The flat roofing basics

Flat roofs are a popular choice for many homeowners, especially due to the flat roof costs compared to pitched roofs. These types of roofs can be used for homes, garages and extensions, and come with a significantly longer lifespan. Add to that, general maintenance for flat roofs is relatively simple and straightforward, and you can see why they have become so popular.

Over the past few years, the old ‘reputation’ for flat roofs has been replaced, with the modern flat roof materials proving extremely reliable, durable and almost maintenance free. Similarly, flat roofs are excellent for those looking to create a clean, cool and contemporary home – freeing up a lot of space. There is even scope to incorporate a green on the flat roof structure. With that in mind, our flat builders are sharing their guide to the type of roofs, materials and, of course, costs.

benefits of a flat roof

Types of flat roofs

Before we get started, you need to consider there are a number of different flat roofs. However, if you opt for reputable flat roofing companies, they will assess your property and suggest the most suitable flat roof type for your home. For instance, our flat roof contractors will survey your property and share details on the project from start to finish – including labour, materials and advice for roof maintenance.

EPDM flat roofs

Our flat roof specialists offer EPDM roofs and are approved firestone EPDM contractors. Essentially, EPDM refers to rubber roofing, with the roofing material engineered to be extremely hardwearing. Gone are the days of ‘flat roof leaks’ with EPDM roofing, as it is water resistant and doesn’t pollute any rainwater that falls into your garden from the roof. EPDM rubber roof is also particularly resistant to general scuffs and tears. Similarly, these types of flat roofs are designed to withstand direct sunlight.

Felt flat roofs

Felt flat roofs are another popular method, with our flat roof contractors installing hundreds around the North East. The benefit of these roofs (and our flat roof builders will attest) is that they are extremely high-quality and long lasting. Many flat roofing companies – such as Emperor Roofing – use the Tecnatorch SBS membranes, which have been developed for increased performance and built-up systems for flat roofs. Another major advantage is the cost, as these roofs are budget-friendly and can suit most roof sizes.

GRP flat roofs

GRP flat roofs, or glass reinforced plastic roofs, have proved extremely popular the past decade. These types of roofs are made from very strong, composite material that, while durable, is light and flexible to install. Originally used in construction, our North East flat roofers have seen a massive rise in the homeowners opting for GRP flat roofs. As they are flexible, waterproof and fully reinforced, they can be molded to any shape.


Our flat roof contractors have installed thousands of roofs over the years, and flat roofs are some of the most popular due to their lifespan. When installed correctly, the flat roofs can last upwards of 20 years. This is due, in part, to flat roofs not actually being ‘flat’. They may look horizontal, but they must have a slope of, at least, ¼ inch per foot. This allows for the steady movement or water pools or puddles into your guttering system and away from the roof. Essentially, you want the roof to achieve this basic function so as not to cause any lasting damage through leaks. Therefore, do your research on the flat roofing companies and ensure you choose roofers that are fully-equipped and trained.

Flat roof maintenance

The key to getting the most out of your roof is regular maintenance. While flat roofs do not require much maintenance, our flat roof specialists still suggest you follow these tips to ensure your home remains in tip-top condition. No roof lasts forever and spotting any signs of damage early can help avoid costly bills.

  • Six monthly checks: Always check your roof twice a year; once in the spring and once just before winter settles in. Roofs can degrade over time – particularly with the changing seasons – and you can think about repairs before further damage occurs, especially during adverse weather conditions.
  • Remove debris: Leaves, twigs and dirt can gather on the roof and collect in the roofline. Don’t allow this to build up as it could block the gutters and create water pooling. You should also check for large ice chunks in the gutters, which could expand the system and cause lasting damage.
  • Surrounding area: Our North East and Newcastle roofing company can attest that trees are a huge burden for roofs. The likelihood of your flat roof suffering damage due to falling debris is increased by surrounding trees. While we are not suggesting cutting them down, we do recommend you trim where possible and remove any build-up of leaves.
  • Internal checks: The first signs of roofing damage will, likely, be when the roof leaks start. Check your ceilings for any moisture, damp or darkened colours that suggest water is coming in from the outside. If this is neglected, this leads to much bigger problems down the line.

Thankfully, you don’t need many materials to take care of your roof and ensure it stays in good condition. The most basic item you need is a sweeping brush to remove any excess from the roof. Likewise, a pressure washer can prove effective as there are no chemicals, and you can remove algae and moss.


Another huge advantage to flat roofing is the ease of replacement and repair. In some cases, your flat roof can be repaired relatively easily. However, it may be more budget-friendly to replace the old roof with a brand-new flat roof – especially if the old one is nearing the end of its lifespan. Unlike pitched roofs and heavily designed roofs, the materials and labor costs are much less. However, if you do have any questions or replacements – you can contact our North East roofers via the online quote form.


As with any roof installation, there are costs. However, the flat roof costs pale in comparison to other roof styles, as they are simple and straightforward. There are fewer roofing materials required and, likewise, labor costs for our flat roof contractors or any other roofers. The timeline for flat roofs are also quicker, due to the nature of the roof type. This will be covered, however, with the flat roofing companies you choose before the project commences. It’s also worthwhile doing your research on the companies and opt for those with trusted reviews, as opposed to those lacking in testimonials and experience.

Advantages of flat roofs

There are a number of advantages to installing flat roofs when compared with other roof types:

  • Generally, roof costs are cheaper for flat roofs due to fewer materials and labor requirements.
  • The flat roofs can last upwards of 20 years when properly installed.
  • Flat roofs require very little maintenance and basic materials – such as a sweeping brush – to keep in good condition.
  • You can use flat roofs for other features, such as creating a garden in an urban area.
  • Resistant to water and general scruffs and tears.

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