Flat roofs are generally uncommon in residential properties, although there are some examples out there which use the design. This style of building has lots of negative associations and a flat roof is often enough to scare people away from a renovation project.
However, while it’s fair to say that flat roofs can be more susceptible to damage and leaks than their sloped counterparts, this is largely due to the quality of materials that were used in the initial construction. Flat roofs were at their most popular in the 1960s and 70s. The lack of technology and material knowledge at this time has led to the link between flat roofs and construction nightmares. It is not necessarily the concept which is at fault; rather, it was the methods and materials used.
If you’re embarking on a renovation project and your building has a flat roof – do not despair. There’s no need to construct an expensive, sloping roof. There are lots of modern options available, which make repairing a flat roof and bringing it up to modern standards, affordable and effective.
The cheapest and quickest option to use is felt. This was also the material of choice in the 1960s on mass building projects. The material is particularly susceptible to damage when hot, so years of warm summers baking in the heat can leave it in something of a sorry state. This may be the cheapest, but it’s one to avoid if you want long-term stability.
Liquid Coating uses the latest technology and materials and is the most effective, long-term option available. Materials such as Elastaseal are used to make roof surfaces completely waterproof and the method used to apply it avoids the dangerous technique used to apply felt. Companies like County Durham based Tor Coatings use these materials as part of their flat roof repair techniques and their website indicates that this method could protect a roof for up to 25 years.
What’s more, this waterproof layer provides the perfect layer on which to construct a green roof, with plants or grass growing on the surface of the roof. This has become an increasingly popular construction trend. As well as offering an effective layer of insulation, vegetation prevents water from pooling on flat surfaces and causing water damage. For more information on creating a green roof and the benefits of doing so, consult this guide from the UK government.
It stands to reason why fibreglass is a popular option for repairing flat roofs. It’s lightweight, durable and can cope with the natural movement of buildings, as they expand and contract with the heat. It’s also possible to do the work yourself if you’re working on a limited budget. Take a look at this guide to replacing a roof with fibreglass.
When it comes to replacing a flat roof with metal, the most popular materials used are copper, stainless steel and zinc. This is an expensive, yet strong option, so it’s particular effective protection against extreme weather, like wind and rain. It’s also possible to apply a coating, such as a metal primer, to extend the life of a metal roof.
On the other hand, metal doesn’t cope well with extreme changes in temperature; constant expanding and contracting can cause cracks.
Which option you go for will depend on your budget and the results you want to achieve with your repairs. However, if you intend to live in a property for a long time, you should prioritise long-lasting results over cost-cutting.
If you are having any problems with your own roofs and need roof repairing in Bradford, why not let Wintek Construction have a look at it. Fill in our Online Enquiry Form today and get a free estimate. For more information on our current builds, please follow us on Facebook and Google+.