If you have a flat roof on your home, you might think it is entirely level and horizontal. However, this is not the case. Flat roofs are not actually flat but have a slight slope or pitch to allow water to drain off them. This is important because moisture can cause damage to the roof and the structure underneath if it accumulates and pools on the surface.
Why You Might Want a Flat Roof
There are a few reasons why some residential homes have flat roofs. One reason is that building a flat roof can be more cost-effective than a pitched roof. Flat roofs require fewer materials and are easier to install, saving homeowners money in construction costs.
Additionally, flat roofs can be easier to maintain and repair since they provide easy access for workers. Another reason why some residential homes have flat roofs is that they are energy-efficient. Flat roofs can be designed to reflect sunlight away from the house, which can help keep the interior cooler in the summer.
Slopes Are Subtle
The slope of a flat roof is usually very subtle and not noticeable to the eye. It can vary depending on the type of roof and the local climate. For example, a roof in an area with heavy rainfall or snowfall might need a steeper slope than a roof in a dry area.
Types of Slopes
There are several ways to slope a flat roof. For example, you can use tapered insulation boards that gradually decline from the center to the roof's edges. You can also use tapered wood or metal sleepers installed over the roof deck to support the roofing membrane.
Some roofs use a sloped roof deck built with a pitch from the start. Others use crickets or triangular-shaped saddles that divert water away from low points or obstructions on the roof.
How to Avoid Drainage Issues
Regardless of how the slope is created, it is crucial to make sure that the flat roof can drain properly and prevent water from ponding or stagnating on the surface. Fortunately, a roofer can install adequate drains, scuppers, or gutters at the lowest points of the roof to allow water to exit the roof quickly and efficiently.
A roofing contractor will keep the drains, scuppers, or gutters clean and clear of debris, such as leaves, twigs, or dirt, that can clog them and cause backups. They will inspect the roof for damage, such as cracks, holes, blisters, or bubbles, that can allow water to seep into the roof layers and cause leaks or rot.
Contact a professional to learn more about residential roofs.