Considering A Flat Roof?

Factors to take into account as you make your plans

Although not common for homes, flat roofs play a big part of other structures, such as outbuildings, garages, warehouses and storage buildings. You may also be considering a flat roof for your extension, porch or terrace.

Whatever your reasons for considering a flat roof, there are several factors to take into account as you make your plans.

Why Choose a Flat Roof?

There are several benefits to installing a flat roof, including:

  • Cost – because less materials and labour are needed to construct a flat roof, it is generally a cost-effective solution.

  • Space saving – flat roofs need less space, so are a good choice where room is at a premium. It also means no space is lost in the room below; the whole area is fully utilised.

  • Durability – a well-constructed flat roof has a life span of 20-40+ years, depending on the materials used.

  • Accessibility – flat roofs are easy to access, meaning jobs such as fixing or cleaning gutters are relatively straightforward.

  • Wind resistance – there is nothing worse on a stormy night listening to a rattling tile! This issue is negated with a flat roof, as well as having the advantage of offering less resistance to wind compared to a pitched roof.

What Can a Flat Roof Be Made Of?

With several materials to choose from, your choice of flat roof is often determined by the suitability to the project. Common types of flat roof include:

  • Asphalt – mastic asphalt is applied hot, which means it forms a continuous waterproof cover. It is also easy to work around any roof fittings, such as roof lights and pipe work. Another benefit is that it can be laid on many different materials, such as timber, metal or concrete. It can also be used as the waterproofing layer beneath green roofs, being root resistant. Not only that, but it can be applied in different designs, making it aesthetically pleasing.

  • Bitumen (felt) – applied in a three-layer system including a vapour control, a reinforced felt layer and a cap sheet. These are welded together with a hot flame. These are practical roofs, rather than aesthetic, and often used on outbuildings. They expand and contract well, making them a great choice in areas that see a range of different weather conditions. Although easy to repair, the patches are usually fairly visible.

  • Fluid – liquid roofing systems are growing in popularity. Cold liquid is poured on the roof; with no heat involved it is a safe option. Materials can include polyester and polyurethane, PMMA and fibre glass reinforces systems, all offering a seamless waterproofing option. These roofs are quick to apply, with high elasticity.

  • Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) – also known as fibreglass roofing, this option is durable and lightweight, cost effective and weatherproof, with a pleasing finish. Great for smaller projects, it does need to be installed on a dry day.

  • EPDM (rubber) – this is one of the more expensive flat roofs, but has a list of benefits such as durability, flexibility, cheap to repair, and weather proof. It’s single ply, making it light weight and easy to install.

The flat roof you choose will depend on the space you have available, where the structure is situated, visibility, and budget available.

If you are not sure what the right option for your project is, speak to one of our experienced roofers and get some expert advice.

Posted on 24 February 2017 in Roofing, News and tagged roofers, london roofing, flat roof.
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