Four Things To Double-Check If You Want A Roof Deck

Are you a commercial building owner whose restaurant and other food-based-business tenants have asked to add a roof deck? If so, take time to consider the request carefully. It can be a positive addition, no doubt, as a nice roof deck with a good view can attract more customers to a restaurant or cafe. But it can also have some repercussions if the deck clashes with how the roof on your building was constructed. Consider these four things before agreeing to let a tenant add a roof deck. 

Ensure the Building Can Handle the Weight

If your building was not built with additional rooftop structures in mind, then adding the deck could damage the rest of the building -- the extra weight could essentially crush other areas because the supports in the building just wouldn't be able to take the extra weight.

Not all roof decks are small and lightweight. Many use relatively heavy materials and can be quite big. Plus, if you plan to have any other features on the roof, such as planters to make the deck look nicer, you'll have to add that weight in when figuring out if the building can support the deck.

Check and Possibly Replace the Roof

After that, you have to have the roof inspected and possibly replaced. Old roofing material will just crack as the weight of the people on the deck bear down on the roof. That can lead to roof leaks and mildew problems inside the building. Adding a stronger roof with good weatherproofing is essential if you want a deck.

Double-check That Deck Noise Won't Be an Issue

Talk to the businesses about whether they can hear people walking around on the roof. Even if the deck will be raised off the main roof surface, sounds from people walking on the deck can carry down into the units below. That could disturb patrons trying to have a conversation.

Look at Spacing and Rooftop Equipment

Many comercial buildings have low-slope roofs that house the building's air conditioning compressor and other building-wide equipment. The plans for the deck should not require relocation of these items, but that could mean that there's not enough room for the deck. Still, you could get creative with the layout and have an odd-shaped deck that winds around the equipment.

Talk to roofing contractors (such as Osmus Roofing) who work with commercial roofs first. If the roof needs to be modified or replaced, that will have to be done first before you can do anything about the deck.