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Flat Roofing

Flat roofs certainly aren’t usually the best looking option out there but despite being less aesthetically pleasing, they offer some distinct advantages. Even though the term “flat” is used, this actually isn’t completely accurate. Flat roofs are very slightly sloped to help create runoff and prevent sitting water (though it’s not foolproof).

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Residential vs. Commercial

A residential ­at roof is much less common and desired than traditional options like tile, shingle, or metal. Pitched roofs are considerably more convenient and beautiful, not to mention personalized to the homeowner’s style with various colors and textures.

Commercial fl­at roofing is significantly more common, as generally the large size of commercial buildings makes pitched roofs impractical and harder to maintain.

Pros and Cons to a Flat Roof


Easier maintenance

Flat surfaces present easier access compared to sloped/steep, and make it easier for an expert to work on any issues or repairs.

More useable space

With essentially an added level on top of the building, this makes it more practical to put equipment like an HVAC system to give homeowners or commercial building owners more space elsewhere. You can also use this space in a residential setting as an outdoor lounge area or garden space — there are many possibilities!

Easier installation

Flat roof installation is much easier and quicker than other options.

Less expensive

Compared to pitched roofs, flat roofs have the advantage of usually being less expensive to install, repair, and maintain


Less stable

When the surface area of a flat roof increases, the stability does the opposite, requiring compensation on the interior.

Limited lifespan

Compared to other options, flat roofs have a much shorter lifespan and last up to 15 years. Certain materials last longer than others, so ask your roofing contractor to lay out your options for you.

Difficulty in draining

As opposed to sloped, flat roofs face the challenge of standing water. This can break the roofing materials down longer and require more frequent repairs and maintenance.

Not as attractive

Of course, there are certain styles of architecture with flat roofs that look incredibly beautiful and sleek. Overall though, options like shingle, tile, and metal offer much more variety and customization.

Flat Roofing Options

There are several materials used by flat roofing contractors during new installation projects:


BUR is actually similar to modified bitumen with an additional layer of gravel on top. The top layer adds extra durability and a reflective coating for increased energy efficiency.

Lifespan: 15-20 years


Thermoplastic polyolefin is a single-ply, thermoplastic membrane that is energy efficient and overall high-performing for what you’ll pay for a new roof.

Lifespan: 7-20 years


Polyvinyl Chloride is a single-ply thermoplastic membrane known for its endurance, energy efficiency, and longer life span.

Lifespan: 10-30 years


Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM is easier right?) is a rubber membrane that is commonly used in both residential and commercial applications. The most common issue with EPDM is seam failure, which is mitigated by using wide span membranes. To give you a visual, these membranes essentially install like a giant sticker!

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Modified bitumen

This material is asphalt-based and installed in multiple layers. Because it is a tedious and labor-intensive process to install modified bitumen, it’s important an experienced flat roof company is hired for this job.

Lifespan: 10-20 years

Note: Lifespan and cost estimates provided by roofingcalc.com

Hiring a Licensed Roofer

Flat roofing requires special considerations that only an experienced and skilled contractor would know and understand.

At Residential Roofing Depot, our team will come out to assess the condition of your roof. If your one is old and worn out, we can advise you on the best solution when it comes to replacing or repairing your flat roof. We will help you choose the best materials in the industry, keeping your home or business in Davenport, Lakeland, Valrico, Winter Haven, Plant City, and Brandon, FL safe from water damage.

Residential Roofing Depot delivers straightforward, dependable service every time. Call us today for a free, no-obligation estimate, and we will provide you with roofing repairs or flat roof replacement services that are perfectly tailored to your needs.

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