The Best Type of Commercial Skylights for Flat Roofs

In the past flat roofs were sort of like your dysfunctional uncle. He was always around but nobody wanted to talk about him. Like your uncle there just wasn’t a lot that could be done with a flat roof and so it was left to its own devices. In recent years however architects and interior designers have discovered the benefits of installing skylights in flat roofs. Those benefits range from the environmental to the aesthetic to the downright practical and, as a result, the flat roof has become the new frontier of commercial design and development.

The Best Commercial Skylights for Your Flat Roof

While most everyone agrees that flat roof skylights are an idea whose time has come not everyone is aware of which type of commercial skylights are best for their flat roof. Below we’re going to take a look at the issue and provide some guidance you’ll hopefully find helpful.

Flat Roof Skylights: Basic Considerations

Flat roof skylights have gained favour because of their ability to exploit the wide open spaces of the roof to deliver natural light into commercial enterprises. Some commercial skylights are fixed, (they cannot be opened and closed) while others are retractable and still others are made of reinforced glass that can actually be walked on. So which type is right for your business? To find an answer to that question consider the following:

  • Drainage – Perhaps the most crucial difference between the sloped roof skylight and the flat roof skylight is drainage. This is an issue that needs to be addressed not only in the way the roof is designed, but in the type of skylight you install. In most (not all) cases domed skylights are recommended for flat roofs because they do a better job of dispersing rainwater than other skylights.
  • Size – While it may be tempting to put the largest flat roof skylight ever created on your roof to let in as much light as possible, it’s not always a matter of ‘bigger is better’ when it comes to skylights. Some roofs are simply not designed to have enormous openings carved into them and huge heavy commercial skylights dumped into those openings. As such you need to keep structural considerations up front when you are planning to install flat roof skylights.
  • Surroundings – Even if you determine that your roof is perfectly capable of supporting as many large domed skylights as you want to install the fact is the surrounding environment may call for a more restrained deployment of roof skylights. That is, if yours is a relatively low building and there are numerous trees in the surrounding area you’ll want to consider whether falling branches from those trees represent a clear and present danger to your skylight plans. If they do you may want to cut back on the number and size of your roof skylights or install skylights with the type of reinforced glass we mentioned earlier.

To learn more about flat roof skylights or to discuss any aspect of commercial skylights with one of our experts, give us a call today on (416) 665-4482.



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