What’s the Difference Between a Flat Roof and a Sloping Roof?

What’s the Difference Between a Flat Roof and a Sloping Roof?

When it comes to roofs, homeowners usually pick between two different roofing styles. Either they select from a steep-sloped (or pitched) roof or a low slop (or flat) roof. Depending on the type of roof you have, you’ll need one or the other. If your roof displays a steep slope to it, then you have a steep-sloped or pitched roof. However, if you have a roof that looks pretty parallel to the ground, then you’ve got a flat roof.

Flat roofs aren’t flat by design even if they sound like they might only be flat. Even a flat roof offers some slope for drainage. However, there are still differences between a flat roof and a sloping roof as far as maintenance concerns itself. So, we’ll be breaking down some of the differences between the two below.

Flat Roof Vs. Sloping Roof: Uses

You’ll find both flat roofs and sloping roofs on residential and commercial buildings. Regardless, flat roofs tend to be more common on commercial buildings, and sloping roofs are found more often on residential buildings. Commercial buildings tend to utilize flat roofs. Flat roofs allow them to mount different things on their roofs like solar panels, refrigeration equipment, and other items. Thus, a flat roof tends to offer more flexibility than sloped roofs.

On the other hand, if a person wants solar panels, they aren’t only limited to flat roofs. Sloping roofs can also have solar panels. Many residential homeowners add solar panels to their sloping roofs regardless. Still, flat roofs are typical even among residential buildings because they are far more aesthetically appealing than sloping roofs.

Flat Roof Vs. Sloping Roof: Materials

Sloping roofs feature all different types of materials. For instance, sloping roofs use everything from clay to concrete for construction purposes. These materials allow for more affordability while still offering the necessary long-lasting durability any homeowner would need from a roof. Some other materials used for sloping roofs include asphalt shingles, wood shake, copper, and galvanized steel.

Flat roofs, on the other hand, offer a different type of diversity when it comes to materials. The materials used to make flat roofs tend to be less well known than those used to make sloping roofs. Flat roof materials include things like built-up roofs for durability and heat protection. Many built-up roofs also feature a top layer of gravel and small rocks on top of a thick seal of asphalt tar.

Sometimes, flat roofs also use Polyurethane Spray form as a material. These types of roofs are light in weight, simple to install, and the spray liquid allows for quick application and setting. Plus, spray foams are often durable and prevents leaks since the chemicals bond to the roof, making the roof difficult for water to penetrate.

As a material, spray foam is very popular for roofs that are commercial or industrial. You’ll commonly find spray foam used as a material in flat roofs for places like warehouses. The spray foam helps to insulate the roof, keeping the cost of electricity and power down and covering the interior of the building well.

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