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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

The Benefits and Limitations of Flat Roofing Systems

Published by Pickard Roofing at

Flat roofing systems have become a hallmark of modern architecture, frequently gracing the tops of commercial edifices and increasingly, residential properties. Their sleek silhouette against the sky often captures the essence of contemporary design, but this style is not solely a matter of aesthetics. 

This article will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of flat roofing systems, offering insights to those contemplating this roofing option.

Benefits of Flat Roofing Systems

Space Utilization

Flat roofs open up possibilities for utilization that pitched roofs often cannot offer. They create an additional area for urban gardens, solar panel arrays, or even outdoor lounges, transforming what would typically be an unused space into a functional asset.


The construction of flat roofs generally requires less material than their pitched counterparts. This reduction in materials, coupled with quicker installation due to easier access, translates into lower overall costs.

Easier Maintenance

Flat roofs facilitate simpler inspections and maintenance due to their even surface. Without slopes or angles to navigate, spotting potential issues can be less challenging.

Flexibility in Design

Many flat roofs complement the modern, minimalistic aesthetic that is prevalent in contemporary architecture, offering a clean and streamlined look.

Energy Efficiency 

With the right reflective materials, flat roofs can significantly reduce heat absorption, which is especially beneficial in warmer climates, potentially leading to lower energy bills.

Limitations of Flat Roofing Systems

Drainage Concerns

The most pronounced drawback of flat roofs is water drainage. Unlike pitched roofs, which naturally guide water off the roof, flat surfaces require meticulous design to avoid water accumulation, which can lead to leaks and structural damage.

Limited Lifespan

Generally, flat roofs have a shorter lifespan compared to sloped varieties. The materials used and the exposure to standing water can expedite wear and tear.

Maintenance Frequency

While maintenance may be easier, it often needs to be more frequent. Regular check-ups are essential to prevent leakage and extend the roof's lifespan.

Weight Concerns

Those looking to install heavy features such as rooftop gardens or equipment must consider the need for additional structural support to bear the extra weight.

Insulation Challenges

Flat roofs typically have less space for insulation compared to pitched roofs, which can be a limitation in colder climates where adequate insulation is crucial.

Considerations for Choosing a Roofing System

When deciding on a roofing system, several factors need to be weighed:

Purpose and Functionality

What do you envision using the roof space for? Will it be a functional area or primarily for shelter?


Consider not only the initial installation costs but also long-term maintenance expenses.


Assess how well a flat roof would handle your area's weather. Will it need to manage heavy rains, or would you benefit more from its heat-reflective properties?

Aesthetic Preference

The decision might come down to whether you prefer the modern look of a flat roof or the traditional appearance of a pitched roof.


Flat roofing systems undoubtedly offer a unique set of advantages that can be appealing, particularly for those with a penchant for modern design and efficient space usage. However, the considerations of maintenance, longevity, and climate suitability must be taken into account.

Selecting the right roofing system is a critical decision that can impact your property for decades. If you're in Raleigh, North Carolina, and are considering a flat roofing system, reach out to Pickard Roofing. Our team possesses the expertise to guide you through your choices, ensuring that your final decision aligns with both your desires and practical requirements. 

We're committed to providing top-tier roofing advice and installation services. For a meticulous evaluation and a free estimate, contact us today. With Pickard Roofing, your roof is not just built to last; it's crafted to impress.

At Pickard Roofing, we think about Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.