Roof Services

Top 3 Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing

flat roofThe definition of a Flat roof differs slightly from that of an Asphalt or clay roof. A Flat roof is when the entire roof surface is flat. This is typically not recommended for hot climates and should always be considered as an Alternative. Pitched/elevated roofs are generally a different story, where the roof has a slight tilt to it.


A typical Flat Roof may consist of two layers. The outer layer is usually made of asphalt; the second layer is composed of a concrete binder or other felt application, then gravel or tar applied to the flat-roofed home. In these types of homes, there may be several more layers of applications.


When properly installed, flat roofs can last for decades, with only a few maintenance visits needed. Often, a flat roof can offer energy savings as the flat roof reduces heat moving through the house. These types of roofs also provide the homeowner with a great-looking structure that makes their home stand out from the rest.


There are many different types of Flat Roofs, one of which is the modified bitumen /clay tile roof. This roofing material is often used in schools, assisted living facilities, and other large commercial structures. It consists of two layers. The bottom layer consists of either clay or sand particles that have been tightly packed together, then a layer of either gravel or tar is applied to the top of the layer to form the actual roof. This is a very durable roofing material and can withstand many heavy storms.


Another type of flat roofing product is the prefabricated InterPro Intellicore Pitched Roof. It is made up of a lightweight composite membrane with asphalt cladding on the lowest layer and concrete on the top layer. Because of the cladding, Intellicore doesn’t need to be reinforced, allowing for a lighter-weight product that is less expensive than other similar flat roofing materials. This type of product can also resist fire, termites, and rot, making it one of the most cost-effective Intellicore alternatives. It’s even available in a pre-formulated kit that makes installation much easier.


The final type of roofing product we’ll discuss today is the modified bitumen roofing system. The difference between the flat roof and this type of system is the type of gravel or tar used to form the roof. In this case, the gravel or tar is actually fitted into small holes that have been drilled all around the house. After the gravel or tar is inserted into the holes, metal gusses are used to seal the openings. The modified bitumen roofing system consists of a layer of asphalt that has been vaporized while the metal gutters are connected to the roofing system using metal hinges. When the gutters are open, water can drain off of the roof and settle at the base of the metal gusses, which in turn channels rainwater away from home.


The pros of this type of roofing product far outweigh the cons when compared to traditional types of roofing systems. The biggest pro is that because the roof is not constructed from standard materials, the roofing system is one that can withstand greater natural wear and tear. Because the built-up roofing is essentially a continuous layer on top of the existing roof, the risk of leaks, broken shingles, and damaged shingles is reduced significantly.


On the cons, Intellicore and the modified bitumen roofing systems are both susceptible to leaks if the conditions are right, although Intellicore has a better chance of being leakproof. Buried debris can be an issue, especially where flashing is not installed correctly, and gutter systems are not positioned properly. Installation costs are also higher with built-up roofing systems. However, because the installation process is quicker and less expensive than traditional methods, the cons of the system as a whole pale in comparison to the pros.