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The Pros and Cons of a Flat Roofing System

Posted by
Roofing Services
Feb 09, 2024

Have you ever wondered why there are so many houses with flat roofs? It is also interesting to note that in most cases, multi-unit buildings utilize flat roofs, but why is that? When looking into a new roof for your building, these can be essential questions and knowing the details is critical.

Well, this blog will examine the pros and cons of flat roofs to help you make an informed decision.

Flat Roofing System Advantages

Flat roofing systems offer many advantages, making them a compelling choice for many commercial and residential properties. Understanding these benefits is crucial for those considering this modern roofing design. Here are some notable advantages of flat roofing systems:

Cost-Effective Installation

Flat roofs are generally more straightforward and quicker to install than pitched roofs. The simplicity of their design often translates to lower labour costs and a more efficient installation process. Flat roofing is attractive for those seeking a cost-effective solution without compromising durability.

Space Utilization

One of the most significant advantages of flat roofs is space utilization. Flat roofs provide additional usable space than pitched roofs, which may have limited usable space due to their slope. This extra space can be transformed into rooftop gardens, recreational areas, give space for HVAC units, or even solar panel installations, enhancing the overall functionality of the building.

ALSO READ: Roofing 101: What You Need to Know

Ease of Maintenance

Maintaining a flat roof is generally more manageable compared to other roofing types. Routine inspections and maintenance tasks, such as cleaning and repairs, can be carried out more conveniently due to the accessibility of a flat surface. This ease of maintenance can result in lower long-term costs for building owners.

Energy Efficiency

Flat roofing systems are ideal for installing energy-efficient features like solar panels or reflective coatings. These additions can contribute to energy savings and, in turn, reduce utility costs over time. The flat surface also allows for efficient placement of HVAC equipment, optimizing energy performance.

Modern Aesthetic Appeal

Flat roofs are synonymous with contemporary architectural design. Their clean lines and minimalist aesthetic can enhance the overall modern look of a building, making them a popular choice for commercial structures, modern homes, and urban developments.


Flat roofs offer enhanced accessibility for maintenance personnel and technicians. This accessibility simplifies inspecting and repairing roofing components, ensuring that issues can be promptly addressed before they escalate into more significant problems.

Flat Roofing System Disadvantages

While flat roofing systems have several advantages, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks of this design. Addressing these disadvantages is crucial for making informed decisions and ensuring that the chosen roofing system is the right fit.

Here are some notable disadvantages of flat roofing systems:

Water Drainage Issues

Perhaps the most significant concern with flat roofs is their susceptibility to water drainage issues. Unlike pitched roofs, where water can run off naturally, flat roofs require a well-designed drainage system to prevent water pooling. Poor drainage can lead to leaks, structural damage, and premature deterioration of roofing materials.

ALSO READ: Common Places to Look for Roof Leaks

Limited Aesthetic Variety

While flat roofs are synonymous with modern aesthetics, some property owners may find them lacking in design variety compared to pitched roofs. The simplicity of the flat surface may not suit certain architectural styles, giving building owners limited aesthetic options when looking for a more traditional or varied look.

Susceptibility to Leaks

Flat roofs are more prone to leaks, especially if not properly maintained. Standing water, debris accumulation, and the lack of a natural slope can contribute to water infiltration over time. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance are crucial to prevent potential leak issues.

Weathering and Durability

Flat roofs are exposed to harsh weather conditions, and their horizontal orientation can make them more vulnerable to weathering over time. UV exposure, temperature fluctuations, and extreme weather events can impact the longevity of roofing materials, requiring more frequent maintenance and repairs.

Weight Limitations

Flat roofs may have limitations when it comes to supporting heavy loads. Accumulation of snow, water, or equipment on the roof can exceed weight limits, potentially leading to structural issues.

Higher Initial Costs for Quality Materials

While flat roofs are generally cost-effective in terms of installation, opting for high-quality materials and an effective drainage system may entail higher initial costs. Investing in quality materials is crucial to mitigate potential issues and ensure the long-term durability of the roofing system.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Flat roofs have many benefits that building owners can take advantage of, from their cost-effective installation, space utilization, and easier maintenance to their energy efficiency, modern aesthetic, and accessibility. However, considering the cons before making a decision is critical.

To ensure you are considering all factors, consulting a professional is crucial as they have the experience and expertise to determine the best roofing solution for your building. Whether you are looking for residential or commercial roofing, Custom Contracting's experts are ready to assist.

Custom Contracting has over 20 years of experience in roofing and exteriors with unmatched customer service. We offer a lifetime warranty on our shingles and countless colours. Also, check out our financing solutions.

Call us at 289-212-6569 or fill out our convenient online form to find out how we can help you with all roofing services.


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Roofing • Siding • Windows & Doors • Eavestroughs
169–1235 Fairview St., Burlington, ON L7S 2K9. Canada