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St Louis Roofing: Article About All About Flat Roofing

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As the name suggests, a flat roof is nearly level. In contrast to the highly sloped roofs common in colder climates, flat roofs are widely used in dry or subtropical locations. In essence, the slope, or "pitch," of a roof is directly related to its primary function of protecting the house from the elements. In extremely rainy locations, having a sloped roof can assist in quickly drawing rainwater away from the building. In areas with heavy snowfall, a sloped roof is even more important. For example, a classic Swiss chalet has its characteristically pointed roof design so that snow does not accumulate on top of the roof during snowstorms, which could otherwise cause structural damage.

Flat roofs, on the other hand, are ideal in locations where architects needn't concern themselves with the structural loads of heavy snowfall or the risk of torrential rains. In addition, flat roofing is ideal for larger scale buildings, where it would not be feasible to build a highly pitched roof. For example, a large warehouse would require a roof several stories high if it were to maintain the same degree of pitch common among pitched roof homes.

St Louis roofing companies regularly use flat roofs for larger commercial functions and, to a smaller degree, for residential buildings. Although St Louis receives some precipitation, flat roofs can be designed to accommodate some degree of rain or snowfall.

Have a question regarding roof repairs or siding? Please ask a roofing companies expert from ACI Exteriors of St Louis today.

In essence, a flat roof is not 100 percent horizontal. Rather, it has a very low pitch, typically set at an angle of less than 10 degrees.

Instead of covering flat roofs with shingles or tiles, as is common for sloped roofs, roofing companies typically rely on a set of materials known collectively as membranes. Roofing membranes come in a range of materials, from tarpaper to metal to EPDM synthetic rubber.

One of the simplest types of flat roof covering, tarpaper consists of a thick type of paper that has been impregnated with tar and then covered with gravel. The combination of tar and gravel serves to protect the roof from sunlight or rainfall damage. This tarpaper is typically produced in sheets and then bonded together to cover the entirety of the roof. Several more modern alternatives to tarpaper have quickly come to dominate the flat roofing industry. Among these options, EPDM, PVC and TPO rely on either plastics or rubber like materials to give the roof impermeable protection.

Whether covering a roof with metal, tarpaper or TPO, flat roofing considerations are slightly different from those of sloped roofs. As such, it's advisable to consult with a qualified and experienced roofing company before narrowing down the decision.

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