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Flat and Felt Roofs: Pros & Cons

flat roofDeciding on the right roofing type for your property can sometimes be very easy, with certain circumstances potentially dictating your choice of, for example, zinc or copper. But on other occasions, you might have to choose between roof types that differ markedly from each other.

This is very much the case when our customers need to choose between felt roofs and flat roofs. The two are not direct opposites of each other – for example, felt is routinely used on a flat roof – but it is nonetheless instructive to know the differences between the two and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

What do you need to know about flat roofs?

Before you ask, it’s true that the very term ‘flat roofing’ can be something of a misnomer, with even ‘flat’ roofs tending to have a several-degree pitch so that rainwater can drain off them.

Whether flat roofs really are entirely flat or incorporate a slight incline, they are less complicated, labour-intensive and expensive than pitched roofs, which also enables them to be installed much quicker and be walked on more safely than pitched roofs.

However, such roofs also come with certain clear disadvantages compared to their pitched counterparts. Their flatness can cause them to take more of a beating from the weather, shortening their lifespan, while they can also be susceptible to leaking and require more monitoring and maintenance in general than pitched roofs, due to such hazards as debris, water and clogged drainage systems.

The advantages and disadvantages of felt roofs

Roofing felt has existed for more than one hundred years, and was originally conceived as a form of temporary waterproofing for a roof after the removal of shingles. However, felt has become increasingly widely recognised as a fine roofing material in and of itself.

Advantages of felt include the reliable moisture barrier that it provides between the underlying wood decking and (should you specify them) the overlying shingles, as well as the wide range of widths and colours that you can select from here at ELC Roofing Ltd, including red, green, grey, white and blue/purple.

Indeed, the ICOPAL Lasergold mineral that we use as our own felt is laid in three layers to maximise durability, in addition to being insurance-backed and guaranteed for 15-20 years. Such measures as the use of high tensile polyester reinforcements with low melt SBS bitumen modifications help to allay probably the most common worry people have about felt roofs: that they simply won’t last long enough to be worth the money.

Ask us for advice on the best roofing type for you

Like other roofing types, flat roofs and felt roofs undoubtedly have certain pros and cons that you will need to carefully consider in the context of your own property. Nonetheless, a torch-on felting system like ours makes sense for even older flat roofs.

If you have any questions about the suitability of certain structure or material options in respect of your own individual requirements, simply contact ELC Roofing Ltd’s experts in roof rebuilds for more tailored guidance.

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