Commercial Roofing Plans: Sloped vs. Flat

Do you ever look over the West Palm Beach skyline? How about the most beautiful skyline of them all, New York City? There’s something about tall skyscrapers in the midst of the hustle and bustle that is truly fascinating. So why is it that the majority of commercial buildings have flat roofs?

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Sloped vs. Flat

Residential homes typically have sloped or pitched roofs. Depending on the home’s design, a pitch can be dramatic or gradual. Either way, a sloped roof is the most effective way to keep water off of your roof and draining properly. Pitched roofs happen to be more challenging to take care of, simply because of their steep slopes. The roof is more dangerous and difficult for a homeowner to maintain, which is why most people will hire a roofing professional for maintenance and repairs.

A flat roof, also known as a slow-slope roof, is mostly found on commercial buildings. Although it’s commonly known as a flat roof, it’s not completely flat. The roof has a low-slope, creating a way for water to escape. Flat roofs must have a slight slope either in the middle or towards the edges to allow proper water drainage. A low-slope roof requires more maintenance but is ideal for commercial properties because it’s an ideal spot for storing air conditioning units and saves on energy costs.

Flat Roofs Are Cost Effective

Installing a sloped roof on a residential home is much easier than on a large commercial building. It’s dangerous, impractical, and expensive. Flat roofs are cost-efficient for many reasons. A popular place to store an A/C unit is on a flat roof, creating more space in the building and in the parking lot. They are also more affordable to build and reduce the size of the building, which also saves the business owner money on the energy bill.

Maintaining a Flat Roof

A flat roof requires frequent and thorough inspections and maintenance. Without proper maintenance, a flat roof can develop low spots. These spots result in ponding, which can stay stagnant for days, even weeks, if not taken care of. This causes mold and mildew growth and allows water to slip through cracks, damaging the roof’s structure. If a flat roof is not taken care of on a regular basis, minor issues can lead to major, costly, damages.


Designing and constructing commercial roofs is substantially different than residential construction. The building size, usually much greater than residential, means that a pitched roof would be unrealistic and unpleasant to the eye. Additionally, cities with strict building codes regulate the height of structures. This means that a pitched roof would take up space that could otherwise be useful in offices or storage.

Slope and flat roofs require specific maintenance and care. Whether you have a residential or commercial property, you can trust the Aastro Roofing family with all of your roofing needs. Drop us a line and we’ll provide you with a free estimate at 561-409-3280.