The Biggest Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat Roofing

There are only a handful of disadvantages of flat roofing. Somehow, flat roofs exist without causing any significant problems. The question remains, why do some building owners still prefer flat roofs? Won’t water from rain and snow pool up in the roof’s center and cause massive damage to the structure? What about other debris that lands on it? 

Despite its unpopular appearance, there is a functional reason for flat roofing. There are also some creative advantages that flat roofs have over standard roofing.

Advantages of Flat Roofing

The Biggest Advantages of Flat Roofing

When considering a building project, sometimes the most important factors that go into the materials and design can be summarized in one word: Cost-efficiency. 

Some homeowners and commercial enterprises want their roofs to be as affordable. On the other hand, they want the top to be reliable long enough not to be an immediate problem.

Flat roofs are by far the cheapest and fastest design to build. This is because flat roofs lack the intricate support structures of a regular roof. Therefore, they don’t require as much material and expertise to make. Visit our website for more information on economical roofing solutions.

Cost-Effective Materials

Inexpensive “tile” options contribute to the cost-effectiveness of flat roofing. They are limited to a few specific types, which fall under the “rolled roofing” category. Flat roofs use rubber, Bitumen, EPDM rubber, or TPO (thermoplastic olefin) sheets. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is another popular option. 

Each of these types has different properties. However, the advantages and disadvantages are fairly similar. Rubber, TPO, PVC and Bitumen are good heat insulators and are weather-resistant for at least ten years. 

While the materials are affordable compared to pitched roofs, flat roofing can become expensive if you deal with large surface areas. Also, materials like TPO and PVC require special expert installation and equipment.

The Biggest Disadvantages of Flat Roofing

The main disadvantage of flat roofing is the water build-up from a lack of filtration. Puddles tend to form and remain on roof sections, especially in areas where tiles are slightly uneven.

Many flat roofs contain internal drainage systems to counter this disadvantage. The drains are set near the middle/ side areas to prevent “ponding.” Other troughs (or scuppers) can be added to the edge, though ponding is still most likely to occur in the center, destroying the material and causing leaks over time if not treated. Water should not accumulate on a roof longer than 72 hours.

Disadvantages of Flat Roofing

Creative Ideas for Flat Roofing

For fun, we’ve decided to include a few ideas for using a flat roof creatively. These might impact your roofing decision.

An exciting solution to ponding (the flat roof’s most significant disadvantage) is to go the environmental route with a sod top. Sod roofs, or “green roofs,” are widespread for flat-roofed buildings and involve growing a patch of grass instead of traditional roofing materials. 

These living roofs come in 3 types depending upon the medium grown. Typically various sedums are grown & installed in modular trays that are connected. They’re able to withstand harsh conditions and minimize water loss.

In other words, converting a bland, flat roof into a garden is possible. Even without a garden, green roofs provide an exciting and efficient material.

Creative Ideas for Flat Roofing


Flat roofs also have an extra key feature- that being space. Most sloped roofs require special fastenings and creative solutions to install certain features like air conditioners. They are also very dangerous to walk on. Flat roofs are safe because they are flat, making it possible to climb/ store external items on top of it with little worry. 

Rooftop Patio

Another innovative feature of a flat roof is its possible use as a patio or porch. Most sloped roofs require extra modifications to build an elevated outdoor section, whereas flat roofs are pleasing just as is.


To conclude, flat roofs are not a malfunction of poor or cheap planning. These roofs do have certain practicality to them. It is still essential to understand these systems’ unique physiology and applications, as they are very different from their pointy cousins. 

February 16, 2021

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