Low-slope roofs are roofing structures that feature only a minimum slope, usually less than three inches of rising vertically for each horizontal foot – though many of these structures are called flat roofs, no roof is ever completely flat, not even the ones that seem so, because a completely horizontal roof surface would be unable to shed water and would get damaged in a very short time.
Low-slope roofs used to be a solution used only on commercial and industrial buildings, but nowadays they are very popular for residential applications, especially for buildings that feature minimalist designs.
Here are some important things that you should know about low-slope roofs.
The Most Common Materials Used on Low-Slope Roofs
The most common materials used for building low-slope roofs are different from the range of materials used on pitched roofs. Naples roofers assert that below are the most common options:
- Built-up roofs – these traditional, affordable and durable roofs are built alternating multiple layers of roofing felt and hot asphalt or tar, the result being a strong and watertight membrane. During the final phase of the installation, the structure is covered in a weather-resistant layer of coating or gravel to further improve the resistance of the roof;
- Modified bitumen roofs – these roofs are built using chemically modified asphalt, applied on top of a strong and resistant mat from fiberglass or polyester. The solution is popular for its superior resistance to water penetration as well as for its flexibility and its resistance to impact. The materials used on these roofs come in versions rated for resistance to fire, wind and hail;
- Metal roofs – metal is one of the most common materials used on low-slope roofs. The building owners interested in getting a metal roof have many options – they can choose from sheets or shingles made from a wide range of alloys. Low-sloping metal roofs are very strong and durable and with suitable insulation, they significantly improve the thermal performance of the entire building. The option is preferred by many owners for its versatility in terms of design as well;
- Single-ply solutions – these membrane roofs are a great solution for any low-slope roof that requires a strong water barrier and high tensile strength. Most single-ply membranes are white, which also ensures superior reflectivity to improve the energy-efficiency of the entire building by reflecting solar heat.
Other Things that You Should Know about Low-Slope Roofs
Whatever material low-slope roofs are made from, they all need an efficient drainage system to protect them from the issues potentially caused by ponding water. Your low-slope roof, along with the gutters and the downspouts attached to it, will also need regular maintenance – the structure will need to be inspected and cleaned professionally two times each year, once in spring and once in fall, to ensure the continues strength of the roof. If the seasonal inspection reveals a fault of the roof surface or of the gutter system, the issue needs to be fixed right away to restore the strength of the roof. The same goes for the occasional inspections after storms – it is a good idea to check your low-sloping roof and your gutters after each storm to remove any debris.