Can’t make up your mind on whether a flat roof would be a good choice for your house? You’re not alone — flat roofs are quite controversial.
For starters, what is a flat roof? Contrary to popular opinion, few roofs are completely flat — you don’t want it to become a swimming pool. Instead, what we describe as a flat roof is often simply a low-slope roof.
Despite this similarity to sloped roofs, flat roofs come with a unique set of challenges. For example, the quality of the installation matters a lot. Without a reliable membrane system, you may be dealing with constant repairs.
Should you install a flat roof on your house? That depends on a variety of factors, including expenses, maintenance, and accessibility. Here are the main things you need to know about flat roofing.
The Advantages
As a general rule, flat roofs come cheaper than their sloped brethren.
A lot of this has to do with the types of material used for installation. Many of them will set you back somewhere between 80 cents and $2 per foot. This makes flat roofs very affordable from an installation and maintenance standpoint.
Additionally, a flat roof will provide more space. For example, you’d be able to move your air conditioning units from the ground to the roof. If you’re looking to install solar panels, they’ll be less visible from the curb.
By its nature, a flat roof house will also allow you to maximize your interior space. Without the sloped walls of a traditional roof, you’d be able to get more use from your attic. A top floor apartment would profit even more from this change.
Finally, there’s the matter of accessibility. With a flat roof, tasks such as cleaning your gutters or installing satellite dishes will become much easier.
The Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage of a flat roof is the drainage. Or to be precise, the lack thereof.
Though flat roofs drain water, they’re not as efficient as sloped roofs. More often than not, some percentage of water will puddle and stay on the roof. This can lead to leaks along the seams or the roofing material breaking down.
Also, there’s the relative lack of roofing material options. Most of these roofs use rolled roofing such as EPDM, bitumen, or TPO. These materials are cheap and easy to install, but their average lifespan is often 10 to 15 years.
If you want to get around this downside, consider going for some higher-priced options. For example, rubber shingles go along well with some types of rolled roofing. PVC and polycarbonate roofing have a high life expectancy as well.
Should You Install a Flat Roof?
Though this question is simple enough, the solution is anything but. As of right now, the best answer we can give you is “it depends.”
If you’re trying to cut on your expenses or create more space in your house, a flat roof can be a good investment. That said, make sure you have a plan for getting the right roofing materials. In the long run, this may make all the difference.
Of course, your best bet would be to contact a professional before making a decision. We can help you out with that! Contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you soon.