Gone are the days when roofs for buildings used to be made from easily available materials like thatch or straw. These days, the best of technology and latest advances combine to make roofs durable and more resilient in nature. Although it’s easy to think that a roof is not as important as the main structure of the building itself; that is a mistake because a good roof will help protect from the elements and last for years to come. There are different roof types with unique characteristics such as a gable (which is triangular in shape), a mansard (found in many French houses), a shed (which allows rain or snow to run off easily) or even roofs with a combination of two or more designs. The materials used to make roofs are sturdier in nature and are designed to look natural yet stylish. Slate, concrete tiles and even metal are some of the most common options today.
Features of a Flat Roof
A flat roof is almost perfectly horizontal in design but usually has a slight slope so that snow and water can drain off easily. They are very easy to build and have been around for centuries. Initially, gravel and tar were used to contain leakages caused by stagnant water which accumulated on the roof. This kind of roof posed a bigger problem in cold climates as most owners had to deal with small collected pools of water, which invariably caused terrible leakages. These days, flat roofs are made from various materials which are usually a combination of synthetic rubber and polymers. They suit residential buildings better in comparison to commercial buildings, as they can become unstable when the size of the building is considerable. They also tend to be sensitive to large amounts of activity as they may develop cracks easily.
The Pros and the Cons
Unlike most other roofs which are not really cost-effective, flat roofs help minimize installation time, last longer, are easier to maintain, are inexpensive and have been proven to handle weather fluctuations extremely well. In addition, these roofs offer certain flexibility and are easier to clean than a sloping roof. If you would prefer to add a few decorative finishes or even a terrace garden, you can do that with a flat roof. Installing one is also believed to increase the value of your home. On the other hand, all buildings are not suitable for a flat roof and most coatings for these roofs may not be long lasting either. In this context, these roofs may require periodic maintenance to extend the life of the roof itself. The best way to find out if your home or commercial building is ideal for a flat roof is to consult your architect or a roofing expert for advice.