The Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing Systems

There are many reasons to consider a flat roofing system, not least of all because they are the most affordable option. This controversial roofing system has advantages, including storm resistance and repairability, but there are disadvantages to consider, such as lack of drainage and a limited selection of building materials. Let’s look at why you should consider this roofing system.

The Advantages of Flat Roofing Systems

There are several advantages to using a flat roofing system over a sloped shingle or tile roof. Here are some to consider.

More Space

A flat roof means more space to place equipment such as AC units or even potentially gardens and living space. This is popular in more arid regions where rain and storms aren’t a concern.

Easy Construction

A flat roof is the easiest kind to install in addition to having the cheapest variety of insulation. This means the project can be completed quickly, saving you time and money. This means there is little chance of problems arising during construction.

More Durable

Flat roofing is more durable than other types of roofing. This kind of roofing is highly water-resistant, so when properly installed and maintained, this type of roofing is highly resistant to water damage.

This is further benefited by a flat roof’s low wind resistance. During storm conditions, a flat roof can hold up to wind and rain far better than a sloped roof. This is especially true with concrete flat roofing systems.

Easier Repairs

When problems do arise, flat roofing systems are just as easy to repair as they are to install. It is easy and affordable to access and recoat or replace these systems compared to other sloped styles of roofing. This takes the stress out of periodic roof maintenance.

Easy Cleaning

It’s important to keep any roofing free of mold and algae, which can hold debris. A flat roof makes it easy to reach and navigate your roof for cleaning. Because of this, you can make it particularly easy by using a pressure washer to carefully clean and remove debris. This is particularly good for concrete roofing systems where damage from high water pressure is less of a concern.

The Disadvantages of Flat Roofing

There are several positive points to using a flat roof, but there is a reason these roofing systems are controversial. So, let’s take a look at the cons of a flat roofing system now.

Poor Drainage

This is likely the largest disadvantage of this type of roofing and means it is important to check the roof regularly. Due to the lack of slope, snow and water can puddle, causing accelerated mold and algae buildup as well as damage to the roofing system. You will need to regularly ensure puddling is removed and apply a waterproof sealant to prevent leaks.

Faster Buildup of Debris

With sloped roofs, gravity naturally causes debris to slide off, but with flat roofs, these can easily clog drains preventing proper drainage. Again this means regular drainage checks are a must.

Limited Selection of Materials

Flat roofing systems typically use rolled materials such as TPO, rubber, EPDM, and bitumen. These are inexpensive, but they are generally limited to a lifespan of only 10-15 years. There are a few more expensive alternatives, such as rubber shingles on rolled rubber. However, these have a less proven lifespan than other roofing options.

Final Thoughts

Flat roofing systems are a controversial roofing system; however, that isn’t a reason to reject them outright. This roofing system can offer your home or business more space for equipment and enjoyment as well as storm resistance and cheaper installation and maintenance. However, it is important to consider the need for more frequent checks to ensure there are no clogs as well as a potentially shorter lifespan.

Contact Us

For more information on flat roofing systems, ask the experts, North Shore Roofing. With 30 years of experience in the roofing industry, our team of certified roofers can help you to choose the system that’s right for you. Call us at (978) 977-3816 or connect with us on Facebook.