Sloped roofing is the most common choice for residential roofing projects in Littleton. This traditional roof style undeniably presents several benefits to homeowners. However, if you own a commercial building or are seeking a modern twist for your home’s roofing system, a flat roof is an option to consider.
Like any roof design, a flat roof presents both pros and cons. Below, we’ll define flat roofing, then discuss the main benefits and drawbacks of a flat roofing system in Littleton.
What is a Flat Roof?
First off, let’s cover the definition of a flat roof. Contrary to what you may assume, a flat roof isn’t completely flat. While a flat roof looks perfectly flat to most, it actually has a slight slope. ¼ inch is the minimum slope for a flat roofing system.
The slope of a roof exhibits the angle of its rise in relationship to its run. The rise of your roof is how much it changes vertically per unit of horizontal distance. The run is the horizontal distance from the edge of your roof to the point right below the middle of its ridge.
Why is Slope Important in Flat Roofing?
A degree of slope is important for all roofing systems to produce runoff. This means that when it rains, water won’t collect and pool on your roof. Instead, it will run to the edges of your roof and fall into your gutter system. When water sits on your roof for an extended period of time, it will cause the roofing materials to deteriorate and may even create water damage within your home.
The Pros of Flat Roofing
Flat roofing offers numerous benefits for commercial and residential applications. These key benefits include:
- Additional space
One surprising benefit of flat roofing is that it can provide extra space for both business and homeowners to utilize. Since a flat roof can be safely walked on, it may be used as a social gathering place, or as a spot to station an outdoor air conditioner unit. Especially in areas where square footage is a precious commodity, the extra space provided by a flat roof can be put to good use.
- Safe, convenient maintenance
Again, given the ease of walking on a flat roof, maintenance is far more convenient for a flat roof than for a sloped roof. Routine inspections and basic roof repairs can be completed quickly and easily on a flat roofing system.
- Lower installation costs
Flat roofs are more affordable to install than sloped roofs. Flat roofing materials are less expensive, as is the labor required for installation. Lower labor costs are attributed to the ease and speed of installing a flat roof. So, all in all, you can save money by opting for a flat roof.
- Boosted energy efficiency
With flat roofing, less air circulation moves through the roof and attic. This prevents air from the outside from reaching the interior of your home. Your HVAC system may work more efficiently when less air from the outside comes in through your roof.
The Cons of Flat Roofing
While the benefits of flat roofing are significant, there are also some drawbacks to consider.
- Higher maintenance needs
Flat roofs are in fact easier to maintain than sloped roofs, but that comes along with higher maintenance needs. Flat roofs are inherently less stable than sloped roofs, meaning that your installer will need to compensate in other areas during construction to keep the structure strong. Additionally, debris tends to accumulate more frequently on flat roofs, meaning that frequent cleanings will be required to keep a flat roof in peak condition.
- Higher risk of leakage
Water is more likely to accumulate on a flat roof, which heightens the risk for leakage. Since water can’t drain as effectively from a flat roof, it may pool on the roof and eventually create a leak.
- More susceptible to temperature changes
Flat roofing provides less available space to install insulation. This makes it more likely that a flat roof will experience extreme shifts in temperature. These temperature changes can impact your attic and, in some cases, your home’s living spaces.
To learn more about flat roofing for your Littleton property, contact our expert Littleton roofing team today.