The Complete Guide to Flat Roofs

The Complete Guide to Flat Roofs

Table of Contents


Flat roofs are a symbol of modern architecture all over Australia. Traditionally associated with hotter, drier materials, they are well suited for many areas in the ACT as well as NSW. 

Building a flat roof

Building a flat roof

Flat roofs are formed with one single slab, rather than two and more as with other pitched roofs, like skillion roofs. Special attention is also given to creating an impermeable membrane. (covered in more detail below)

They can be built into a structure or as part of a reconstruction project.  The structure thus built, we come to the most commonly cited issue with flat roofs: drainage.

Are flat roofs really more prone to water leakage?

Are flat roofs really more prone to water leakage

Traditionally, flat roofs have not been as effective at containing water leakage as steeped roof types like gable roofs

Water can collect very easily on a flat surface, making them less used in the typical rainy Aussie weather. 

Modern construction has solved this issue by two methods: 

1. Water accumulation is tackled by tilted the slab slightly, generally at a 1 to 10-degree angle. 

2. To prevent leakage, the roof is sealed with coatings of rubber based Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), makes the roof waterproof.

When are flat roofs the preferred option?

When are flat roofs the preferred option

Here are the key reasons more people prefer flat roofs:

1. Sophisticated Look :

 Due to their refined clean lines, and minimalist aesthetic, flat roofs are every modernist’s favorite.

2. Easy construction :

This build has less hassle, and is way simpler than regular tiles, as you do not need any extra building support such as rafters, supports or beams. With metal, there can be no leakage. 

3. Water Management :

As discussed in more detail above, modern flat roofs are not bothered by rain.

4. Increases space efficiency:

As well as provides space for roof decks, making for better entertainment options. 

5. Easier access:

Cleaning gutters becomes very easy, as well as installing or repairing solar panels or satellite dishes. Solar is a great win, further making for a more sustainable and cost-efficient home.

6. No mold or moss growth:

 Unlike tiles, which can fester with moss or mould due to gaps, flat roofs give no space to such invasive and damaging elements. 


When are flat roofs not the best option?

When are flat roofs not the best option

Even though they are perfect for most homes, here are a few conditions in which flat roofs are unsuited:

1. High density rainfall: 

Even though water is less of an issue than ever before, places with very high rainfall throughout the year can still cause a lot of problems

2. Less Wind resistance:

As the roof is all one single structure, it faces a lot of upward force when exposed to wind. Pitched roofs are always a more preferable options on such conditions.

3. More expensive in long term:

Even though the first installation is easy and inexpensive, flat roofs need yearly maintainence, with associated material and labour costs. 

4. Heat:

Flat roofs are more prone to overheating in the hot summers, though this can be easily managed with the right cladding.

Flat roof homes in Canberra and NSW

Flat roof homes in Canberra and NSW

Its clear at this point that along with amazing design, flat roofs also have several potential issue that can crop up. That means construction has to be expertly planned and executed to make it worth your while.

If you’re planning to get one, you’ll need a home builder who has experience in this regard, whether it be a brand new build, or a rebuild project.

Our team of experts at ABM Homes would love to help you with their expertise, so contact us today if you’re up for a  cuppa and a chat.

Our roof construction service is a part of our complete home building services, with a 6-Months Service Guarantee and 7 year Structural Warranty.

If you don’t have a lot yet, check out out amazing House and Land Packages in the some of the best locales in town!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *