What To Know About Residential Flat Roofs

Written by Affordable Roofing and Guttars on . Posted in Home Renovations & Improvement Blog


While flat roofs are common for businesses, most homes have pitched roofs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install a flat roof on your home. If your home has a modern or unique design, a flat roof may be a great way to compliment your home’s style. However, flat roofs require a lot of great drainage to prevent issues, so check out these facts you should know.

They Are Inexpensive to Install

Getting a new roof is usually a costly investment, but with a flat roof you may be able to save money on installation. Many flat roofs use ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), which is a special membrane that coats and seals the flat roof.

On average, you may pay between $0.50 and $1.50 per square foot, but the price increases for professional installation, which you’ll want to ensure excellent sealing. If you try to install the membrane yourself, you may end up with costly damages or necessary repairs if water is allowed to penetrate the roof.

With sloped roofs, you usually need shingles or stakes to protect the roof. Asphalt is still one of the more popular choices because it is one of the more affordable options, but even asphalt roofs are more expensive than EPDM roofs, costing about $50 per 100 square feet. More expensive options, like slate, may cost closer to $300 to $600 per 100 square feet.

They Provide Extra Space

A pitched roof is kind of a waste of space because you can’t install anything on it or use it for an outdoor area. A flat roof, however, instantly becomes extra space you can incorporate. Some people use their flat roof to simply store large equipment, such as an exterior AC unit, solar panels, and satellites. A flat roof may provide better stability and better hide the equipment.

You can also turn the area into another outdoor space. If there is easy access to the roof, you may be able to install some furniture, such as an outdoor table and chairs. This can be especially beneficial if you have a small backyard.

Another popular option for flat roofs is to turn them into a roof top garden. This is an excellent idea if you don’t have much ground space, or if you want to keep your garden away from people and animals. The plants also absorb a lot of the water, which prevents it from reaching the roof.

They Can Be Damaged By Water

All roofs require maintenance to keep them working well, but flat roofs are prone to pool water if they aren’t properly maintained. This may happen if the roof has damage or a lot of debris. Blistering, cracks, and debris from trees or storms can prevent water from properly finding the right drain.

Another problem may be that your drainage system is clogged or inadequate. Many flat roofs have gutters, inner drains, and scuppers to remove the water. Gutters are cheap and better control the water, but they require a lot of cleaning to keep them working, and in the winter, they can freeze.

Inner drains are installed directly on the roof to give water a place to drain if it does start to pool. They are usually the most expensive option, but they don’t freeze in the winter. Last, scuppers are cheap and easy to maintain because they don’t usually get clogged. They also direct water away from the home, but not as well as gutters.

You can choose from many roofing options when it’s time to replace your roof, and flat roofs have many benefits over sloped roofs. Of course, a flat roof is only a good choice if you will properly maintain the roof and the drainage system. For more information about roofing materials, contact us at Affordable Roofing and Gutters today.

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