Challenges of a Commercial Rooftop Deck

Rooftop decks have exploded in popularity over the last several years, particularly in urban centers like Los Angeles. When land is at a premium, most property owners don’t have the space to build a deck that’s easily accessible on a lower level, but the roof often sits completely unoccupied. As a result, building owners construct beautiful decks that are not only enjoyable to be on, but provide sweeping views of the area around them.

While these decks might seem like a great idea, there are challenges to building and maintaining these decks that most owners aren’t fully aware of. Here are just a few of those challenges that need to be taken into consideration when maintaining, upgrading, or building a new commercial rooftop deck.

Deck Usage

What do you want to do with your deck? Is it going to serve as a private lounge where you entertain only your highest clientele guests or those of your choosing? Or are you planning on using it as an open-air, elevated nightclub complete with a pool, open-air bar, tables, furniture, and more? If your deck is going to see a lot of use, you’re going to want to build it from more durable, long-lasting materials. This invariably means higher costs and more maintenance, especially if your rooftop deck also has a pool, spa, or other water fixture. Don’t forget, any leaks in your rooftop deck are also leaks into your building, which could do serious damage to the floors below.

Deck Height

How high off the ground is your rooftop? One story? Two stories? Or are you at the top of a sixty-plus story high-rise in the middle of downtown? This is something you need to strongly consider because it’s going to have an impact on what it takes to both construct and maintain your deck. If you’re looking to build a commercial deck on top of a high-rise building, you’ll need to make sure you have room to operate a crane in the vicinity that can lift the materials you need up to the rooftop. Odds are the building elevator isn’t going to have enough space to haul 20-foot joists up several hundred feet, or enough power to support several thousand pounds of concrete. Keep this in mind if you wish to build a new deck or even upgrade an old one to be better suited to commercial purposes.

Deck Drainage

Drainage is an important question if you’re going to be converting a commercial flat roof into useable decks pace. Decks cannot be perfectly flat; they must have at least a little bit of slope to them in order to allow water to reach drains and avoid puddling up in different spots, causing leaks. Not only that, but to even get your building cleared by inspectors, you’ll have to have this slope built in. Keep this in mind: if your roof slope isn’t right at the outset of your deck construction project, it’s going to cost you a considerable amount of extra time and money to ensure the proper slope and drainage is installed.

Deck Weight

If you’re building your deck on your roof, are you positive your roof can handle the extra weight? Concrete is heavy. Water is heavy. Furniture, decorations, glass, and other materials are all heavy. All of this adds up in terms of weight, and puts a lot of strain on your building’s structure. You may be tempted to use a lighter-weight material if structural limits are an issue, but lighter weight materials may not be able to handle the usage loads you’re throwing at them.

Commercial rooftop decks can all benefit from a thorough, regular waterproof service that ensures your deck remains leak-free and durable in all types of weather. Call Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing today at (888) 508-2966 to request a waterproofing service that’s tailored to your needs!

Leave a Comment