While most homes have a pitched or sloped roof, there are advantages to installing flat roofing on non-residential buildings/structures within Toronto and the GTA. While a flat roof may offer less aesthetic appeal than its sloped counterpart, it compensates by providing the following to owners or managers of non-residential properties:
- Faster/easier installation
- Less expensive installation
- Ease of access/maintenance
- Lower degree of risk when access is needed:
- For inspections
- For maintenance
- Potential for multiple uses (gardens, cafes, etc.)
- More useable area/space under the roof
As a result, flat roofing may be the ideal choice for these types of properties across Toronto and the GTA:
- Shopping malls
- Commercial units
- Manufacturing facilities
- Hotels, apartments, condominiums
- Gyms, arenas, community centres
- Municipal buildings
However, just like a pitched or sloped roof, a flat roof will inevitably need some level of repair, with the extreme weather conditions being the most likely culprit in such instances. Unfortunately, many/most of the commercial properties or businesses with flat roofs will be reluctant to close/suspend operations during the repair period, primarily due to a potential loss of income/revenue during that time, adding a degree of complexity to the process.
So how does a Toronto roofing contractor, such as Avenue Road Roofing, perform flat roof repairs while the business or industry keeps its doors open to the public, its tenants, and/or its employees? By collaborating with the property owners or managers to ensure minimal interruption and inconvenience for all parties involved.
The simple answer to this question, albeit trite and somewhat facetious, would be “very carefully” but flat roof repair work during regular business hours/normal operations is a serious matter that warrants much more attention than just a flippant response.
To that point, here are some practical suggestions and guidelines for roofing contractors and property managers to work in unison when flat roofing is being repaired while the building remains in use:
- Prepare and prominently display signage pertaining to safety, caution, detours, etc.
- Install appropriate interior safety measures for staff, occupants, or pedestrian traffic
- Erect exterior safety measures such as scaffolding, temporary walls, caution tape
- Minimize noise disturbance by installing sound barriers/mufflers wherever possible
- Avoid blocking any points of access to or egress from the building
- Minimize obstruction of parking facilities and property entrances or exits
- Ensure that building/facility remains watertight at all times (re: no further damage)
- Confirm that back-up systems are working properly if needed (HVAC and electrical)
- Schedule deliveries of materials and equipment during off-hours or off-peak periods
- Lift any materials to the roof from designated loading zones or restricted-access areas
One additional recommendation that should basically be considered as a non-negotiable item relates to the need for regular communication between appointed representatives from the roofing company and the property ownership/management group – this will be vital to ensuring that:
- The repair project remains on time and on budget
- The amount of inconvenience/disruption is kept at a minimum