I work in a building with a flat roof.
For the past few years we've put up with leaks, occasionally having to put
plastic waste baskets at various spots to catch the drips.
This fall we put up with weeks of noise, odors, parking relocations, etc.
as they replaced the entire roof.
Last week, as everything thawed and we got some rain, we put plastic waste
buckets at various spots to catch the drips.
No, that's simply not true.
I spent $25,500 in 1991 to have a "sloped roof" put on my apartment
A sloped roof is where they make a map of the roof and locate the drain.
Then, they divide the entire roof area into 4 foot by 4 foot squares.
Then, they cut 4 foot square blocks of polystyrene insulation in a
computerized machine that runs a hot wire through the block of
insulation, moving that wire in 3 dimensions such that when all the
blocks of insulation are assembled in the correct order, the roof slopes
gradually (1/4 inch per foot) toward the roof drain.
After the insulation is put on, they put down two layers of fiberboard
insulation with staggered joints. That's because the next step is to
mop down 4 layers of roofing felt and glue those layers together with
300 deg F. asphalt. The two layers of fiberboard prevent the hot
asphalt from burning holes in the roof's sloping polystyrene
Once the two layers of fiberboard are down, then they start applying the
layers of roofing felts. This is also the step where they put cones
over all the vent stacks and hoods over all the bathroom and kitchen
ceiling fan outlets as well as the hood for the building's clothes
I haven't had a leak in my sloped roof since 1991. And, anyone who
knows anything about flat roofing knows that a sloped roof is the only
way to go. That's because for the one time investment of cutting and
assembling those 4 foot square pieces of styrofoam insulation, every
time you subsequently replace the roof on that building (whether it's a
built-up roof or a torch down roof), the new roof will also be a
The advantage of having a sloped roof are obvious. After a rain, you
don't have huge puddles on the top of the roof; the water all drains to
the roof drain. So, if you have a leak in the roof, the water damage is
minimal because the water drains away to the roof drain instead of
leaking through the roof into the plastic garbage pails below.
This business we have in here with people that know nothing about flat
roofs telling others that know even less how bad they are needs to be
Believe it or not, the only place where stupid people seem to be in the
majority is on TV. Everywhere else in life, people all seem to be both
reasonable and intelligent. If flat roofs were as bad as they're being
described in here, then not one of those reasonable and intelligent
architects, builders and roofing contractors would put a flat roof on a
The reason there are so many flat roofs is because what you're reading
in this forum about them is B. S. Flat roofs are popular because the
vast majority of them remain water tight for 25 to 30 years, which is as
much as you can expect from a shingled roof.
And, contrary to popular belief, there is as much technology and
development in flat roofing as there is in shingle roofing.
On Monday, February 24, 2014 5:38:47 AM UTC-8, email@example.com wrote:
Yes it costs more but any savings in contruction is soon eaten up by the maintenance costs.
Our County just a few years ago bit the bullet and spent millions replaceing the flat roof on the school with a peaked roof. At about the same time they also put a couple million into trying _again_ to fix leaks on the flat courthouse and jail roof.
There might be some economic consideration to building a falt vice peaked on huge buildings but why people put them on residences is beyond stupid.
On Monday, February 24, 2014 10:27:31 AM UTC-5, Harry K wrote:
Then all the architects, builders, etc out there using them must
be stupid, because they look at lifecycle cost. Organizations that set
code too, because they allow it. Yet they are being widely used and
have been for 100+ years. With the newest materials, they are more
reliable than ever.
They aren't appropriate everywhere, aren't as reliable as a pitched
roof, but they are appropriate for many applications where the tradeoffs
are acceptable. If they are done correctly, they last a long time. If
they are done half-assed or abused afterwards, then the results will be
The thread wasn't about residences, where flat roofs are found infrequently.
But there are good reasons for having them. In a city, where every foot
of usable space costs thounsands of dollars, it gives you a usable
roof deck, for example. Here at the shore, I've seen houses where the flat
roof offered spectacular water views and a perfect place for a party.
Would I put one on a typical suburban house? Of course not. But that
doesn't mean that they don't offer significant advantages for the right
Not only economic considerations related to roof construction itself, but
it also provides a convenient place to put mechanicals such as AC units,
etc. Not just placement, but ducting, etc. All of that has to be factored
into the project costs also.
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