The name “flat roof” suggests that this type of roof is, well, flat. That’s actually not the case. Flat roofs have a slight pitch (or slope) that allows for rain and snow to run off. Flat roofs are common in industrial buildings and businesses, but we’re also seeing more of them on homes.
A flat roof is great for industrial buildings because unsightly heating and cooling equipment can be stored on the roof, hiding it from view. For homes or other residential buildings like condos and apartments, it can become a rooftop patio or garden where homeowners and residents can entertain guests.
Thinking about installing solar panels? You’ll get the most out of them on a level surface that exposes them to the sun constantly. Lastly, flat roofs can also be cheaper to design, but building them requires special consideration for waterproofing and drainage.
Roofing Materials to Use
Thermoplastic membranes are a roofing material that is engineered to last a very long time. It is flexible, puncture-resistant, excellent for waterproofing due to heat-welded seams, UV resistant, and it’s available in large sheets that can make for quicker installation. For more information on the different types of thermoplastic membranes, click here.
Traditionally, flat roofs are covered in layers of tar and gravel that are adhered with molten asphalt and are still a good option for flat roofing material. A properly done tar and gravel roof can last up to 30 years. It is still a preferred material, especially on industrial and commercial buildings since it is cost effective and proven.
Roofing Materials Not to Use
Shingles aren’t a great choice for a flat roof, and many shingle manufacturers do not recommend use of their products on flat roofs.
For a modern looking, energy saving home (or other building like a shed, apartment, of business), you may decide to build a flat roof, but be aware of the special considerations that come with this design.