Are you unsure whether to choose a sloped or flat roof for your property? True enough, you have a huge variety of sloped residential roof designs advantageous for your Toronto ON property. However, if you have an answer to “how do flat roofs work,” then you might say you made a better choice with a flat-roofed property.

After reading this guide, homeowners will know more about:

  • The unique and advantageous characteristics of flat roofs
  • Why many homeowners in Ontario choose residential flat roofing for their homes

How Do Flat Roofs Work: Four Characteristics

If you’re wondering how do flat roofs work, you might say reputable contractors place a proverbial “lid” on top of your box-bodied home.

From the curb, it appears most flat-roofed properties assume as square shape. However, did you know flat roofs have a very low slope to manage rainwater? In addition, did you know even concrete-roofed buildings had this angle?

Flat roof systems are quite fascinating and effective, which is why many Toronto ON homeowners consider flat roofs construction for their properties.

They Aren’t Completely Square Residential Blocks

How do flat roofs work? They have an angle rather than a flat plane for effective rainwater management.

All flat roofs have a slope as low as 10-15 degrees from the square plane of a property. In fact, even commercial buildings use this slope for effective rainwater management.

However, it doesn’t mean your property will not look like it has no flat roof. The low slope is barely noticeable from the curb.

This is advantageous to homeowners because only the walls and sidings of their property will matter allowing them to use any types of flat roof material for their properties. For example, you can highlight the beauty of your ACM panels instead of the roofing material alone.

Alternatively, you can give your flat-roofed home a traditional look using veneer or brick sidings too. This is how does flat roof work effectively for any home.

multiple-downspout residential property

Flat-roofed properties can also appear traditional with careful use of sidings as pictured here.

You Can Only Use Specific Flat-Roofing Material

However, this means flat-roofed property homeowners cannot use many traditional residential flat roof materials such as clay and slate tiles, wood shakes and shingles, and others.

Most residential properties use these materials for their roofs:

  • Concrete tiles: These are outdoor-oriented tiles similar to indoor grated flooring tiles.
  • Concrete slabs: These are prepared flat-roof systems that involve huge labor and material cost. However, it can last for a century or more.
  • Single-ply membrane roofing: The frequent choice of many flat-roofed commercial property owners. Reliable and cost-effective.
  • Asphalt rolled roofing: The most affordable flat-roofing solution. However, it only lasts for 15-25 years.
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing: A custom-made caked roofing material that is heavy but durable. It can last for 30-40 years.
concrete tiles residential flat roof

Many residential properties prefer concrete tiles because of their durability especially if they wish to use their flat roofs for functions.

Homes Will Not Have Attics and Dormer Windows

A traditional property with a sloped roof can have dormer windows and attics with port windows as an option. How do flat roofs work with this? The truth is homeowners cannot have these additional features.

However, the space homeowners intend for their attic becomes bigger. A traditional sloped roof will create a triangle-shaped attic that reduces space.

Because the walls of the attic of a flat-roofed property are parallel to the walls of the home, homeowners have more space to create a room or a better-functioning attic.

A Unique Rainwater and Gutter Management System

How do flat roof drains work? Simple: they have a slope that acts as a huge gutter.

If you compare how do flat roofs work with sloped-roof systems, you can say the slopes have better rainwater management because of their shape.

However, flat-roofed properties have excellent rainwater and gutter system. If this was not true, then many flat-roofed commercial properties will have already flooded and become ineffective.

The low slope of flat roofs delivers the massive rainwater straight to the downspout. At this point, you can see the expanse of the flat roof itself functions similar to a big gutter section with one side delivering all the rainwater towards the downspout.

Most building codes require flat roof properties to have multiple downspouts. This elevates their rainwater management capabilities.

flat roof with ponded water in need of regular maintenance

A flat-roofed section with an ineffective rainwater system (as the picture shows) makes it prone to ponding, which can deteriorate the roofing material over time.

Why Choose Residential Flat Roofs?

While most of these characteristics highlight the advantages of flat roofs, here are other reasons why you should choose flat roofs even after knowing how do flat roofs work.

Modern and Stylistic

Traditional roofing requires properties to have slopes. Many architects and masons have used sloped roof systems through the years. Skyscrapers and modern commercial properties ushered an era of industrialization and modernity.

Therefore, residential properties that adopt flat roof designs borrow the similar modernist traits of commercial properties. In fact, it gives architects freedom to create a unique design without the limitations sloped roofs bring.

As a result, property owners get a property that is modern in style and nuances. Additionally, the stylistic principle allows it to have a higher real estate value than traditional properties.

Creates More Residential Space

How does a flat roof benefit a property? It creates more residential space.

If you have a growing family, then an additional floor rather than an attic is a good and practical option. Only flat-roofed residential properties can help you achieve this.

Many commercial properties use flat roofs because it helps them maximize the workspace or storage space. In addition, if this floor is left unoccupied, then the property gets an extra wall of insulation against UV rays penetrating the flat roofing material itself.

Easy to Maintain

Unlike sloped roofs, flat-roofed properties allow you to stabilize your weight as you inspect it for damages. However, just like sloped roofs, property owners need to be careful not to damage the roofing material.

The accessibility of flat roofs hastens a reputable roofing contractor’s inspection and possible procedures for extending the lifespan and durability of your roof.

A Beautiful Function Area

Traditional properties build a patio or deck to serve as their function areas. However, because they are quite expensive, the area becomes crammed and sometimes unappealing to function guests and even the homeowners themselves.

With modern flat-roofed homes, property owners can host their functions on top of their property. To do this, they can hire professional builders to create a roof that supports heavy foot traffic. If not a function room, then they can decide to install solar panels on their flat roofs too.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how do flat roofs work, you can make a clear decision on whether to use this particular residential roofing design for your home.

Flat roofs are highly advantageous and introduce a modern appeal to any property. However, sloped roofs introduce great advantages for your home too. The best choice to make regardless of slope or flat roof homes is to have a reputable roofing contractor work on your roof to ensure its longevity and durability.