Commercial property owners and managers in Toronto ON would sometimes think about adding pitch to their flat roofs. If you’re considering the same thing, Cox Roofing Systems is here to tell you that this project is difficult but it can be done.

This guide will cover the following essential points:

  • Typical reasons to add slope to your flat roof
  • How to make a flat roof have a pitch — step by step process
  • The downsides of flat roof to pitched roof conversions (and three great alternatives)

Why Would You Add Pitch to Your Flat Roof?

Anyone who wants to know how to make a flat roof have a pitch would somewhat assume that the job is tedious. Yes indeed. Adding trusses to a flat roof alone is time-consuming — not to mention, costly. But why would property owners go through the hassle? Let’s explore three reasons:

1. Make a roof more stylish and appealing

One reason why you might consider learning how to make a flat roof have a pitch is this: You want to add aesthetic value to your roof. Pitch roofing systems come in various shapes. Examples are shed, gable, mansard, and hip. Not just that, you get to choose from a multitude of materials such as asphalt and wood shakes.

But do take note that roofing style and appeal for commercial properties usually apply to apartment complexes and traditional-looking shops. If you have a high-rise building, converting your flat roof to a pitched one may not be applicable.

2. To get rid of ponding water problems

Flat roofing systems come with benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to the disadvantages, some property owners are being pestered by leaks. Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs are susceptible to ponding water. Water that stays on a flat roof after it rains will weaken the material over time. Eventually, water penetrates the building.

aerial view of cartoonish buildings showing roof

Flat roofs should have a minimum slope to allow water to run off. However, in some cases, building owners hire contractors that poorly designed the roof.

Now you might be wondering why some flat roofs leak. One reason is that they have an inadequate pitch. Building owners who aren’t careful tend to hire roofing contractors that poorly design their roofs. It’s also possible that they used subpar materials. We can see here that quality workmanship and materials matter.

3. The use of materials that result in higher energy-efficiency

In addition to style, we mentioned that some property owners like to experiment on various materials. One reason to try a traditional sloped roofing material is to leverage energy-efficiency. For example, metal roofs are energy-efficient options and are best installed on sloped structures.

How to Make a Flat Roof Have a Pitch (General Steps)

Obviously, you shouldn’t do the work all by yourself. The reason we included this section is to give you a good idea of how to build a sloped roof over a flat roof. That way, you know the process. You can also use the knowledge you gain to evaluate prospective roofing contractors.

Step 1: Determine the roof span and pitch.

First things first, roofing contractors conduct the necessary measurements to make sure that they know where the peak of the new roof will sit. After contractors measure your current flat roof, they will make estimates of the job. This includes the prices of the materials to be used.

Step 2: Tear-off the old materials and apply roof sheathing.

Next, roofers will have to remove all existing roofing materials, including the interior materials. They will add the new roof trusses while putting in mind the correct attachments. Some roofers replace old roof sheathing if it’s in a bad condition. It’s also possible to reuse old sheathing that has no problems. 

Step 3: Install the new material. 

Finally, your roofing team installs your preferred commercial sloped roofing system. You can now enjoy a completely new roof and the benefits that come with it. Make sure to ask a roofing company about possible material choices.

Disadvantages of Pitched Roofing Systems and 3 Great Alternatives to Consider

We already discussed the steps on how to make a flat roof have a pitch. We’re going the opposite route this time. Why would you not proceed with this roofing project?

A major drawback is that you’ll lack additional space for your rooftop equipment. Got HVAC units, water tanks, or solar panels? Think about where to place them this time. The second disadvantage is the cost. Know that this project is expensive and time-consuming. Ask yourself, is a pitched roof really worth the hassle?

Having said these, Cox Roofing Systems recommends the following alternatives for Toronto ON building owners:

1. Solve problems with a commercial roof repair

Tired of ponding water problems? Increasing energy bills? You don’t need to change your entire roof to solve issues. Local commercial roofing contractors like us will inspect your roof and determine the extent of the damage. We even conduct energy audits. We take a conservative approach by suggesting a quality commercial roofing repair.

2. Roof restoration to extend the life of your flat roof

3d illustrations of tall buildings in Toronto on

Roof restorations make your roof new again and resolve existing roofing issues. That way, you wouldn’t have to change your roof which is a costly project.

If this is your first time to hear about a roof restoration service, here’s what it’s about. Roofing restoration entails cleaning the roof, repairing, and replacing some materials to make it brand new. Previously, we featured a guide about roof restoration. In there, we explained that a roof restoration improves your flat roof in various ways so it lasts longer:

  • Makes your building more energy-efficient (the result is lowered bills)
  • Improves the overall look of your commercial roofing system
  • Strengthens your roof so that it becomes resilient to environmental damage

Here at Cox Roofing Systems, we also offer quality restoration services. We recommend our exclusive TTR (Tri-Thermal Roofing) which combines EPDM and polyurethane insulation.

3. Hire a qualified roofing contractor from the beginning

Avoid the hassles and issues associated with a flat roof by doing one thing — work with the right roofing company. Whether you need to install a new flat roof, replace, or fix a damaged one, choose professionals with your best interests in mind.

Look for a trusted company by going local. If you’re from Toronto ON, hire a company in the same location. Local roofers value their reputation and work hard to maintain a positive one. Read testimonials. Get referrals. Don’t hire just because you’re offered the lowest price.

With a good contractor, you rest knowing that your roof will stay durable, beautiful, and watertight for many years to come! Good contractors know the best way on how to slope a flat roof for drainage.

Wrapping Up

Is your roofing system showing signs of damage? Before you think about how to make a flat roof have a pitch, consider our 3 alternatives. Don’t spend your money unnecessarily if there are tried-and-true remedies you can leverage.

We appreciate you for taking the time to read this guide. Interested to learn more about the best commercial roofing solutions? Call Cox Roofing Systems today at 877-264-6983.