About Flat Roofs
Whether you are building a home from scratch or undertaking major renovation or extending your property, choosing the right roof is key. Your roof has to be functional and add to the aesthetics of your property. It is also important to understand the cost implications for acquiring the roofing material, installation, and maintenance. As the roof protects you and your property from weather elements careful consideration must go into choosing a roof. In this write-up we consider the difference between Flat and Pitched Roofs.
Flat Roofs are not completely 100% flat as they are installed at an angle so that rainwater can run off or be channelled to drains. They are constructed with a slight pitch that is estimated at 10◦ (degrees). Compared to sloped roofs they are mostly level. Flat roofs have been around for a while and were predominantly used in arid climates. They can also be used as living space or a living roof.
While choosing a flat roof, it is important to consider what outcomes you are expecting, the size of the roof, the type of weather and the labour required.
Flat roof options include:
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a rubber roofing system fitted without the need for joints. They are simple and safe to install without the need for naked flames, nails, or bolts. The rubber is glued to a clean roof decking using a wet adhesive and a stronger contact adhesive. If you are worried about expansion and contraction, then EPDM roofs are a better option to choose as they are lightweight, tough, and elastic. Lifespan is about 50 years.
GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) fiberglass roofing system is constructed from GRP Laminate. It is suitable for complex shapes as the material is cut to suit the roof. They do not require naked flames for installation. The laminate is applied, and the perimeter is finished with Cure It trims. Lifespan is about 50 years.
Traditional Roof Felt is a more old-fashioned flat roofing system. They are made from Bitumen and are reasonably priced. They provide a great waterproofing result. The installation process involves preparing the roof for the felt to be laid, laying the first underlay felt, lay the second underlay felt adding any gutter drips, laying the top bonded layer of felt and installing verge edge and edging to any flashing and vertical walls. A bitumen-based adhesive Is used to bond the roofing felt to various sources – metal, concrete, or timber.
Torch-on Felt is another bitumen-based roofing system that is combined with fiberglass underlay and plywood to create durable, reliable, and weathertight flat roofs. It can be applied to concrete, timber, and metal deck flat roofs.
Green Flat Roofs can fall into two categories either intensive or extensive. Intensive is a flat roof garden planted with a deep layer of soil while extensive consists of a thinner substrate and is more suitable as a finish for pitched structures. They consist of a layer of vegetation placed on a roof top.
Green Flat Roofs has lots of advantages as detailed below:
Advantages of Flat Roofs
The major disadvantage is that you cannot use flat roofs for a loft. In addition, they generally have a shorter life span compared to Pitched Roofs which could last much longer.