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Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

Posted on June 1, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 4 Min.

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Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs

If you’ve ever gazed up at a commercial building and wondered why it sports a flat roof, you’re not alone. In fact, many of our customers have asked this question: Why do commercial buildings have flat roofs? 

As a roofing company, we not only strive to give you the best commercial roofing services, but we also ensure that we address all your concerns. Today we will do just that. In this blog post, we will look at some of the reasons why almost all commercial properties have a sleek flat roof. 

From cost-effectiveness to space optimization and ease of maintenance, we explore the practical benefits that make flat roofs a popular option for commercial property owners. 

Let’s get started. 

What Are Flat Roofs? 

The term flat roof originates from their flatter profile when compared to traditional pitched roofs, which have a steeper slope.

Flat roofs, despite their name, are not entirely flat. They are characterized by a low slope or pitch that allows for water drainage. While they may appear level to the naked eye, they actually have a slight incline to ensure proper runoff and prevent water accumulation.

A flat roof on a commercial building has a minimal slope, typically ranging from 1 to 10 degrees, allowing them to be nearly level in appearance.

What are flat roofs

Why Are Flat Roofs A Staple On Commercial Properties?

So now we have debunked one major misconception some readers have about flat roofs, let’s move into more detail about the pros of this roofing style, which addresses why commercial buildings have flat roofs. 

Here are some of the pros: 

Flat Roofs Offer Cost Advantages

When it comes to owning a business, it is essential to look for options that offer you an effective return on your investment. Therefore, cost savings are crucial for commercial buildings and their owners. By choosing a cost-effective flat roof design, commercial property owners can allocate their resources strategically, maximizing profitability.

Moreover, cost savings in the construction phase can free up funds for other essential aspects of the building.

A commercial building with a flat roof is relatively cheaper than a pitched roofing system. 

This is because the construction of this style of roof requires fewer materials and less labor compared to others. The straightforward design of flat roofs eliminates the need for complex structural elements such as trusses and rafters, reducing overall costs.

You Get Additional Space With A Flat Roof

In a business environment, efficiently utilizing space is essential for enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction. This is where flat roofs shine, as they offer additional usable space that can be harnessed for various purposes. Unlike pitched roofs, which have limited usability due to their steep angles, flat roofs provide a level surface that can be transformed into functional areas.

Commercial buildings can greatly benefit from having flat roofs, as they can be used for a wide range of purposes. For instance, rooftop recreational areas can be created, offering employees a space to relax, socialize, or engage in recreational activities during breaks. These areas can contribute to a positive work environment, promoting employee well-being, and fostering team dynamics. Additionally, flat roofs provide an ideal platform for implementing solar energy systems.

Low Maintenance and High Accessibility 

One of the significant advantages of flat roofs on commercial buildings is the accessibility and ease of maintenance they provide. For business owners, their last concern should be the stress of property upkeep, and flat roofs help alleviate this burden.

Flat roofs also offer excellent accessibility for inspections, repairs, and equipment installations. Unlike pitched roofs with steep slopes and challenging angles, flat roofs allow maintenance personnel to navigate easily across the surface. 


This accessibility ensures that routine inspections can be carried out efficiently, identifying any potential issues or maintenance needs promptly. Similarly, when repairs are required, the roofers can access the affected area with ease, minimizing disruption to the building’s operations.

The reduced risk factor translates into peace of mind for business owners, knowing that their maintenance activities can be carried out safely and efficiently. 

Learn more: Commercial Roof Maintenance Practices

More Space For Installing HVAC Systems

Flat roofs serve as an ideal platform for the installation of HVAC systems and other utilities on commercial buildings. The design and accessibility of flat roofs make them well-suited for accommodating these essential building systems.

The flat surface of the roof allows for easy positioning of the equipment, ensuring optimal functionality and efficiency. Additionally, the ample space available on flat roofs allows for the installation of multiple units if required, catering to the specific heating and cooling needs of the commercial building. Plus, the centralized location of HVAC systems on flat roofs simplifies maintenance and servicing. 

Flat Roofs Can Play A Part In Energy Efficiency

Why do commercial buildings have flat roofs

Flat roofs play a significant role in promoting energy-efficient commercial buildings. Environmental concerns have become a significant part of how businesses operate today, as it not only reduces the impact on the environment but also offers substantial cost savings. 

With rising energy costs and increasing awareness of sustainability, businesses are actively seeking ways to minimize their energy consumption. This is where flat roofs play a crucial role, offering opportunities for energy savings and promoting a more environmentally friendly approach to commercial building operations.

Many popular flat roofing materials, such as TPO and EPDM, help with energy efficiency. These single-ply roofing membranes are durable and have a highly reflective top layer that helps protect your roof from the harmful effects of solar radiation. TPO especially, with its white coloring, does not absorb UV rays, helping to keep a building cooler and limiting the use of HVAC systems.   

Trust Us With Your Flat Roofing System 

We hope that this blog post has answered your question as to why commercial buildings have flat roofs. As we’ve noted in this post, flat roofs offer enough benefits that now their use is becoming more popular among residential homes as well. 

If you are impressed by the benefits and want to install a flat roof on your property, then look no further than the team of A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing. No one beats us when it comes to flat roof installation service. 

We know that if a flat roof is installed perfectly, it can do wonders for your business. Our team has decades of experience and will be with you at every stage of the process. If you want to get in touch, call us anytime at (918) 402-7167

Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs