Residential Roofing and the Flat Roof

It’s often I hear from homeowners with flat roofs “flat roofs just leak” or “I ought to build a pitched roof above my flat roof to prevent leaks.”

As a flat roofer, I cringe when I hear these statements. The most valuable buildings in most communities have flat roofs; most businesses have flat roofs. Flat roofs are, in fact, the roof of choice for architects and engineers. So why would residential flat roofs be posing such a problem for homeowners?

One simple answer: Homeowners do not often get a quality flat roof installed according to manufacturer installation guidelines, nor are they installed by qualified craftsmen.

Why? Price and lousy advice from roofing salespeople who know little about flat roofing.

Commercial building owners rely on engineers to write specifications for the re-roof of their building. Furthermore, commercial building owners often require third-party inspectors to ensure quality materials and installation practices. This is where homeowners lose out. Most homeowners agree to “specifications” written for their flat roof by roofing salespeople who have never installed a roof or mostly deal with shingled roofs.

When Evans Roofing installs a shingled roof on a home with a small flat roof attached somewhere on the surface, I know the flat roof we installed will outlast and outperform the shingled roof.

The new materials available for flat roofs are real waterproofing sheets, when properly installed, do not leak, and resist ponding water. Ponding water has been a problem for asphalt-based flat roofing products for centuries. But today products like, TPO, PVC, and EPDM are not negatively affected by ponding water.

Do not fear your flat roof. Celebrate the architectural beauty that inspired your home’s design. Don’t make a design change to deal with a flat roof that can outperform any shingled roof on the market.

Thousands of commercial buildings in your market area have flat roofs replaced every couple of decades without ongoing leaks and problems. No shingled roof can make this claim.