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Choosing Between Flat Roofing and Sloped Roofing

When choosing houses, one of the most important things to consider is a house’s functional design. And though most people take it for granted, one of the biggest influences on functional design is the home's exterior. The most basic purpose of a roof is to provide protection against the elements. Does a flat roof do just as well as a sloped roof?

What is a flat roof?

First of all, all home exteriors have a slope. Even flat exteriors. All roofs need to be sloped so that water can drain properly. Pooling water will always lead to damage. Flat roofs have a low slope and use membrane systems as roof covering. Membrane systems provide extra protection against leaks even with standing water present. There are various kinds of membrane systems to choose from. Note: Flat roofs do not use shingles.

The downsides of a flat roof

Just as with all roofs, the quality is only as good as the installation. With that in mind, you need to find a very good roofer to install flat roofs. Flat roofs are harder to install and are more vulnerable to leaks if not installed right. Along with being harder to install, flat roofs tend to have a shorter life span and are usually more expensive.

The advantages of a flat roof

You can stand on it. The best flat roofing lets you use the exterior in ways you could never accomplish with a sloped roof. This provides all kinds of opportunities limited only by your imagination. Flat roofing also tend to have big overhangs and this comes with all kinds of benefits but its biggest advantage definitely lies in its reduced maintenance costs on your overall roof.

The exterior in general will be harder to maintain than a sloped roof but you’ll also have better interior lighting and much lower maintenance concerns on the siding and windows. A pitched roof does not typically have overhangs so you will factor in the costs of exterior maintenance with that type of roof. Overall, the maintenance costs of a flat roof is much less than that of a sloped roof.

The advantages of a pitched roof

These are cheaper and easier to install and more roofers will be capable of installing it right. They have longer life spans and, over recent years, are available in more designs than ever. Shingles are a lot easier to install over membranes, hence their cheaper price.

If maintenance is a concern, a good rule to remember is that the simpler your roof, the easier it is to maintain. A roof with complex lines and multiple intersecting plains are more susceptible to damage and will cost more to install or repair. Finally, there is no doubt that pitched roofing mean less storm damage.

The verdict

Take note of the functionality of the house you choose. Being the kings and queens of your roof will depend entirely on your lifestyle and your preferences. Be sure to consider the upsides and downsides of the roof. If you want something low maintenance, look for a simple basic roof.

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