Is A Flat Roof The Right Option For My Home?

When you imagine a flat roof, a commercial building or sleek modern home may come to mind. Flat roofs over the years have gained popularity and for a good reason. Now you might think to yourself, but is it right for me? We understand that homes are a tremendous investment, and it takes time to decide.

A flat roof can be added to your home, most commonly on new builds or if you’re adding an extension or garage. Alternatively, you might be on the fence about purchasing a home with a flat roof system. When it comes to flat roofs in Calgary, keep these advantages and disadvantages in mind.

Flat Roofing Material Options

When you contact a flat roofing specialist, they will go over the material options for your home. There are five main types of flat roofs, each with their unique advantages and qualities.
• EPDM Roofing AKA EPDM Rubber Roofing
• TPO Roofing
• Modified Bitumen Roof (asphalt)
• Built-Up Roof Materials (BUR)
• PVC Roof Single-Ply Membrane

Consider which option is right for you when you imagine your roof’s function, purpose, and overall vision. A roofing and exteriors specialist will be there to help you choose the best material for you.


When examining flat roofs as a whole, there are four primary reasons homeowners choose this style for their roof.

More Affordable

Flat roof installation is generally more affordable than a sloped or pitched option because there are fewer materials to work with. Compared to a pitched roof, the installation process will also be faster.

Added Outdoor Living Space

If you have ever wanted a rooftop patio or garden, a flat roof will be just what you need. Homeowners enjoy having extra outdoor living space to use as they please. After a long day, you can escape to your rooftop patio for some relaxation.

Solar Panel Installation

Flat roofs are ideal for those looking to install solar panels. While pitched roofs can support solar panels, a flat roof enables design flexibility and optimal panel use. Alberta has the highest number of sunny days in Canada, making solar energy worth investing in.

Easier Repairs

Because it is flat, repair work is much easier to do. With a pitched roof, many feel uneasy going up to complete any necessary repairs. A flat roof is much more accessible, and you can spot damage more easily. Cleaning the gutters also becomes an easier job.

Disadvantages Of A Flat Roof

Nothing is perfect. Flat roofs aren’t for everybody. Here are three potential disadvantages to keep in mind when making your decision.

Shorter Lifespan

Compared to a traditional pitched roof, a flat system has a shorter lifespan. Depending on how well you maintain it and the material used, a flat roof has an average lifespan of 10-25 years. A typical roof with asphalt shingles has a lifespan of over 25 years.

Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, a flat roof cannot outlive most pitched roof materials like concrete, metal, or clay. A shorter lifespan can also affect the overall value of your house. When it is time to sell your home, how good the roof’s condition is will affect potential buyer interest.

Not As Customizable

If you enjoy the designing and customizing process, a flat roof might not be for you. Pitched roofs have more options regarding style and colour. You could have a clay tile roof in a sage green colour or asphalt shingles in a charcoal grey. Flat roofs typically come in neutral colours, and there aren’t many style options.

More Maintenance

As mentioned in the advantages, a flat roof is easier to access. However, you may come across problems you don’t get with a pitched roof. One problem is with potential drainage issues. Make sure your roofing contractor goes over the drainage system with you.
When properly installed, you shouldn’t have to worry about improper drainage causing further damage to your home. It is also important to check and clean your drains. If not, debris can clog it leaving rain or snow with nowhere to go. Compared to other provinces, Alberta gets less rain on average, but it is still a good idea to perform regular inspections.

Another potential maintenance problem is with snow. Alberta is no stranger to winter, and unlike pitched or sloped roofs, snow will pile up onto a flat roof. A properly installed roof with the right materials should be able to withstand added weight.
After a snowfall, you may want to go up and shovel some of it off. This will prevent the snow from potentially weakening the waterproof seal and causing damage to your home.

Your home is an investment, and roofing companies are here to help. When you get in touch with a certified team, they will answer questions to help you find the right option for you.