When choosing the right house, you want to build a roof is one of the most important decisions you make. In the architectural world, there are various types of roofing structures, and flat roofs are some of the most common. Apart from being aesthetically unique, they also have some pros over other kinds of roofs. If you are considering building a flat roof on your house, here is a guide with all you need to know.
Defining A Flat Roof: What are They?
Unlike the name, the roofs are not exactly flat. In fact, they are a little slanted to ensure the water flows off of them. A flat roof generally slants at a 1–10-degree pitch or a quarter of an inch per foot. Without the slope or the pitch, the water will form puddles on the roof that can seep in and cause some bad water damage. Essentially, you need the water to flow off into your gutters and into your drainage system.
In the commercial world, it is known as the low slope and they are mostly used for numerous commercial buildings because they are easy to install over large-scale properties. Modern homes looking for a specific style of design also incorporate the flat roof.
How A Flat Roof is Applied
Generally, this roofing type is applied by having an initial layer of roofing felt mopped overtop. The process is repeated two, three, or four times depending on where the location of the building. More layers are used for places where the weather switches up a lot.
For the repair or the replacement of these roofs, a qualified roofing Austin company will peel off the plies on the area with damage and reapply some of the original materials or use others like roofing cement to fix up anything from dents to cracks and leaking areas.
Types of Flat Roofing for Homes and Buildings
Built-Up Type (BUR)
This type is one, if not the oldest type of roofing in this field. It is mostly used for industrial buildings
Single Ply Membrane Roofing
These are some of the best choices for areas prone to water damage, they are as watertight as they come. They will have you digging a little deeper into your pocket but are worth it. When we say expensive, it is about 20% of what all the other roofs will cost you. The roofs vary in thickness, from 45 to 90 millimeters. Since only one layer is required, some sophisticated equipment might be used to install it. You do not have to fuss over it though because a certified roofing Austin company will help with the installation.
Liquid or Spray on Roofing
It may sound like something from a science fiction movie, spray-on roofing, but it is very much a thing. Popular in North America, this type of roofing is easy to apply, it is waterproof is reflective of the sun. Because it is a liquid, it is seamless and aesthetically pleasing. An experienced contractor can help navigate this roofing type easily during installation and repair.
This is also known as Polymer Modified Bituminous Materials) and is popular in many instances because of how waterproof it has proved to be. The waterproof aspect is often a polymer like a styrene-butadiene-styrene that is added on top of the rolled fiberglass sheets or the polyester mats.
Thermoset Flat Roofing
In this type, there felt used is fiberglass and hot asphalt. The uppermost layer is topped with chipped rocks or gravel to help protect the asphalt from harmful UV rays, to make it fireproof, and to add some weight that will secure the membrane of the roofing system.
There are other options for this type of roofing including but not limited to thermoset that uses Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, Thermoplastic made of polyvinyl chloride, metal, and more.
Considerations When Getting A Flat Roof
You might ask yourself if the roofs are more expensive or harder to maintain considering that they are mostly used to build industrial buildings. There is also the question of maintenance because many assume it holds more work than the other kinds of roofs. Other considerations for a flat roof include;
The actual size of many buildings considered large scale is actually large, so getting a steep roof is not practical. One of the reasons why some of the factors to consider before considering the roof is that some of the locations have restrictions about building heights. If you are building a multi-family home, then the way to go is with a flat roof.
The Additional Space
If you live in an urban area, then you may have noticed that buildings with flat roofs often have refrigeration and air conditioning units outside. This leaves a lot more room for interior decor or anything else inside the house.
Inspection and Maintenance
Due to their liability, large-scale buildings often have regular inspection and maintenance. If an issue arose, it would be easier to inspect and fix up a flat roof, but people still prefer a pitched roof.
How About Energy Efficiency?
Like many other roofs, energy efficiency largely depends on the materials used to build it up. With a flat roof, some realtors say they have saved up to forty percent in energy. If you are looking into increasing your energy efficiency, you might want to look into using APP (Atactic polypropylene).
It Has Been Tested by Time
A flat roof has been an architectural design that has been around for ages, literally. They have held on for decades and decades in many of the houses where they were first installed.
It an affordable than some types of roofing
Because it has been used for decades, it is one of the affordable options people in some areas can get. The upgrade from traditional roofing materials to more recyclable ones also leaves room for sustainability and environmental conservation.
Going for an Aesthetic?
It's no secret that a flat roof is more aesthetically pleasing than its pitched counterparts. If you want to take the cosmetic value of your house a notch higher, then the way to go is the flat way. You can be assured people will look twice, some with their cameras.
Drawbacks Associated With A Flat Roof
These factors can also work as advantages if you look at them in a certain light. However, like any other aspect of construction, there are reasons why people select other types of roofing over flat ones. Let's look at the downside of getting a flat roof for your house.
You Only Have A Few Materials To Choose From
Like most of the other roof types, there are many types of materials to choose from. However, they do not last as long as the shingles because typically you cannot roll shingles to fit the shape of a flat roof. Shingled pitched roofs last at least 15 years, with some pushing it as far as 20. A flat roof on the other hand only lasts as long as 10 years for the old materials. Thanks to new design technologies and the incorporation of polycarbonate, the roofs can have an extended life to match the other type of roofs.
They are Prone to Getting Water Damage
All roofs are prone to getting water damage if they are installed wrong, As mentioned above, flat roofs are anything but flat. The angles on it are great for getting rid of runway and unless the contractor does a shoddy job, water damage should not be something that causes you sleepless nights. Like you would any other roof, carry out routine maintenance and have it inspected before major weather changes.
They are a headache to replace
Roof replacement is not just expensive, it is labor-intensive as well. A flat roof is top of the most tasking roofs to replace thanks to the amount of time and energy it takes to peel back layer after layer of the material. The case is worse in aged traditional roofs because they tend to stick together. With the new improved technologies that have improved waterproofing and reduced half the bulk required before. If the house of your dreams has a flat roof, do not be afraid to move in because you are afraid of remodeling the flat roof. Experts like Up on A Roof will be with you every step of the way.
Taking Care of Your Flat Roof
Good care of your roof can help extend its shelf life and keep you safe. This applies to all roofing types. Ensure to clean the gutters when you have time, contact a contractor whenever you notice a problem you cannot fix, and avoid doing any DIY fixtures you are not familiar with. The videos may promise magic fixing tips but if you have no experience, you might end up paying a lot in repairs. Keep a record of all the repairs done so you can know when to schedule another and the materials to use in case you change contractors. This will go a long way in maintaining the best shape and state of your roof.