Pros & Cons: Are Flat Roofs The Right Option?

Flat roofs are a popular option for many homes and businesses. They are easy to install, cost less to maintain, and can be designed in various ways.

However, flat roofs also have potential drawbacks, such as an increased risk of leaking and the need for regular inspections to keep them in good condition.

This article will explore the pros and cons of flat roofs and help you determine if this type of roofing is the right choice for your home.

We will also discuss the various flat roofing material options available and the benefits of a flat roof, including added outdoor living space, the possibility of solar panel installation, and easier repairs!

Is a Flat Roof the Right Option for My Home?

If you’ve been considering a flat roof for your home, there are pros and cons that you should consider carefully.

On the positive side, choosing a flat roof reduces the cost of materials and labor since it requires less work to install than a sloped or peaked roof.

Additionally, it can be easier to walk on (for repairs or installation of solar panels) as there are no edges to worry about stepping over or slipping off.

However, one of the main drawbacks of choosing a flat roof is that they require much more maintenance due to drainage issues.

Without regular inspections and keeping up with repairs, water can build up and cause immense damage. So if you decide that a flat roof is the right choice for your home, make sure to factor in an increased maintenance budget.

Flat Roofing Material to Consider:

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 unique advantages and qualities:

  • Built-Up Roof Materials (Bur)
  • Epdm Roofing (Aka Epdm Rubber Roofing)
  • Modified Bitumen Roof (Asphalt)
  • Pvc Roof Single-Ply Membrane
  • Tpo Roofing

Deciding between traditional shingle roofing or metal roofing can be hard, but a roofing specialist can help you find the best option.

Metal roofing reflects the sun and has a classic look, while shingle roofing may fit your budget and style better.

Reach out to an expert who can help you choose the right material for your home!

Advantages of a Flat Roof:

When examining flat roofs, there are four primary reasons homeowners choose this style:

More Affordable

Flat roofs are cheaper to install than sloped or pitched roofs because they use fewer materials.

Flat roofs also take less time and labor to build. This can help save on construction costs. Flat roofs are easier to maintain because they don’t have a complicated structure like other roofs.

Well-installed roofing is a better insulator than roofs that are too old. If you install a new flat roof, you are more likely to save money on heating and cooling during the year!

Flat roofing can be made out of many different materials, so homeowners can choose the one that fits their budget.

Overall, flat roofs offer good value for money and are a good choice for anyone looking to save on roof installation costs.

Added Outdoor Living Space

A flat roof might be a smart option if you want added outdoor living!

A flat roof is a good choice for making a rooftop patio or garden because it provides a stable, level surface that’s easy to get to.

There are many benefits to having a rooftop patio or garden. Whether you use it for a balcony or a deck, a rooftop garden is a great way to get out into nature without leaving home.

A rooftop patio also lets you take advantage of natural light and fresh air, which can be especially nice in urban areas where outdoor space is limited.

Another advantage of a flat roof is that you can use it for more than just a patio or garden. You can also use it for entertaining, sunbathing, or just relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

With creativity and basic DIY skills, you can turn a flat roof into a functional and enjoyable outdoor space that you and your family can enjoy for years!

Solar Panel Installation

Flat roofs are an excellent choice for installing solar panels because they provide a stable, level surface ideal for supporting them.

Flat roofs are also easier for maintenance workers to climb on, making installation and maintenance more straightforward and cost-effective.

Because flat roofs have a uniform surface, you can arrange the panels however you want to maximize their efficiency and output.

This can be particularly useful if you have limited roof space or are trying to minimize the visual impact of the panels.

Because the panels are level with a flat roof, they are more exposed to direct sunlight, which can increase their efficiency.

This can be especially beneficial in Alberta, which has the highest number of sunny days in Canada, making it an excellent location for solar energy.

Easier Repairs

Because they are safer to climb and easier to maneuver, flat roofs are easier to repair.

They also take less time to repair than other roofing, which requires more inspection.

For example, flat roofs usually have just a single layer of waterproofing membrane, meaning it’s easier for contractors to identify problem areas quickly and access them more easily.

On the other hand, sloped roofs may have several layers like shingles, underlayment, and flashing, making them more challenging to locate and access due to the complexity of their design.

Meanwhile, the large paneling and sheet components commonly used in flat roof designs make it easy for professionals to replace problem areas without having to completely redo the entire structure.

Furthermore, this allows them to complete repairs much faster as they won’t need as much time or materials as they would on a pitched roof.

Disadvantages of a Flat Roof:

Here are three potential disadvantages to keep in mind when making your decision:

Shorter Lifespan

Flat roofing has a shorter lifespan than pitched roofs. Mostly, this is because they are likely to leak more.

However, if you maintain it and use high-quality materials, a flat roof has an average lifespan of 10-25 years. More traditional roofs with asphalt shingles have a lifespan of over 25 years.

Keep in mind that, even with regular cleaning and maintenance, a flat roof cannot outlive most pitched roof materials like concrete, metal, or clay.

Also, remember that a roof with a shorter lifespan may 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.

If you live in Calgary, it’s also important to consider the local climate when deciding on a flat roof.

Flat roofs may be more likely to leak and have other problems in areas with heavy snowfall, so your flat roof may not last as long in wetter, colder climates!

Not As Customizable

Flat roofs are typically limited in terms of style and color options.

You’ll likely have to choose from neutrals such as gray, white, or black. This means that it may be more challenging to find a roofing material that fits your home’s style.

If you are looking for something flashy and eye-catching, a flat roof probably isn’t for you, especially since you can barely see the roof from the ground, anyway!

Although you might miss out on some of the customization options available with other types of roofs, having a flat roof could still work well with certain designs and styles.

For example, turning the upper floors into a balcony or rooftop garden can make up for a boring roof color or design.

Regular Inspections Required

Even though Alberta doesn’t get as much rain as other provinces, it’s still a good idea to do regular inspections.

Getting your flat roof regularly inspected is important to ensure it is in good condition and to identify and fix any issues before they become more serious and costly.

Flat roofs have a higher risk of leaking and can be more prone to certain types of damage, so it is important to catch problems early.

Regular inspections can help you extend the lifespan of your flat roof and protect your home from water damage.

It is generally recommended to have your flat roof inspected at least once a year or more frequently if you have noticed any issues or if the roof is older.