As the name suggests, flat roofs appear to be completely flat with no pitch. However, they do have a slight pitch to allow for water run-off and drainage.
These roofs are generally used on industrial or commercial buildings. However, they can also be installed on residential houses in both high and low rainfall areas.
Most people don’t consider the amount of available outdoor living space a flat roof can provide. So, don’t completely dismiss them when building a new home!
Pros: Extra living space on the roof for a patio, garden or partially enclose for a penthouse room. Heating and cooling units can also be placed on flat roofs, keeping them out of sight. – This is especially common practice in commercial roof designs.
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The design is also conducive for installing PV solar panels for a more energy efficient and energy independent home.
Flat roofs are easier to construct than pitched roofs and require fewer building materials, keeping costs down.
Cons: The low pitch makes flat roofs more susceptible to water leakage. They are not advised for high rainfall or high snowfall areas.
Although the upfront cost of building a flat roof is less expensive than a pitched roof, they can be more expensive in the long run due to maintenance and ongoing roof repair and replacement costs.
Suggested Materials: Ensuring a flat roof is waterproof is imperative. Using material that is continuous with no seams is the best. The most common materials used are tar and gravel, roll roofing, metal sheets, PVC, TPO, and rubber membrane.
Note: Green roofs are also on the rise in popularity. They are aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient, thanks to all the vegetation acting as an additional layer of insulation, with cooling properties, and help combat the urban heat island effect. Layers are created using beneficial plant life, soil, drainage, and waterproofing membrane.
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