Your Complete Guide to Flat Roofing 

RoofCare North Hants (73)
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Whether you’re interested in installing a new flat roof but unsure of where to start or planning to replace an old roof but don’t know what materials can be used for flat roofing, we can help.

Our informative flat roofing guide answers the key questions many of us have regarding flat roofs, including their advantages and overall costs.

What is Flat Roofing?

Designed without a slope, flat roofing is a popular choice with both commercial and residential buildings, particularly extensions. Flat roofs are well known for their space-saving and low-costs though they do require a proper drainage system to help prevent pooling water.

What Materials Can Be Used for Flat Roofing?

When it comes to what materials can be used for flat roofing, several options are available. These include:


Short for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, EPDM is a popular material for flat roofs due to its durability and straightforward installation.

Fitted without the need for joints and requiring no naked flames, EPDM installation is typically a safe process. It involves a bonding adhesive and contact adhesive being applied along the roof’s perimeter before trims are installed around the edges.

EPDM also boasts a 50 year lifespan as well as being incredibly hardwearing and lightweight, making it the ideal low maintenance option. The material is also incredibly tough and elastic, ensuring it can comfortably deal with contraction or expansion.


Popular due to its affordability, felt roofing is available in two options – torch-on and self-adhesive.


Known for its durability and low-maintenance requirements, torch-on uses a three-layer system to create a fully-bonded membrane that reduces the risk of leaks. However, installation can be dangerous due to the use of a propane torch, so should always be performed by an experienced professional. 


A much safer alternative to the torch-on method, self-adhesive felt roofing consists of a film that can be peeled off rather than using a torch to bond. This installation method is incredibly easy, though it can be susceptible to more extreme weather conditions.


Also known as GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), fibreglass roofing is highly durable and requires little maintenance. The roofing consists of several layers of resin alongside a fibreglass netting atop a marine-grade or similar type of plywood. A topcoat is then applied afterwards, ensuring that it remains waterproof.


Increasing in popularity over the last few years, green roofs provide a more environmentally friendly option for properties. Typically made up of moss, grass and other organic matter, green roofs can also help with noise reduction and energy efficiency. However, It is worth knowing that they often require a higher level of maintenance compared to other types of roofs.

an old flat roof in need of replacing
An old flat roof in need of replacing

What are the Benefits of Flat Roofing?

When it comes to installing a new roof, knowing the advantages will often be a key influence in making a decision. Flat roofing can provide a wealth of benefits, including:

Easy installation

One of the most appealing aspects of flat roofing is the ease and efficiency of installation compared to sloped roofs.


Often requiring less work and fewer materials than a sloped roof installation, flat roofing will, as such, be a more cost-effective solution to fit.

Low maintenance 

Alongside being more cost-effective, the lack of different materials also ensures that flat roofs are easier to care for. Flat roofs are also more straightforward to access for contractors to undertake maintenance or repairs when required.


As a level base, flat roofing provides a variety of opportunities to build upon, including as a rooftop garden or as a foundation to create another room.

However, despite flat roofing’s many advantages, it does have its downsides.


Being built with fewer materials may save on cost, though it often results in a poorer level of insulation compared to sloping roofs. Flat roofs are also much more susceptible to extreme weather conditions such as snow or heavy rain.

Drainage Issues

Due to being level, flat roofs can often suffer from pooling water if there isn’t an efficient drainage system installed alongside. As a result, flat roofs can often struggle with leaks and have a shorter lifespan than a sloped roof.


Often associated with commercial buildings, flat roofs are often less appealing to homeowners than their sloped alternatives. Flat roofs are often considered basic and can be incredibly difficult to blend in alongside certain architectural styles.

flat roofing in progress
Flat roofing in progress

How Much Does Flat Roofing Installation Cost

Compared to sloped roofs, flat roofs are generally much more affordable to install, though there are still several costs to consider.


It generally goes without saying that the materials for the installation will need covering as part of the overall costs of the project.


A larger flat roof installation will typically cost more than a smaller area, though they will generally cost less per square meter.


On top of the materials required, the contractor’s time spent on the work will also need to be accounted for as well as their own expenses associated with running a business.

Additional factors

As part of a flat roof installation, there are often several other factors which add a further cost to the project. These extra expenses can include everything from scaffolding if the work is taking place at a height or new guttering and flashing to prevent issues with pooling water.

To find out how much a flat roof installation with us may cost, get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Guide to Flat Roofing: Final Thoughts

Here at Roof Care (North Staffs) LTD, we work with commercial, domestic and heritage clients to install and repair flat roofing in Stoke-on-Trent, Congleton and the wider Staffordshire and Cheshire regions. To learn more about our flat roofing or other services, call 01782 792809 or email