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Flat roof materials

There’s no denying it, flat roofs have a pretty poor reputation and are often synonymous with elevated maintenance costs and short life spans. Add to this higher insurance premiums, lack of flexibility and a propensity to leak and it’s easy to see way they have a bad name.

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However, this is a somewhat dated reflection on modern day flat roofs. Technical advances in techniques and materials, mean that flat roofs can actually be an ideal solution for many properties; often easier and cheaper to install than pitch roofs, whilst offering unique access solutions and even balcony possibilities.

Flat roofs needn’t be a headache, simple ensure you have the right type of flat roof for your property and use an insurer that specialises in flat roofs. More on flat roof insurance later, but firstly let’s look at flat roof materials.

Traditionally many domestic UK flat roofs are constructed using one of the following:

Felt has always been popular. Steeped in bitumen, layered felt is considered durable, quick and easy to lay and cost effective.

Asphalt, when poured onto a prepared surface can create a hardwearing covering that enjoys a relatively long lifespan and a competitive price tag.

Single ply membrane
Although more costly than the other two, membrane flat roofs are recognised for providing an efficient, lightweight and flexible roofing solution.

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There are also various flat roofing repair techniques that have been given a contemporary edge and which can seriously improve your flat roof’s longevity, these are:

Fibreglass GRP
A fibreglass outer layer on your flat roof is extremely strong and correctly applied can last up to 50 years. They are seamless, joint-free, require little maintenance and are lightweight.

The use of a reinforced, waterproof membrane to repair flat roofs has proved highly effective. There are various resin-based, liquid waterproof systems available.

EPDM rubber flat roofs are lightweight as well as being relatively quick and easy to install. Today’s liquid rubber membranes are flexible and suitable for most properties.

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Every flat roof is different

Every property is unique and so when it comes to choosing the best flat roofing solution for you it’s best to discuss your options with a professional roofer. A variety of factors can influence your choice, such as the size of your roof, your budget, the aspect of your property and the weather it is exposed to. Also, do you have or want a roof garden, balcony, or require easy access to first floor windows and gutters?

As well as flat roof materials and roofing techniques used, one of the defining factors in the durability of any flat roof is the quality of the installation. Be sure to use a reputable and experienced roofer, as the above techniques and materials are best installed by a professional.

A note on flat roof insurance

Although common place, since flat roofs by definition are not pitch, in insurance terms technically they are a non-standard construction. At Highworth Insurance, we are specialists insurers for all forms of non-standard build and of course, flat roof insurance. We are well aware of the impressive advancements in flat roof materials and are able to provide a competitive and knowledgeable quotation.