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One of the first things to remember about flat roofs is that they should not be entirely flat, despite their name. Flat roofs are always laid on a slight incline, thus allowing water to run off and to stop pooling of rainwater. The construction of a flat roof is quite distinct from a traditional tiled or slated roof, so you should always ask your roofing specialist for guidance if you are unsure about any of the details when it comes to having a new roof fitted.
Modern flat roofs do not suffer from the problems of damp or leaking that they have traditionally been associated with and they are just as strong and effective as any pitched roof when installed by a professional. Flashing is used to seal the edges of roofing near to a chimney or other break in the same way as it is on pitched roof, with lead, aluminium or even fibre-glass being used as a seal.
Your roofing expert will first have to remove the old roof before laying the new one. In most cases they will strip the roof right back, laying new boards and the various layers needed to make up a flat roof. In most cases you will be having a ‘warm’ flat roof installed on your home (‘cold’ roofs are usually for garages or outhouses and are not legal in Scotland), which means insulation and waterproofing is laid above the roof deck and ceiling joists.
Warm roofs usually contain plywood decking or boards, a vapour control layer, a layer of insulation, a layer of roofing felt and then a surface such as chippings. Once the roof is finished it will need minimal maintenance and will be extremely strong. Flat roofs are often used for solar panels or ‘green’ roofs.
Do ask your roofer about this before they start work, as there are many variations on how a flat roof can be made up and what can be used as a covering for it. The cost of the job will largely be reliant upon the size of the roof to be fitted.
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