The Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat Roofs

June 16, 2015
“Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat Roofs”

Posted by: Laura Wakeham. on the 16th June 2015

Here at Roof Lanterns UK, we install high-quality roof lanterns for both flat and pitched (or sloped) roofs.
Our flat roof skylights are energy efficient and are provided in all standard and custom sizes. They are manufactured using premium hardwood or aluminium and finished in microporous, high-quality paint from Farrow and Ball.
Although most of us will already have a specific roof design before purchasing our skylights or roof lanterns, there may be some people considering installing or changing a flat roof.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of flat roofs:



Flat roofs are great for small rooms like garages and extensions, due to their simple design and installation. Flat roofing consists of a waterproof membrane on top of a horizontal base, which is then attached to ceiling joists below. Although described as flat, flat roofs usually have a slight slope to allow rainwater to run off.
In addition, flat roofs are fairly cheap to install, requiring less material and work than pitched roofs. When a flat roof needs changing, a full replacement can generally be completed within a day.
A recent material used for flat roofing is Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), which is a thick rubber membrane that is applied in one sheet. It has no seams and lasts for approximately 40 years with good maintenance. That said, standard felt flat roofing has a lifespan of around 20 years when it is well-maintained and is therefore an equally decent material for your roof.


The main disadvantage of flat roofing is maintaining your roof. Because the maintenance of a flat roof can be both costly and time-consuming, many people opt for a sloped roof. Sloped roofs tend to suit colder and wetter climates. A number of flat roofs have been reported to collapse under heavy snow and leak when it rains. This is much more likely to happen if they have been poorly maintained.
What’s more, if you do not choose the EPDM material, you will be looking at roof replacement after 20 years, which puts many people off purchasing a flat roof.
That said, with the development of the EPDM material, doubling the lifespan of flat roofs, it could be that flat roofs become increasingly popular.

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