What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Flat Roof?
What Defines A Flat Roof?
A flat roof can be defined as an open rooftop with no walls or pitched sides; a nearly horizontal roof is pitched for water drainage only. This roof provides excellent views and is nearly always accessible to people on foot.
It has a pitch of 1 to 10 degrees, meaning that flat roofs aren’t truly flat. It frequently has a minimum slope of 1/4 inch each foot. This lets water drain off the roof and away from the house, preventing damage.
What Types Of Flat Roofs Are There?
There are three primary types of flat roofs: membrane roofs, built-up roofs, and modified bitumen roofs.
Membrane (Single-Ply) Roofs
Membrane (Single-Ply) Roofs are the most common type of flat roof and are typically made from synthetic rubber or thermoplastic. Single-ply roofing is available in two main types: thermoplastic and thermoset.
Thermoplastic roofing is made from a material that can be melted and reformed. Thermoset roofing is made from a material that hardens when heated. Single-ply roofing is easy to install and repair, and it is available in a variety of colors.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR
Built-up roofing (BUR) is a type of flat roof constructed using multiple layers of reinforcing materials. The most common type of BUR is bitumen-based, which uses asphalt or coal-tar pitch as the waterproofing material.
The asphalt or coal tar is heated and then applied to the reinforcing materials, typically layers of felt paper. The felt paper is then covered with a top layer of gravel or asphalt to protect the bitumen from UV rays and weathering.
BUR is one of the most common types of roofing used on commercial and industrial buildings. It is known for its durability and long lifespan. BUR roofs can last up to 30 years or more with proper maintenance.
Modified Bitumen Roofing (MBR)
Modified bitumen roofing (MBR) is a type of flat roof that uses various materials to create a waterproof barrier. The most common materials used are asphalt and polymers, which are applied in layers to the roof surface.
Modified bitumen roofing is often used on commercial and industrial buildings because it is durable and can withstand heavy traffic and weather conditions.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Flat Roof?
The Advantages Of A Flat Roof?
There are a few advantages to having a flat roof on a building. One is that it is easier to construct than a pitched roof.
This is because fewer structural elements are involved, and the roof decking can be installed directly on top of the building’s supporting walls. This can save both time and money during the construction process.
Another advantage of a flat roof is that it requires less maintenance than a pitched roof. No gutters or other drainage systems need to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
Additionally, flat roofs are less likely to suffer from leaks and other damage since there are no joints or seams that can become weak over time.
Moreover, flat roofs are easy to clean and versatile for all types of weather. This is because, since the roof isn’t pitched, water can drain off the roof quickly and easily, no matter which way the wind blows.
Finally, flat roofs can provide some additional usable space on the building. This is because no walls or other support structures can cover up the edges of the building.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Flat Roof?
A flat roof also has some disadvantages, however. For instance, it is more difficult to access than a pitched roof and typically costs more to build. Another major drawback of flat roofs is drainage.
Since flat roofs don’t have gutters, it can be difficult to drain properly during storms, especially when the roof is pitched at a shallow angle.
Another disadvantage is damage from leaking water. During heavy rainstorms or extreme weather conditions, water can leak into attics and other building areas through cracks and leaks in the flat roof.
Flat roofs also require special waterproofing materials and prevent using many standard roofing materials, such as felt paper, wood shakes, and shingles.
Furthermore, snow loads in colder climates can easily damage flat roofs since they cannot support heavy accumulations or sloped roofs.
What Is The Best Material For A Flat Roof?
Regardless of the type of roof, the best material to use is one with the right type and thickness for common roofing applications.
There are four best materials for flat roofing EPDM membrane roofing, TPO membrane roofing, PVC membrane roofing, and standing seam metal roof.
EPDM membrane roofing– EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a synthetic rubber black membrane roofing material commonly used in commercial and medical facilities.
This is the best material for flat roof construction because it is durable and easy to install. EPDM membrane roofing lasts up to 50 years if cared for properly, and the roof is safe and environmentally friendly.
TPO membrane roofing- Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply roofing membrane that is one of the market’s fastest-growing commercial roofing systems.
TPO membrane roofing is great for flat roofs because it can withstand heavy weights of snow and strong wind loads, unlike many other types of roofs. This material also prevents leaks, making it a great option for flat roofs. A flat membrane roof lasts 25-30 years.
TPV panel membrane roofing- PVC membrane roofing requires minimal maintenance and works best as a single-ply waterproof system. Additionally, this material lasts up to 50 years in most conditions, which makes it ideal for flat roofs.
Standing seam metal roofing- Standing seam metal roofing is ideal for flat roofs because it provides the highest quality of construction, delivers the best insulation and thermal performance, and lasts from 50 years, depending on climatic conditions.
How Is A Flat Roof Constructed?
A flat roof is a roofing system that uses sheets of plywood for the roof deck. The sheets of plywood are fixed to the flat roof joists to make a flat base. Hence the name, “flat roof.” The sheeting is then nailed together on top of the joists.
A final layer or two of asphalt or felt may be placed over the plywood deck to protect it from UV rays and weather damage.
It is a roofing system with a horizontal or nearly horizontal surface. They are common in commercial and industrial buildings and were once very popular in residential architecture.
Many construction methods can be used to create a flat roof, and the most appropriate method will often vary depending on the project’s specific requirements. The built-up roofing system is one common method of constructing a flat roof.
This method involves creating a series of layers, or plies, using materials such as felt or asphalt-saturated paper. These layers are then covered with a top layer of gravel or stone to protect the roofing system from UV damage and weather.
The final layer of the roof is either gravel or concrete, depending on the type of surface being covered.
What Is The Best Thing To Put On A Flat Roof?
EPDM roofing membranes are one of the most popular options for flat roofing. They are relatively low-cost and offer many significant advantages. One of the biggest advantages of EPDM is its durability.
EPDM roofs can last for decades with proper maintenance, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.
Additionally, EPDM is a very versatile material that can be used on various roofing substrates. It is also resistant to a wide range of temperatures, making it an ideal choice for warm and cold climates.
Can I Put A Deck On My Flat Roof?
Yes, installing a deck on a flat roof is an excellent way to add additional space to the top of the building. To do this, you will need access to the rafters or beams underneath the roof (to support the deck).
For constructing a deck, you will also need:
The best material for decks on flat roofs is oriented strand board (OSB) since it is strong, inexpensive, and easy to install. It can last up to 20 years when properly maintained. However, cedar decks may be better if you’re planning to construct a large deck.
Generally speaking, installing a deck on your flat roof is not difficult if your building has adequate rafters or beams under the roof.