Whether you're designing your dream house or debating between two potential homes that have different roof shapes, educating yourself about the differences between high-slope roof characteristics and low-slope roof characteristics can make all the difference. Most residential homes that you'll see have pitched or high-slope roofs, so a low-slope roof can really stand out in the neighborhood. But in addition to adding a different look to the house's outline, a flat or low-slope roof behaves differently and has different common issues than a steeper roof does. Here are some pros and cons of choosing a low slope roof over one with a steeper pitch.
- The flat roof can give your house a sleek modern style, lending it distinction among the ranks of identical townhomes or the mass-produced single-family houses in a subdivision
- A flat roof can cost less to repair or replace since it has less overall area and therefore requires not only less roofing material but also less installation work for the material
- A flat or low-slope roof is ideal for an eco-friendly "green roof" option or even a rooftop garden, which can help manage stormwater as well as providing insulation and shade
- A low-slope roof is easier to work on and less dangerous due to its shallower pitch, and a flat roof greatly minimizes your risk of falling as you inspect your roof or clear away debris
- A flat roof requires more frequent inspections than a pitched roof, meaning it's more high-maintenance for you
- Low-slope roofs are more susceptible to developing leaks because water doesn't drain away so quickly and can start to seep through the roofing material
- Low-slope roofs require more maintenance, repair (because they have a waterproof seal that must remain intact for correct function) and replacement, making them more expensive in the long run
- A flat or low-slope roof may provide less structural support than a pitched roof
- Flat roofs don't add attic space to your house the way steeper roofs can
As you can see, there's a lot to think about when considering the differences between a pitched roof and a low-slope roof. Another fact to consider is that roofs come in a variety of pitches, from steep roofs to medium-pitch roofs to low-slope roofs to flat roofs, so you don't necessarily have to choose between a flat roof and a non-flat roof. The choice isn't binary but rather provides a range of options that you can choose from based on how you want your roof to behave. Contact a roofing company like Save On Roofing for more information.