Flat Roofing – A Few Dos and Don’ts
Contrary to public perception, flat roofs do not necessarily have a much shorter life span as compared to its most popular rival, the pitched roof. However, flat roofs require a somewhat higher standard of maintenance regardless of the construction material used. However, the ever growing popularity of flat roofing is directly attributed to its cost effectiveness and lengthy duration of use with proper care. In fact, the experience of roofer shows that with adequate maintenance and the right selection of construction materials, flat roofs last just as long as pitched roofs if not longer.
Here are some pointers you should try to follow if you want your roof to last as long as your house. It is really not that difficult if you are regular. First and foremost, for long lasting flat roofing, a little time and effort is required for its upkeep after construction. Moreover, as per roofer, roofing has often proved to be a very difficult endeavor as even a small leak during construction can cause long term structural damage that can go undetected for years. Therefore, small things like using a covering or rubber membrane to create an angle for draining water, building a gutter, sweeping away debris & standing water, occasionally spreading gravel etc. can go a long way in extending the life-span of your roof.
Secondly, flat roofing usually requires a very different set of construction materials for roof building than what was used by roofer in the past. Some of these materials are fairly expensive, so select your materials only after evaluating their costs and benefits. Concrete or masonry built flat roofs are inexpensive and perfect for houses in relatively dry and cool climates. Meanwhile, a single-piece EPDM sheet is one of the most expensive materials used as roof coverings and definitely the most effective for guarding flat roofs against rainfall although it is a very difficult task to install one. Hence, rubber sheets are usually more commonly used even though they offer a somewhat lesser degree of protection.
Thirdly, do not compromise on the quality of construction materials even if it entails greater expenditure as it is likely to yield substantial cost savings in the long run. Flat roofing has shown that newer materials like modified bitumen, high-quality water resistant asphalt, and especially synthetic rubber have greatly reduced the long term maintenance related expenditure despite the relatively high initial investment cost. Although, hiring of roofer can be a costly affair at time this is not necessarily a bad thing in the long run. Nonetheless, flat-roofing is still much less expensive than pitched roofing.
For the most part, roofer is capable of both flat-roofing and pitched roofing. While each of them has its relative advantages and drawbacks, the fact remains that flat roofing is far more economical and more suited for houses with weak foundations. Additionally, it is just as long lasting as pitched roofing. The prevalence of flat roofing seems to indicate that a far greater number of people are gradually beginning to realize the advantages of installing a flat roof.