How Much Weight Can a Flat Roof Support?

How Much Weight Can a Flat Roof Support?

Whether constructing a new commercial building or reviewing your existing facility, it’s important to understand the weight rating of a flat roof. Overloading a flat roof, whether through installing commercial equipment or weathering a severe snowstorm, can cause significant damage to your building. Stay safe and keep your company moving forward by understanding flat roof support limits in the Southeast with Benton Roofing.

Determine the Expected Structural Load

An expected structural load is typically expressed in pounds per square foot. Essentially, it measures the amount of weight you predict your roof will have to hold. An accurate expected structural load limit is the first step in inspecting your existing roofing and determining whether it needs to be replaced.

There are many situations where your flat roof can take on extra weight and carry a heavy load. In some parts of the Northeast, severe snowstorms can pile on large amounts of snow. As snow thaws and refreezes, it can compact into heavy ice sheets that weigh down your commercial flat roof. Older roofs with poor drainage can especially be prone to this issue, since pooling water can occur after heavy rainfall. 

Another common weight to consider is any commercial equipment. Air conditioners and other items are often installed on a flat roof to take advantage of the additional space. Finally, foot traffic or even automobile traffic may be possible on your flat roof. All these factors need to be considered as part of your expected structural load.

This number is necessary for an estimate because you can’t know the exact weight factors your roof will face. A major contributing factor to overloaded flat roofs is snow and ice. Some locations in the Southeast occassionally receive heavy snowfall, while others in higher elevations can count on yearly blizzards to pile on snow and ice.

Compare Roofing Materials

Work with a local commercial roofing team to inspect your existing roofing materials and support structure to determine whether they can handle your expected structural load. Even if you have a durable structure, years of wear may compromise its integrity enough to require a commercial repair service.

Our team at Benton Roofing can offer you a range of flat roofing materials for any installation or repair project. Here are some of the most common flat roof material options available to you for your commercial location:

  • PVC
  • TPO
  • EPDM
  • Built-up roof
  • Modified bitumen
  • Polyurethane foam

Each material has its own pros and cons, including different expected lifetimes and weight capacities. We’ll carefully inspect your existing roof before making a recommendation for a repair or replacement service.

Factor Extra Weight

Flat roofing is the perfect place for water to build up from rain, snow or ice. It only takes approximately one inch of standing water or ice equal to the weight of one foot of snow. This means that a few inches of ice with snow on top may be more than your roofing material is designed to hold.

Work with our team to inspect your commercial roof weight limit and compare it with expected rain and snowfall in your area. An experienced commercial roofing company can not only help you reinforce your roof to combat typical precipitation amounts, but can also respond quickly to any roof damage caused by leaking water or overloaded roof sections.

Include Proper Water Drainage

The other major factor in commercial roof damage is leaking water. A flat roof should still be designed with proper water drainage features. Pooled water adds a lot of extra weight to a roof and will eventually work its way into your commercial building. Don’t let pooled water cause leaks, mildew growth and other roof maintenance issues. Design the right water drainage system with our team and schedule a repair or installation service with Benton Roofing.

Keep Your Company Protected With Benton Roofing

Flat roofs are specifically designed to handle the estimated structural load in their location, so the exact weight a flat roof can handle varies considerably. Don’t take a chance with your commercial roof; find out how we can inspect your building and determine the materials needed to keep your commercial property safe.

Request a quote today to see how we can update your flat commercial roof to withstand expected loads. Don’t wait until your roof starts to sag, crack or leak, but turn to a local leader in quality repairs, affordable installations and rapid maintenance tasks. Once your roof is fully installed and maintained, you can breathe easily during the next snowstorm or thunderstorm.