The popularity of flat roofs has increased in residential and commercial construction, but not all roofing materials are suitable for this type of roof. Shingles, for example, are often thought of as a go-to roofing material, but there may be better choices for flat roofs. This blog post will explore seven reasons you should avoid installing shingles on a flat roof.
1) Poor Drainage
When installing shingles on a flat roof, it’s important to remember that poor drainage is one of the most significant barriers to placing them on a flat roof. Flat roofs are made to have a slight slope to allow water to run off. However, unlike other roofing materials such as metal, shingles are not meant to be installed on a level surface and do not allow water to drain as quickly.
This may cause water to collect on the roof, harming the roof’s structure and resulting in leaks. A building’s tenants’ health may also be negatively impacted by mold and mildew growth caused by poor drainage; this can be increased by improper installation techniques with shingles that don’t drain well enough for their intended purpose.
2) Short Life Span
Another deterrent against using shingles on flat roofs is their limited lifespan. In contrast to pitched roofs, flat roofs are more vulnerable to weather and temperature variations. As a result, they are more likely to deteriorate or break down faster than other roofing, such as modified bitumen roofs. This may result in the roof having a shorter lifespan and requiring more frequent maintenance or replacement.
Shingles are also less long-lasting than other flat roof materials made specifically for flat roofs; therefore, it is advisable to use them if you want a roofing system that will last for many years. Long-term expenditures may be higher due to the necessity for more frequent replacements when using shingles instead of other materials with longer lifespans.
3) Weight Concerns
Weight concerns are a significant factor in the decision to forego installing shingles on a flat roof. Because they are a heavy roofing material, shingles can significantly increase the weight of a building when they are laid on a flat roof.
For older buildings or commercial constructions that weren’t made to carry such a tremendous weight, this might be extremely dangerous; additionally, solar panels, HVAC systems, and other large equipment are frequently supported by flat roofs.
The additional weight from the shingles might place undue strain on the roof structure over time, resulting in major structural issues if not appropriately addressed during construction or maintenance.
It is advised to select lighter materials such as single-ply, which may cost more initially but result in less long-term costs due to their lightweight nature compared with traditional asphalt shingles.
4) Lack of Ventilation
Flat roofs lack proper ventilation, which can lead to various issues. Lack of ventilation on a flat roof can cause the growth of mold and mildew, structural damage, and an increase in energy expenses. Shingles do not give flat roofs enough ventilation, which can lead to moisture and heat being trapped underneath them.
The insulation may deteriorate faster than usual, causing structural problems with your home’s framing system over time; if left untreated, this could mean that your entire flat roof system collapses more quickly than expected.
The best way to ensure proper ventilation without having any other problems is by using an alternative material, such as modified bitumen or built-up shingles.
These systems offer a continuous layer of insulation and ventilation so that you don’t have any surprises down the road when it comes time for repairs or maintenance work on your home’s exterior surface area, such as painting/staining projects, etc.
The cost is another crucial factor when determining whether to place shingles on a flat roof. Compared to alternative flat roofs roofing options like modified bitumen or single-ply roof, shingles are frequently more expensive. A flat roof shingle installation can also be more time- and labor-intensive, which can raise the price.
A flat roof limited lifespan of shingles can also necessitate regular repairs or replacements, which can add to its overall cost over time. Other flat roof-specific roofing materials, such as metal panels, may require specialized installation equipment; this could add to both initial investment costs and future maintenance costs over time.
In addition to practical considerations, a roofing system’s aesthetics must also be considered. Because shingles are made for pitched roofs and may look less attractive on a low slope roof, installing them there can be unsightly. This could harm the building’s curb appeal and general appearance.
Other flat roof-specific roofing materials, like single-ply or modified bitumen, provide a sleek contemporary appearance that might improve the building’s appeal if you are worried about how your roof will look. It is preferable to select a roofing material specially made for flat roofs to provide an aesthetically pleasing option.
Finally, because shingles are not made for the requirements of a flat roofing system, installing them on a flat roof may lead to inefficiency. As pitched roofs are sloped to allow for good water and snow flow, shingles are made to fit these roofs. Water and snow can build up on a flat roof, harming the roofing structure and raising the possibility of leaks.
Additionally, the lack of a continuous layer of insulation provided by shingles can lead to heat loss and higher energy expenses. It is preferable to select a roofing material that is specifically made for flat roofs and offers a seamless, continuous layer of insulation and protection to ensure optimal efficiency and reduce the danger of leaks or damage.
Get an Expert Opinion From Roof Troopers
At Roof Troopers, we give expert advice on the best roofing materials for your flat roof. With years of experience and a commitment to quality, Roof Troopers is the trusted choice for all your roofing needs.
Whether you are looking for a durable, energy-efficient roofing solution or a roof that enhances the appearance of your building, Roof Troopers got you covered. With our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, you can trust that your roof is in good hands. Contact us for more information.