The Difficulty with Flat Roofs

Flat roofs have long been an architectural cause of concern in some areas of the world. In the 1960’s and 1970’s houses in England started growing ‘lean-to’s’ and conservatories onto the backs of them, generally built by the homeowner who had little idea of exactly to how to build them. The ‘lean-to’ would have a flat roof, covered with heavy black sheets of that stuff that looked like asphalt but wasn’t gravel, stuck together with painted on tar between the joins and then nailed down. It looked terrible and had a very temporary feel about it and the base of the roof was usually plywood, which made them very dodgy to walk on.

In other parts of the world, especially in dry climates, the flat roofs might simply be made from masonry or a concrete mix and in other parts, even paper soaked in tar, is used. However, the systemic failure of many flat roofs, especially in the United Kingdom, is usually due to the ignorance of the materials and methods of constructing the roof so that it doesn’t leak or collapse. Flat roof repairs in Bristol used to be very commonplace because of the wet climate in that part of the country. However, flat roofs nowadays are not built to the same specifications as they were then. Moreover, there are now better materials for building such roofs and therefore they last longer. However, having said that, older roofs will still need maintenance and repairs to ensure they remain intact.

Ready-Made Components

Nowadays, modern roofing supplies can be ready-made in order to assist in the construction of a roof. Items such as flashing, guttering, external corners and such can be bought and fitted as part of the construction so that the parts are already manufactured to fit. Modern asphalt has also come a long way in the industry. Nowadays there are four typical types which are used around the world. There is the ‘coal tar’ type—known as type I. There is the type II, which is best for ¼ in 12 sloping roofs. The third type is known as ‘type III’ and is a steep slope asphalt, as is type four—‘special steep’. Each have special uses and are better suited to specific roofing types.

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