat roof can help convey a sense of contemporary design and sophistication, setting the stage for a positive customer experience.

A Perfect Canvas For Signage

Another advantage of flat roofs is their expansive, blank surface. Businesses can easily put on their logos, advertisements, or even gardens on their roofs. This visibility makes flat roofs an excellent marketing tool. 

Maximizing Space

Commercial buildings often need extra storage space, whether it’s for equipment, HVAC systems, or other essentials. Flat roofing systems provide ample space for housing these necessities, keeping them out of sight and freeing up valuable interior space. It’s the perfect solution for both aesthetics and functionality.

Easy Access

Maintenance is a part of life for any commercial building. With a flat roof, getting access to it is a breeze. Whether for repairs, inspections, or upgrades, having a flat rooftop makes it simple for professionals to reach any part of the structure without the need for complex scaffolding or equipment.


One of the main reasons for the popularity of flat-roof buildings is their cost-effectiveness. When constructing a commercial building, reducing material costs and labor is always a priority. Flat roofs are simpler and quicker to build compared to sloped ones, which means significant savings on construction expenses.

Quicker Construction

Saving on construction costs can be substantial when opting for a flat roof design. The simplicity of this design not only reduces materials and labor but also speeds up construction, allowing businesses to open their doors sooner.

Energy Efficiency

In today’s eco-conscious world, energy efficiency is a top concern for many property owners. Flat roofs provide an ideal platform for solar panels. By tapping into this renewable resource, businesses can significantly reduce their energy bills while contributing to a greener planet. 

A lot of materials for flat roofs are also reflective. TPO is one of these materials, and it helps to promote the energy efficiency of a commercial building by reflecting UV rays, reducing the need to run HVAC systems, and lowering energy bills. 

Durability and Longevity

Buildings need to be strong enough to protect everything inside from the elements. When properly installed and maintained, commercial flat roofs have a reputation for being extremely durable. Their design can withstand the elements, including heavy rain, snow, and strong winds, giving peace of mind to business owners.

Less Wear And Tear

With a flat roof, there are no shingles or tiles to worry about. This means fewer parts to replace and care for. The simplicity of flat roofs extends their lifespan, making them a wise investment in the long run.

So, now you know why commercial buildings have flat roofs. It’s all about making a statement, maximizing space, and saving money in style. Flat roofs provide a modern, functional, and cost-effective solution for businesses looking to enjoy the practical benefits of a low-slope surface.

If you want to install a flat roof on your commercial building, let’s get into some popular low-slope roofing materials.

Which Flat Roofing Option Is Best?

It’s all about the right materials, they play a pivotal role in ensuring your roof stands strong in inclement weather. The anatomy of a commercial flat roof system involves many layers with a membrane on top. Here are some of the most sought-after membrane options: 

EPDM: Proven Performance

EPDM Roofing

Let’s begin with the EPDM, a top choice in the flat roofing industry. EPDM is not a new type of membrane, but its enduring popularity is a testament to its reliability and excellence. This synthetic rubber roofing material boasts many unique features that have made it a staple for countless flat roof applications.

Versatility At Its Best

EPDM’s adaptability and resilience in the face of the elements make it a go-to choice for commercial flat roofing. It’s a material that can stand up to the harshest weather conditions, providing long-lasting protection. Whether it’s strong winds, hailstorms, or freezing winters, EPDM can handle it.

Durability And Affordability

When it comes to durability and affordability, EPDM roofs truly shine. They not only withstand the test of time but do so without breaking the bank. EPDM’s cost-effective nature makes it a practical choice for managers who need an affordable and durable roofing system.

Who Needs EPDM?

EPDM is an excellent choice for businesses looking for a durable and low-maintenance roofing material. It’s particularly well-suited for commercial buildings in areas with fluctuating temperatures and a need for resilience against severe weather.

Modified Bitumen: Time-Tested Performance

Modified Bitumen

Now, let’s shift our focus to modified bitumen roofs, a time-tested option that’s been delivering consistent and dependable results for flat roofs. This hybrid roofing system combines the strength of traditional built-up roofing with the installation ease of a single-ply system.

Customizable Solutions

One of the key strengths of modified bitumen is its adaptability to various roofing situations. Whether you require insulation, UV protection, or enhanced fire resistance, modified bitumen can be customized to meet your building’s specific needs.

Who Needs A Modified Bitumen Roof?

Businesses seeking a durable roofing solution in regions with frequently changing temperatures should consider modified bitumen. It’s particularly suitable for commercial buildings in areas with abundant sunshine or where customization is required.

PVC: A Sustainable Solution

PVC roofing

In recent years, PVC has gained popularity in the commercial flat roofing scene, primarily due to its impressive sustainability features and energy-efficient qualities.

Environmentally Friendly

PVC roofing membranes are crafted from recyclable polymers, making them a sustainable choice for environmentally-conscious companies. Their production generates fewer environmental impacts compared to other roofing materials, making PVC a responsible choice.

Energy Efficient

The reflective nature of PVC roofs causes the sun’s rays to bounce right off, reducing the need for excessive air conditioning during summertime. Lower cooling costs translate to energy savings, making PVC an attractive option for businesses aiming to reduce operational expenses.

Who Needs a PVC Roofing System?

Businesses committed to sustainability and energy efficiency should consider a PVC roof. It’s an ideal choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and cut down on energy consumption, all while enjoying a durable and effective roofing solution.

TPO: Unmatched Benefits

TPO roofing

TPO roofs combine the best of all flat roof membranes, offering a fusion of benefits that make them a sought-after choice for commercial buildings.

Energy Efficiency

TPO roofing systems are highly reflective, which helps reduce heat absorption and keeps your building cooler. Lower cooling costs mean more savings for your business. Its reflective properties make it an ideal choice for warmer climates.

Resistance To The Elements

TPO roofs are famous for their resistance to UV rays and chemical exposure, ensuring long-term performance and durability, especially for businesses dealing with chemicals, fumes, and oils.

Who Needs TPO?

Businesses operating in regions with high temperatures and those looking to balance energy efficiency and chemical resistance should consider TPO. It’s a versatile material that ticks all the right boxes for a wide range of commercial applications.

Understanding the special features of these materials and assessing your specific needs is vital to making an informed decision. If you are looking for a new commercial flat roof in Metro Detroit, our team at Paramount Roofing is here to guide you.

Unlock The Potential Of Your Commercial Building In Metro Detroit!

At Paramount Roofing, we’re more than just experts in roofing, we’re your partners in progress. Imagine a roof that not only shields your business but also becomes an asset, a statement, an opportunity. Our team of seasoned professionals understands the unique challenges faced by building managers and business owners in the area. So call us at (586) 571-9007 and schedule your free consultation for your commercial flat roofing project in Metro Detroit.