While flat roofs are most popular for commercial buildings, shingles are prevalent for homes, but can you combine them? Can you put shingles on a flat roof?
Any reputable roofer will tell you to avoid putting shingles on a flat roof. Although they’re a highly versatile and durable roofing material, you should only install them on sloped roofs.
Installing shingles on a flat or even low-slope roof can cause several problems for your property. Loganville’s roofing contractors at Galian Roofing know that homeowners have many questions regarding their roofing systems. Here, they explain why shingles don’t work for flat roofs and what materials you should use instead.
Whether your roof is flat or sloped depends on its pitch, which is the angle of the roof facets. If your roof has a point with at least a 15-degree angle, it’s a sloped roof. However, your roof should have a big enough slope to hold shingles properly, so what do roofers consider a flat or low-slope roof?
The best way to answer this question is by calculating your roof’s pitch, which you can do by measuring how many feet or inches the roof vertically rises per 12 inches or feet of its horizontal distance. For example, if your roof rises 6 inches every 12 inches out, the pitch is 6:12. If the pitch is 2:12 or below, it’s a low-slope roof and should not use shingles.
Why shouldn’t you put shingles on flat or low-slope roofs? The issue mainly has to do with rainwater.
When it rains, a properly sloped roof with shingles will have no trouble letting the water run off the shingles and into the gutters. However, shingles on a flat roof won’t be steep enough for the water to run down. This creates an issue for your roof because the water will collect under and between the shingles, leaving pooling water with nowhere else to go.
While pooling water on your roof may not cause immediate problems, it will significantly reduce your roof’s lifespan, especially when you combine it with Loganville’s humidity. Standing water on a flat roof can lead to leaks, damaged materials, and an overall weaker roof. In addition, you won’t be able to rely on the manufacturer’s warranties to cover the cost of the damage since shingles on flat or low-slope roofs are a misuse of the roofing material.
Can you put shingles on a flat roof if a Loganville roofer suggests it? If you hire a professional roofer and they say you can put shingles on your flat or low-slope roof, you should find a new contractor.
Unfortunately, some roofers will agree to put shingles on flat roofs to lower the price of their services. Shingles tend to be significantly cheaper than more appropriate flat roofing material. For example, shingles can cost around $6 per square foot, while membrane systems for flat roofs can cost up to $17 per square foot.
This major price difference can tempt some property owners to put shingles on their flat roofs, but doing so will only cause more trouble.
Now that you know the answer to “Can you put shingles on a flat roof?” is no, you can explore more appropriate options. Although flat roofing materials tend to cost more than shingles, they’ll do a much better job of protecting your flat roof and lead to greater long-term savings since you won’t have to worry about scheduling frequent repairs.
Consider using the following materials for your building’s flat roof in Loganville, Georgia.
Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer membrane is one of the most popular flat roofing materials for commercial properties. This black synthetic rubber material can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. However, it can also retain quite a bite of heat, so it’s best to put this material over a garage or another non-livable space.
For a commercial and residential-friendly flat roofing material, consider thermoplastic polyolefin. The white color of this single-ply rubber roofing material helps it reflect heat rather than absorb it so that it won’t overheat your home or building. Your TPO membrane roof can last up to 25 years with sufficient maintenance.
Like TPO membrane roofing, polyvinyl chloride membrane is a white, single-ply roofing system offering greater versatility than EPDM membrane roofing. People often confuse PVC and TPO membranes because they’re so similar, but PVC has a slightly different chemical makeup that makes it more flexible than TPO membranes.
Standing seam roofing differs from the previous three types of flat roofing materials because it consists of metal rather than rubber. The metal panels of a standing seam roof make it more visually attractive and customizable. Although this roofing material is the more expensive option, it could protect your building for up to 50 years.
You don’t want to install shingles if you have a flat roof. To avoid long-term roof damage, your flat or low-slope roof needs a more appropriate roofing material like one of those listed above. If you’re unsure which option is best for your property, let the experts at Galian Roofing give you a hand.
The licensed, insured, and BBB-accredited team at Galian Roofing is passionate about serving fellow Loganville home and property owners with top-quality roofing services. Whether you’re wondering, “Can you put shingles on a flat roof?” or “What are the signs of a leaking roof?” Loganville’s go-to team of roofing experts can help.
Don’t settle for just any roofing contractor. When you need reliable services from reputable experts, contact Galian Roofing. Call the team today for a free estimate or to learn about your financing options in Loganville, Georgia.