Modern architecture has introduced the flat roof as a sleek alternative to the traditional gable. However, the vast majority envisions flat roofs as only found on stores and garages. This guide aims to explain the hastily basic aspects of a flat roof.
Contrary to its name, a flat roof is not perfectly level with the ground. It has extremely low slopes (between 1/4″ to 1/2″ per foot) and as a result it does not shed water like a traditional pitched roof. The flat roof is designed to handle standing water for a limited time.
There are three main types of flat roofs:
- Modified Bitumen Roofing
- Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
- Membrane Roofing
Choosing any of these types depends on your construction budget and the roof joists type. The Membrane Roof is cheap to repair and eco-friendly, but requires an experienced flat roof repair contractor to install. The BUR is highly resistant to UV rays and requires minimal maintenance, however it is the heaviest of the three. Modified Bitumen Roofs are probably the best choice for a residential building.
Flat roofs are not designed to be terraces. Avoid walking on them, as it might damage the seams and cause leaks.
Perhaps the most important advantage of a flat roof is the ease and cheapness of the repairs and maintenance. If properly maintained, they rarely leak.