Multifamily Roofing Options
Steep Slope vs. Flat Roofing
Given the fact that multifamily buildings sit somewhere on the spectrum between residential and commercial construction, you may be wondering which roofing structure option is best for your multifamily building. They both have advantages and disadvantages.
Steep slope roofing provides the best protection against the elements and its severe slope allows water and snow to run off of the roof, thereby avoiding any leaks or roof collapses from heavy, compacted snow after a long storm or blizzard. This type of roofing also has a classic residential feel, meaning that your building will blend in with single-family homes in your neighborhood and that residents moving from the suburbs or other residential environments will feel more at home.
Flat roofing, on the other hand, offers more flexibility for both you and your tenants. Flat roofing is much easier to modify, so additions to your building such as industrial air conditioning units, a roof deck, or other amenities are much easier to add on at a later date. In addition, flat roofing allows your tenants to utilize the roof for recreational activities and relaxation, providing much needed outdoor space for those located in dense urban areas.
Green Roofing Systems
Green roofing systems are all the rage in both the residential and commercial construction markets, having recently come on the scene in the last decade. Green roofing systems are complex projects which involve constructing additional roof support in order to sustain and physically support a garden and recreational area on the roof.
The complexity of the system and size of the plants varies: some small buildings have roofs that are designed solely to support small vegetation such as mosses, grasses, and herbs. On the other hand of the spectrum, many multifamily green roofing systems include full gardens and outdoor areas designed to serve as both a community garden and outdoor park, providing both locally-grown food and a chance for recreation.
Sheet metal is a very practical option for multifamily housing construction. This material is extremely durable, with manufacturer warranties lasting up to 40 years and with an average service life approaching 100 years. In addition, this lightweight material does not need any of the additional structural support or water systems required by green roofing systems. It also provides excellent protection against the elements and degradation.
Composite, or asphalt shingles, are the most commonly used roofing material found in the United States. With an average service life of 30 years, composite roofing is a practical option for your next multifamily building. It is one of the least expensive materials on the market and is relatively easy to install and repair, meaning that your building superintendent can perform many of the repairs themselves without needing to contract out to a professional.
If you are researching roofing options for your next multifamily housing construction project, you owe it to yourself to speak with a professional to weigh your options in an informed manner. Call Century Roofing today to learn more about the pros and cons of your various roofing options, and to receive a free consultation and quote from the leading roofing specialists in Chicago.