22 May Why Do Most Apartment Building Use Flat Roofing?
Apartment buildings and large buildings in general in cities across the country usually have one thing in common, flat roofing. This can be observed on nearly every skyline, and this happens because flat exteriors have a distinct advantage for large buildings. The process of building a flat roof usually contains a mineral felt that covers the surface area, then gravel is put on top of this to protect from the heat and UV light. Today a newer option of a PVC or rubber material is used which can maintain its shape and stability better in the heat. There are several advantages for apartments to have flat exteriors, one advantage is the cost and architecture, another is opportunity to use the available space.
Cost and architecture
The cost of a flat roof on an apartment building is less than a sloped roof. This is because a flat roof requires significantly less materials and labor to build the frame for a sloped roof. The surface area is also much smaller creating less opportunity for damage and leaks which means less maintenance. Plus, large buildings already have reinforced walls and interior supports that are used to maintain structural integrity and can hold the weight of a flat roof. So, the building does not need additional modification. The aforementioned is one of the most significant reasons that flat exteriors are so popular in Manhattan high-risers (and in other heavily commercialized metropolitan areas).
Flat roofing materials have improved over the years, which reduces the risk of leaks or damage from rain or snow. Furthermore, the water can be directed off the corners of a flat roof to prevent damage. The maintenance involved for a roof that size is a simple procedure. Within one day a new flat roof can be reapplied or updated. Replacement roofing are not needed often considering the lifespan for a flat roof is at least 20 years and can be longer with new materials. For all these reasons, buildings in roof leak inducing climates need to know about the benefits of this type of exterior.
Opportunity for available space
Another no less important reason for flat roofs on apartments it to make use of the space. The space created from a flat roof is a prime location to hide bulky accessories like AC units, gas cylinders or solar panels that are used in the apartments below. In some places this is the only outdoor space available to people, and the space has been taken advantage if to build decks, gardens, and green houses. Additional sheds, and equipment storage can also be easily accommodated. Now we can see why you won’t spot any sloped “residential private home” type exteriors in area like NYC. Local oriented contractors in real big cities often have not touched a shingle in years (which is hard to believe for people living in suburbs).
The interior space is also enhanced with a flat room. A sloped roof leaves unusable space near the wall where it cuts into potential living space. Flat roofs allow for the top floor to keep its full potential of livable area.
Flat roofing has grown to become a cost effective and space efficient way to build apartment buildings.