There are plenty of reasons to build your home with a flat roof, as well as a few disadvantages to the idea. If you’re considering building a flat roof, you’re in the right place to learn more about roofing companies and flat roof benefits.
Even a flat roof has to have a slight slope to it so any water will drain, but for the most part these roofs are flat enough to allow for fun, while still draining.
More usable space: A flat rooftop gives you extra living space that can be put to good use. You can simply set up a table and chairs and use it as a small outdoor setting for your home (as long as you have the correct structural sign-off!) However, if you really want to put that space to use, then why not add more details? Plant a rooftop garden or add some herbs around the edges.
Easier access: A flat roof is the perfect spot to put some solar panels or even your air conditioning units. They’ll be tough to see from the ground, so this discourages looting. Should you need to do any repairs, it will be very simple to get access to the units.
Economical: It generally costs less per square foot to build a flat roof than it does for a pitched roof. Add to this the fact that there are fewer square feet when building flat and you have a fairly significant savings. In addition, there tend to be fewer repair costs over time with a flat roof.
Better rooms: Inside the home, you’ll find that upstairs rooms are easier to build, since they’ll have a flat roof as their foundation, instead of a pitched one that cuts into the space. Often, with traditional roofs, the upstairs walls will be sloped or at least part of the ceiling is, cutting into that living space. Flat roofs allow you to have regular shaped rooms right up to the top.
Can be built on: If you decide to expand your home in the future, a flat roof requires very little to become a floor for the next level. Provided the structure has been designed to hold another story on the house, you can easily build more rooms on top of the existing roof.
It looks great: Your home will look beautiful no matter what, but many people find that it’s more appealing to have a flat roof. For the modern home, nothing says future than a nice flat top (*subject to opinion!)
You’ll also find that flat roofs have a number of advantages in safety. It’s easier to clean the gutters (and install them, for that matter), and if it snows, you’ll need to remove the snow – but it’s considerably easier when you can just walk across the roof instead of scrambling up on a pitched roof that is slippery in the cold.
In smaller buildings, a flat roof is considerably more stable, as well, making it the safer choice for several reasons. If there is a leak or any other kind of issue, you’ll have the opportunity to check it out easily, as well.
Possible Disadvantages of a Flat Roof
Of course, no system is perfect and even flat roofs can have their downsides. If you’re worried about the potential problems related to installing a flat roof, you’re not alone.
Often, you hear about leaks being a bigger problem with flat roofs, and there is a good reason for this. Unless the roof is properly angled, the water may pool up and form small spaces where the water eats away at the roofing material and eventually makes its way inside. This is easy to prevent by using a professional, experienced installer and by checking the roof regularly. You can simply sweep any standing water away with a broom, making it a relatively simple issue to fix.
Another downside is snow. You can’t allow snow to accumulate for much time on top of a flat roof. Since it is essentially frozen water, snow can be very heavy and may pose a structural threat if left. However, it’s far safer and easier to get rid of snow on a flat rooftop than it is in with a pitched rooftop. Pitched roofs can accumulate snow, too, but they are slippery and can result in injury when you’re trying to get it off.
Another concern is the limited life of the roofing materials. However, this is not unique to flat roofs and any roof will need replacing at some point. Since roofing materials are cheaper than with pitched roofs, this isn’t really much of a worry.
Finally, some people feel that insulation is lacking with flat roofs. It’s the difference in shape that causes the lower amount of insulation, but the roof is also flat to absorb sunshine. In the long run, most roofing specialists feel that this is not a big issue and that flat roofs are a great idea for the average home.
If you’re still interested in building a flat roof for your home, you will join the millions of people who enjoy having extra living space on top of the house. It’s a good option for just about everyone and can provide you with that much more room to grow.
Flooring for Your Flat Roof
If you’re going to use your rooftop for an extra living space, you’ll probably want to cover it with durable flooring that won’t require too much upkeep. What should you use?
Traditionally, flat roofs were covered in asphalt or bitumen. Both options can be somewhat heavy, but they are sturdy usually topped with gravel, which can work well for a rooftop that will see foot traffic. However, both of these require replacing on a regular basis. They are not ideal for creating a rooftop deck, either, since the adhesive materials can become sticky in the heat.
Tiles are one of the best options for a rooftop that will be used recreationally. You can find tiles made of plastic, rubber, concrete, and fibre cement. Some of these can be pretty heavy, so the roof must be designed to handle the weight, along with the people who will be walking up there.
Green roof systems are also popular and can be a good ecological option if you want to keep just part of the roof for a living space. These incorporate plants right into the roof, usually moss or grass. The greenery helps keep the house cooler, while offering a beautiful look to the rooftop.
Whatever type of roof you choose for your flat roof, you’ll need to replace it at some point, but for now, you want something that is preferably economical or at least somewhat so, and waterproof. In the future, more options may be available for flat roof spaces, so you may be able to replace the roof further on with other options.
How to Find a Flat Roofing Specialist
It is essential that a flat roofing specialist install your roof if you’re opting away from the standard pitched roof. Not all roofers know how to lay a flat roof and if you don’t use a specialist, you run the risk of having leaks even shortly after the installation is complete. A specialist knows how to angle the roof just so and ensure that the drainage is good, so you don’t end up with puddles.
Your roof should also be completely weatherproof. Most roofs will have a guarantee of 10-25 years, depending on who installed it and the materials used. After this point, it may need replacing simply because of age. It’s a good idea to do this before the leaks get bad, and again, you want a flat roof specialist to handle the replacement.
How do you find a flat roof specialist who actually knows what they’re doing? You need to look for a company that specialises in this type of roofing. They will have previously vetted roofers on staff to handle your needs. However, you should also make sure your roofer has plenty of experience. Ideally, they will have several years worth of experience installing flat roofs.
You can ask for recommendations from other homeowners with flat rooftops and ask if they’ve had any issues since the roof was installed. This will give you a good idea as to who is a decent roofer. You can also check for reviews online, as many people will share their experiences, both good and bad, online.
Finally, ask for references. These will be people who have recently had a roof installed by the company and you can talk to them to see how the roofing is holding up. You may even be able to check out a previous installation or two.
To speak to one of our experts, contact us today and we’ll get back to you as a priority.