Although flat roofs are commonly seen on commercial buildings, they are also a potential option for residential applications. Sometimes the theme or style of a dwelling demands a traditional pitched roof, but there are still areas of almost any home where a flat roof is appropriate. The issue is whether using a flat roof for all or just a section of your building makes sense. Review the following considerations as you make your choice.
Is A Flat Roof A Good Choice For You?
Flat roofs are incredibly durable and are less labor-intensive to install than pitched. This is a plus for any building but is particularly attractive to businesses as they attempt to hold down costs while utilizing every bit of space. Because of the lack of a steep pitch, a flat roof can act as an additional level to a building. Mechanical systems including heating and air conditioning can be supported on top of a flat roof, leaving more room inside the building for production or storage.
Commercial buildings usually embrace a utilitarian style, which is consistent with the straight lines of a flat roof. Residential roofing often has a significant style to it and a flat roof can clash with the desired effect. On the other hand, many home designers and architects do work well with the bold angles of a flat roof. It is also possible for a number of different roofing systems to be used in one dwelling. For example, an all-season porch, sunroom, or exercise area can take advantage of the features of a flat roof.
Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofs
Flat roofs can be extremely energy efficient which is a bonus for both commercial and residential buildings. Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofs reduce both heating and cooling costs throughout the seasons. During the warmer months, this roofing reflects the sun’s heat, substantially decreasing the need for air conditioning. When the temperatures drop, the same type of roof holds heat inside, allowing the home or business owner to save on heating.
In general, the materials used for flat roofs are weather resistant. There are far fewer weak areas where moisture can leak through, such as you can see with clay tile, asphalt shingles, or shakes, especially when a layer of gravel is added as extra protection. The TPO roofing is a membrane, sealed over the area to be protected, without the many seams and edges of a standard pitched roof. If two pieces of rubber flat roof membrane must be seamed, the rubber-based glue used completely closes any gaps. The materials are also cost-effective once you consider the initial cost and the length of time expected before replacement.
A final benefit of flat roofing is the relatively infrequent maintenance needed. The gravel coating may need refreshing and redistributing to ensure it is even on all parts of the roof annually. Occasional reapplication of sealant can be required around vents, screws, and edges. Any upkeep is far more accessible than that required for pitched roofs, as workers can simply walk out on the flat surface to perform the tasks.
Selecting a flat roof can be cost-effective and offer many other benefits as well. As long as the angular silhouette works with the design of the building, or can be hidden, a flat roof has a lot going for it and deserves a second look.