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Pros and Cons of Switching to a Flat Roof

Flat roofs are common on commercial buildings and multi-unit dwellings, but more and more homeowners are choosing flat roofs. If you believe a flat roof would complement your home, check out these advantages and disadvantages of having a flat roof.

Pro: They Are Affordable

Installing a new roof isn’t cheap, but it is a great investment in your home. Of course, that doesn’t mean you want to spend a fortune. Luckily, flat roofs are often more affordable than sloped roofs One major reason for the cost difference is the total area. The slope adds to the total area, so you need more material to cover the roof.

A typical new sloped asphalt roof may cost you up to $8,400 or more, depending on the total size, and asphalt is one of the cheaper roofing materials. Slate can cost as much as $120,000. A flat roof, however, only costs about $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot, so a 30-by-30-foot roof would cost about $2,250 to $4,000.

Pro: They Make Maintenance Easier

Any roof you choose needs regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. Usually, this involves removing debris, which may scratch or damage the roof. Debris can also prevent proper drainage, which allows water to pool. You’ll need to occasionally check and repair damaged shingles, flashing, and other roof elements

Depending on how sloped your roof is (and how high off the ground it is), maintaining a sloped roof can be dangerous. One wrong step, and you could easily fall. With a flat roof, however, you get an even platform on which to work, and in some cases, the roof may have a small ledge around it to further protect you from falls.

Con: They Require Great Drainage

Roofs take on a lot of water, and if that water has no place to properly drain, it can ruin your roof and other parts of your home. With a sloped roof, ensuring proper drainage often involves cleaning the gutters. However, many flat roofs don’t only rely on traditional gutters, and if you fail to keep the drainage system working, the water can’t slide off the roof because there is no slope.

The water will continue to pool on the roof, increasing the risk of decay and leaks, and adding excess weight to your roof. If the structure can’t support the added weight, it could collapse. For your flat roof, you’ll want a great drainage system that consists of interior drains, gutters, and scuppers to direct water away from the home.

Con: They Have Few Options

Man people shy away from flat roofs because they aren’t always the most attractive option. With sloped roofs, you can choose unique shingles or beautiful slate, which adds to the beauty of the home. With a flat roof, even if you can see the top of the roof, the material options are limited to rolled roofing, such as rubber, TPO, and EPDM.

Similarly, a flat roof doesn’t always look great on every home. For example, a modern home may look exceptional, but adding a flat roof to an old Victorian home would ruin the aesthetic. If you believe a flat roof will suit your home, it can be a great way to store unsightly equipment, such as your HVAC system.

A flat roof isn’t right for everyone or every home, but if your home is more modern or has a unique style, a flat roof may be a great way to enhance its beauty. Flat roofs are affordable, but the drainage system requires a lot of attention to prevent flooding on the roof or pooling around the foundation of the home. For more information, contact us at Landmark Roofing today.