Reasons Why Flat Roofs Are Standard in Commercial Buildings

In the architectural realm of commercial buildings, the significance of selecting an appropriate roofing system cannot be overstated. Amidst various roofing options, flat roofs stand out for their practicality, cost-effectiveness, and suitability to diverse environmental conditions, including the challenging climates of places like Calgary, Alberta. This blog aims to unpack the reasons behind the popularity of flat roofs in commercial construction, spotlighting their design efficiency, economic benefits, and the essential role of roofing contractors in their implementation and upkeep.

Flat roofs offer a protective shield for commercial buildings against all manners of environmental hazards. Entrusted to skilled roofing contractors, these structures are meticulously installed using materials and methods tailored to withstand specific local climates. In regions like Calgary, known for its severe weather, the selection of roofing materials and installation techniques is crucial to ensure durability and resilience. This introduces a layer of complexity but also underscores the adaptability of flat roofs to the Canadian north’s rigorous demands.

The preference for flat roofs over alternatives such as metal roofs or pitched designs is rooted in several advantages. Notably, flat roofs are economically advantageous, requiring less material for coverage, thus reducing costs without sacrificing functionality. Their longevity further enhances their appeal, offering a sustainable roofing solution with minimal maintenance requirements.

Roofing professionals frequently recommend flat roofs for commercial buildings, highlighting their simplicity in installation and overall cost-efficiency. This introduction sets the stage to delve deeper into the myriad benefits of flat roofing, from initial cost considerations to long-term durability and space optimization.

rolled canadian 100 dollar bills illustrating cost

Why Flat Roofing?

The initial installation cost of a flat roof might seem steep, averaging around 80 cents per square foot for high-quality materials. However, the long-term perspective reveals its true value. A well-installed flat roof can endure for 30 years or more, with minimal upkeep, outlasting many conventional roofing systems. This durability is significantly enhanced when premium materials are employed, potentially extending the roof’s lifespan to 40 years or beyond.


The economic advantages of flat roofing are multifaceted. The materials for flat roofs are notably less expensive, as aesthetic concerns (“Curb appeal”) are less pressing than with residential roofing. The installation process is streamlined and less hazardous, which translates into lower labour costs and a reduced overall project budget.

Easy to Install

Flat roofs are not only cost-effective, but also quicker and easier to install compared to their pitched counterparts. This simplicity extends to repairs and replacements, which can be conducted with minimal disruption and expense.

Great Space Optimization

Commercial buildings often utilize the extra space provided by flat roofs to house HVAC units, mechanical systems, or even recreational amenities like gardens or patios. This efficient use of space is a key reason for the popularity of flat roofs in commercial architecture.

Efficient Drainage System

While flat roofs may appear level, they are designed with a slight incline to facilitate water drainage, integrating sophisticated systems to manage rainwater effectively. This functionality is critical for preventing water accumulation and ensuring the longevity of the roof structure.

Durable and Long Lasting

The primary advantage of flat roofing is that it can last over 50 years if you use good quality material. It is a substantial investment which offers the same or better reliability as any other sloped roofing system.

Flat roofs are prevalent because they provide numerous advantages, and they can be seen on a variety of building types, from industrial warehouses, commercial buildings to skyscrapers. They fit into the aesthetic requirements of business districts; they are cost-effective and the best quality material.

W4SR on a flat roof in downtown Calgary
Calgary downtown roof inspection showing water damage on a flat roof

Inspection of Your Roof

Whether installing a flat roof system or any other roof system, it is essential to have the roof inspected periodically by licensed and insured commercial roofing contractors.

  • A minor crack can become a big headache if not managed timely, but regular checking of the roof helps improve its lifespan.
  • Hire professional contractors to repair pipes or leaks because they have all the required equipment to maintain the roof, increasing the building’s efficiency.

When you are looking to install a roof for a commercial property, you must consider many factors, including the cost of material, quality, longevity, and performance.

Make sure to hire professional roof contractors to install a commercial roofing system so that it can last for a very long time and protect the interior of your building.

Whalley’s, Four Seasons Roofing, offers a free estimate for your flat roofing service needs. We are well known in the roofing industry for being five-star commercial roofers in Alberta.

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