Throughout the Los Angeles area, buildings with flat roofs are the norm for commercial or industrial structures. However, you might also find them on apartment complexes, churches or multi-family homes. That’s because they are inexpensive to build and, if installed properly, have a relatively long life. But despite their ubiquity, flat roofs carry some challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the roofing options in Los Angeles and how they can benefit buildings with flat roofs.
Challenges of Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are exactly that: They have little to no slope. That makes water management extremely important, as it won’t naturally run off as it would for a sloped roof. Of course, in Southern California, there is not a lot of rain, which is one of the main reasons flat roofs are so popular. Still, when water is an issue, roofs without proper coatings can be in jeopardy of leaks. Also, commercial buildings tend to have a lot of voids due to vents, machinery such as air conditioners and other protrusions. Coatings to seal these holes is vital.
Acrylic coating is lightweight and fairly simple to install. It offers a seamless option for sealing all the voids in the roofing system and has the added benefit of being VOC-free. Acrylic is durable and long-lasting.
As one of the most popular options, silicone coatings offer a lot of benefits. They offer a seamless application that is durable for up to 25 years. Silicone is perfect for filling voids and preventing leaks for the long term, and it is simple to just apply another coat when the time comes. Silicone is not the best option, however, for areas that might have high traffic or that are highly visible.
For reflecting the sun’s rays, you can’t beat a cool roofing system. They not only offer a seamless roofing solution, but they also can cut down on the cost of cooling the building because so much of the sun’s heat is deflected.
Most often used on metal roofs, thermoplastic coatings also work on concrete, modified bitumen and foam roofs. They have a high rate of adherence and can even prevent algae buildup. If you choose a thermoplastic coating, you can also select a specific color, which will have an effect on sun deflection.
If you’d like to learn more about coating options for your flat roof, we are happy to provide suggestions for increasing the longevity of your building’s roof.