There are two types of primary roofs used throughout the United States: Slanted roofs and flat roofs. Slanted roofs are what you see on most homes, apartment complexes and live-in buildings. Flat roofs are what you see on most businesses, warehouses and commercial buildings. These are the two most common roofs you’ll find in construction. Let’s look at what flat roofs are and what the pros and cons of having one are.
Defining a Flat Roof
A flat roof is, literally, flat. It is almost exclusively level throughout its surface. Generally, a flat roof has a slope called an itspitch which is approximately ten degrees. Flat roofs were developed out of arid climates in the ancient world and allowed those who lived in the building to use the roofs for everything from additional living space, outdoor markets and more.
In areas of the country where warmer climates are seen year-round, most flat roofs are made of concrete or basic masonry materials. This allows the roof to observe sunlight and keep a building cool. In areas where rain and snow occur, flat roofs aren’t as practical being built this way because the concrete and masonry can be blown out as water seeps into the concrete and eventually freezes.
Flat roofs are best used and cost-effective when the space can be used for more than just a roof over a building. Many commercial buildings opt for a flat roof so they can install and place solar panels to offset energy costs. Outdoor activities, such as gardening, can also be accomplished on a flat roof. When the roof is used for more than just being a roof, a commercial building can get more long-term out of the roof for their business or purpose.
Hotels, for example, use a flat roof to house helipads, outdoor courtyards, pools and more. Apartment buildings can use them to dry laundry, storage and get togethers. Businesses can use them for meetings, solar energy and storage. The possibilities for a flat roof are endless when you think outside the box.
If you have a flat roof or are interested in one, contract Roofcorp today and see what we can do for your next project.