The shape of any roof will be determinate on the architecture of a building. While many roofs are built in a conventional sloped form, there are also horizontal roofs that are called flat roofs. The slope of a roof is known as its pitch, and those that are flat are also called low-pitch roofs. These are covered with sheets of material called membranes, which help waterproof the roof area. Because a flat roof doesn’t have the sloping pitch that allows rainwater and other elements to roll off of it, it’s particularly important to place some type of protective layer on the roof’s surface to prevent any damage. These materials usually allow the water to run off the roof into a gutter system
There are many different types of materials all over the world that can be used to cover flat roofs. In many parts of the world, where rainfall is less prevalent, many of these are built out of concrete, which is a cheap and easy to install material. However, these types of roofs are generally not suitable in colder areas of the world, or anywhere with an excess of moisture. Concrete can blow up with the expansion of ice, for example. In other parts of the world, tar is a popular covering for roof decking. Tarpaper or tar is covered in gravel, which helps reflect heat and provide a waterproof layer for the roof.
Another popular material to be placed over flat roofs is EPDM, a synthetic rubber. Although it used to be quite expensive in the past, it has recently become more affordable, making it a popular option for residential homes and commercial buildings alike. These modern rubber membranes have a number of benefits, including the fact that they can last up to 50 years, are durable, and easy to install. They are usually available in large flat sheets, so less attention must be paid to the seams of the membrane than with other materials.
With any of these different types of membranes, maintenance and repairs are important to pay attention to. If leaks occur on flat roofs, for example, damage to the structure can go for long periods of time without notice, soaking the decking and insulation. This can lead to extensive rot, which compromises the structure of the roof and can lead to mouldy growth. These are all just a few ways that flat roofing can differ from other types of sloped roofs.
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