The Roof Shootout: Flat Roofs vs. Slope Roofs

The Roof Shootout: Flat Roofs vs. Slope Roofs

When planning a new home or commercial property, there are a variety of factors that come into play, and one of the most important is what type of roofs you are going to use. In addition to the range of materials, the type of roof you use also affects how your building will look and how well it’s protected.  

Here, we’re going to look at the two main types of roofs to consider for your building project, or to look at if you’re buying. We’ll look at the costs involved, and the advantages and disadvantages.  

The Flat Roof  

Although it has flat in the name, the truth is that flat roofs aren’t entirely flat; every flat roof has a slight pitch even it can’t be detected with the naked eye. If you look at most large commercial roofing structures like a shopping mall, you’ll see they use flat roofs.  

There are many advantages to a flat roof. If you combine a flat roof design with a metal roofing material, the roof may last 50 years or more.  

Also, most flat roofs (provided they have adequate drainage systems) require very little maintenance. Once it’s installed, you can forget about it, which makes it a significant investment if you plan on owning the property for a long time, or if you plan on selling it because it’ll retain high resale value.  

One of the drawbacks to a flat roof is that they lack visual style and are utilitarian. Also, as mentioned, if the roof doesn’t have a proper drainage system, water will gather, which can lead to leaks. Lastly, the flat roof costs more money upfront, but remember that for the investment, you get a roof built to last a long time.  

The Sloped Roof  

Although some commercial buildings incorporate sloped roofs, they’re mainly associated with residential structures.  

The sloped roof, when used on a commercial structure, is advantageous because it makes the building easier to spot, and adds visual flair, especially when combined with the variety of shingles you can use.  

Sloped roofs cost less to install than flat roofs, which make them ideal for residential houses. Also, the slope provides the drainage, and the roof itself doesn’t need an elaborate system to remove the water like a flat roof; a few gutters and downspouts are all you need.  

While flat roofs are known for the durability and protection they offer, you can get similar results with a sloped roof if you opt for metal shingles. Metal shingles last for years and provide superior protection to fiberglass or asphalt shingles.  

The downside to the sloped roof is the risk of being damaged during storms. Debris striking the roof can easily cause damage, and these roofs are generally higher maintenance than their flat counterparts.  

Lastly, depending on the shingles used, the roof may not last as long. Typically with asphalt shingles, you’ll get about 20 years before it needs replacing.


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