Thoughts on Flat Roofed vs. Pitched Roof Commercial buildings

Commercial Roof
When I started in this Real Estate business in the late 90's I had a few downtown retail listings that had flat roofs and a few industrial or stand alone retail buildings that had pitched roofs.  I immediately thought that I needed to understand all of the types of roofs, and the substrates that keep water from pouring into the property.

I called a few Calgary and Red Deer roofers and asked if I could buy them coffee.  As well, when I had a new listing that had an older roof, I would ask the roofer to come out and pre-quote the roof, so that I could forward the quote to potential buyers.

One of the best ways I can describe the difference between a flat roof and a pitched roof, is that if you jab a screwdriver through a flat roof and a pitched roof, and then throw 5 gallons of water on both roofs, you will likely get all 5 gallons on the inside of the flat roofed building, and you might get a few drips on the inside of the pitched roof.

The negative of the pitched roof is that it is often visible from the street, so if your shingles are 3/4 through their lifecycle, your roof really does appear to be in bad shape.  Vanity often causes people to replace their shingles before they actually fail.

The think that frustrates most people is that shingles have a 20-30 year warranty, but that is typically for the original owner (unless you fill out paperwork to pass on the warranty).  Roofing companies and shingle manufacturers know that seldom people stay put in the same property for over 8-10 years, and even if they do, the chances that they will have the paperwork, that the roofer will still be in business, etc. etc.

I recommend a few local roofers that work in Drumheller, Strathmore, Airdrie, Stettler, Three Hills and Hanna, each specializing in different things.  If you need some help, I can pass on the contact info of roofing companies that we've used lately.

Bob Sheddy
Commercial Real Estate Agent

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