Installing a flat roof is by no means a simple process, and the end result comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the main disadvantage is the potential for increased risk of water damage to the roof structure of your building. The main advantage is the general improvement that they offer to a building in terms of an increase in the ease of access that can be beneficial through a number of perspectives. Firstly, a flat roof can potentially increase the living space of a domestic residence, by essentially adding an extra outdoor area with the same square footage as the imprint of the building. Secondly, a flat roof can help commercial property managers gain easy access to a variety of assets as well as maintain them, such as air ventilation systems and air conditioning units. Even so, there are a number of considerations that you need to make regarding your potential new roofing structure beforehand.
When considering a flat roof installation, it is worth bearing in mind the practicalities of such a construction for your building. Unless the building has been built relatively recently, the odds are well in favour of the building not having been designed with a flat roof in mind. Big deal, right? Well, in actuality, flat roofs generally place greater strain on the structure of buildings as they are typically heavier. Flat roofs also suffer from the inability to redistribute their weight like a pitched roof is able to. A pitched roof places most of the weight burden of the roofing structure on the external walls, which are generally specifically designed to undergo high amounts of stress. On the other hand, flat roofs are less able to distribute their weight on external walls, and in order to maintain their structural integrity, flat roofs may require the use of additional support beams interspersed throughout the area underneath it. This is a problem for many buildings, where many are built with internal walls that are incapable of bearing such loads.
When considering a flat roof installation, you need to first understand what kind of work is going to go into it. It may be the case that you will have to have a number of internal walls destroyed so that additional support structure can be implemented prior to its installation. After this, a flat roof is still something that is generally more expensive than pitched roofs due to their higher demand for quality materials. As they offer a flat plane for pooling water and the build up of dirt and grime, unless high quality, durable waterproofing solutions are implemented, you can expect a much shorter lifespan for your roof than you would expect from a similarly priced pitched roof. You can also expect to spend significantly more time maintaining it than you would a pitched roof, where you would have to make sure that the roof structure remains sound.
With all of this information, you may be wondering why you should go ahead with a flat roof installation. The fact is that these structures offer numerous advantages. Commercial flat roofing, in particular, can provide a more easily manageable roofing structure that can provide improved access and safety. A commercial flat roof, that is typically a larger structure anyway, is also generally easier to implement than large pitched roof structures, so you would benefit in this regard as well.