Flat Roofs: Yes or No?
Although sloped and angled roofs are by far the most popular for residences in the United States, flat roofs offer unique options. Before deciding to purchase one for your new home construction or moving into a home with an existing flat roof, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of flat roofs carefully.
Yes! The Advantages of Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are often cheaper to install than sloped roofs. This comes largely from the fact that there is much less surface area so fewer shingles and other materials are needed. Also, some roofers charge more to work on angled roofs due to the danger factor. Labor time is also reduced.
Another advantage of flat roofs is that they naturally allow for more interior room than ones that cut off the attic or upper floor at an angle. Everyone has seen pictures of bedrooms or home offices upstairs with angled ceilings interfering with head room. With a flat roof, every wall is the same height.
No! The Disadvantages of Flat Roofs
While they cost less to put on your home initially, flat roofs tend to need more maintenance over their lifetimes. Imagine how many small branches, autumn leaves, and other debris accumulate on a flat roof that would slide or blow right off one with angled surfaces.
Besides the debris that needs clearing, flat roofs also allow water, ice, and snow to accumulate more easily. This can easily lead to leaks and damage to the underlying materials if proper drainage is not maintained. Not only does the roof need openings on the sides so water flows away from the house, but it also needs someone to climb up and clear off any debris blocking them.
In regions with a lot of snow fall or ice, accumulation will be much greater on a flat roof. If this is excessive, total collapse could happen. Structural integrity must be maintained and checked regularly. You still might have to climb up there and shovel the roof if things get bad.
As you decide whether to build or renovate your house with a flat or sloped roof, take all the pros and cons into consideration. Saving money at the start may lead to more expenses and headaches down the road. However, if you have a quality maintenance plan in place and the finances for reseal and repairs, flat roofs may be a great option.
We are a family operated business that specializes in roof repair, conversions, over layment and replacements. We take pride in the services that we provide and make sure that all of our customers are satisfied before the project is complete.