In the construction industry, there are a variety of roof types to choose from depending on your needs. One common type of roof is the flat roof. A flat roof is a roof that is essentially level with the ground or has a very slight slope (maximum of 10 degrees). Flat roofs are common in warmer climates, with little precipitation. There are a variety of flat roofing materials available, including asphalt, metal, and concrete. Many modern commercial buildings adopt this type of roof. Here are some must-know pros and cons of flat roofs:
Pros: Here are a few advantages of using a flat roof.
Cost; Flat roofs cost relatively less to design and install. This is because, in addition to having a simple design, the roof requires less material and occupies less space compared to an inclined roof. This makes it relatively cheaper to install compared to other roof types like the heaped or cable which require a lot more material in terms of roof cover and timber to design the trusses.
Versatility; A flat roof can easily be improvised into a useful space. In addition to serving the function of a roof, they can be used as a patio, garden, or relaxation area among others. Flat roofs can also be used to install solar panels or wind turbines, which can help you save money on your energy bills. This expands the utility of a flat roof passed the conventional function into other forms of utility.
Installation ease; A flat roof is easy to install compared to the other types of roofs. It doesn’t require a complex configuration of ties and struts. Owing to this, its design and implementation are quick and easy. This translates into less labor needed, simpler designs, and a quickened construction process.
Ease of access for maintenance; A flat roof is easy to maintain. This is because it is easily accessible for cleaning and maintenance. One can easily access it with a ladder and can easily walk on it while going through cleaning and maintenance routines. One can easily scarp off the algae, sweep off the debris, and any other foreign substances like bird fecal matter.
Solar panel installation; Flat roofs are ideal for the installation of solar panels. This is because it offers a flat platform on which the panels can be settled. This implies that there is no need for special anchoring tools to hold the panels in place or the risk of the panels falling. Panels placed on a flat roof are always facing up which implies that they are always facing the sun thus maximizing their exposure to sunlight thus generating maximum electricity.
Installing Heating Ventilation, and Air Conditioning; A flat roof is a platform for installing heating and air-conditioning equipment. The equipment can easily be placed without the need for special anchoring tools. It is more convenient compared to a sloping roof on which you can easily place an Airconditioning unit.
Cons: Despite the pros, these roofs come with a few downsides.
Drainage; Because the roof has very little or no slope, water can accumulate on the roof in case of precipitation. This may cause water to gather into puddles. Such puddles are dangerous to the structure of the roof because it compromises the strength of the roof materials. For example, it might cause the iron sheets to rust or concrete to become damp.
Aesthetics; Flat roofs are aesthetically unappealing because of their simplicity in design. This means a homeowner would have trade off looks for the convenience of a flat roof. Compared to other roof types like the heap and gable whose elegant roof cover is visible, the roof cover of a roof is always concealed and can only be visible from an aerial view. This means that no matter the effort put into beautifying the roof, it can’t easily be seen.
Durability; A flat roof is less durable. This is because, due to its flatness, it always has direct exposure to the weather elements; Sun rays are directly incident onto the roof cover as are the drops of rain that hit the roof cover. This implies that flat roofs undergo more wear and tear compared to other types of roofs.
In conclusion, flat roofs have both pros and cons that should be considered before deciding on whether or not to install one. Some of the key benefits of flat roofs include their low cost, easy installation, versatility, and ease of maintenance among others. However, they can also be susceptible to water damage, they are not as durable and aesthetically pleasing. A potential homeowner should thus consider all these aspects before making a final decision of whether to use the flat roof or not. This can be done by weighing the pros and cons, cognizant of the potential home owner’s objectives and preferences.