Are Flat Roofs Good in Toronto’s Snowy Weather

Flat Roofs Can Be Viable Options for Homeowners in Toronto and the GTA

Commons Issues and Misconceptions About Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are very common in the Toronto and GTA area. Flat roofs are viable options for detached, semi-detached, and townhouse-style residences; as well as commercial buildings.

Flat roofing provides homeowners with an opportunity to maximize the space available within the confines of their properties, and can be a feature for their consideration under a number of different circumstances, including:

  • Raised deck/outdoor living space
  • When purchasing an existing home
  • Renovating by adding an upper story
  • Having a live garden or creating a new roof garden/green roof

However, there may be some hesitancy on the part of a homeowner/building owner relative to installing a flat roof, due to a lack of experience with this type of roofing system. There is a prevailing assumption that flat roofs are only for commercial or industrial use.

There are indeed some valid questions that need to be asked-and-answered about flat roofs for detached and semi-detached homes and townhouse or co-operative complexes.  These concerns generally consist of the following:

  • Will flat roofs support the weight of snow and ice in the winter?
  • Are flat roofs more prone to leaks than conventional sloped roofs?
  • How can heavy rain or melted snow/ice drain properly if a roof is flat?
  • How much higher are installation costs for flat roofs over sloped roofs?
  • Are costs higher for flat roof repair and maintenance versus sloped roofs?

Answers to these questions:

  • Structural/Weight-Bearing Support
    • Municipalities have building codes in place to address such safety aspects
    • Toronto roofing codes account for local snow conditions/loads on flat roofs
    • Licensed roofers must adhere to these codes during the construction phase
  • Waterproofing/Leak Protection
    • Roofs of all shapes, sizes, and materials have the potential to leak over time
    • Weathering, improper design, and/or poor installation are the leading causes
    • For flat roofs, expertise in installation and use of quality materials are critical
  • Drainage Efficiency/Capacity
    • Flat roofs are not perfectly flat; they are sloped slightly to promote drainage
    • The pitch is usually ¼ inch per foot; number of drains is based on roof area
    • This pitch/slope can be achieved using specially-designed tapered insulation
  • Installation Costs
    • Flat roofs can actually be less expensive to install than traditional sloped roofs
    • Fewer overall materials are required and installation times are generally faster
    • Retrofitting older homes may entail some structural reinforcement (added cost)
  • Repair and Maintenance
    • All roofs should be inspected and maintained on a systematic and routine basis
    • Cleaning a flat roof surface and its drains is akin to regular gutter maintenance
    • Contractors have ease-of-access for flat roof repair in contrast to sloped roofs

Inherent throughout all of the above is the importance of contracting a roofing company with a thorough understanding and expertise in the design, installation, and repair of flat roofs for residential properties.  Such service is available from Avenue Road Roofing, a leading roofing company in Toronto and the GTA for more than 40 years.

Superior Quality and Manufacturer-Certified Flat Roof Installation and Repairs

Avenue Road Roofing has performed thousands of flat roof installations for residential and commercial customers within Toronto and the GTA.  With 40+ years of experience in flat roof installation and repair, property owners can rely on Avenue Road Roofing to provide quality workmanship, using high-quality materials, for all their flat roofing needs.

The most common material used in residential flat roof application; is a two-ply modified bitumen membrane system.  Avenue Road Roofing is a manufacturer-certified installer of the IKO modified bitumen systems and commercial flat roofing system such as Firestone TPO. These superior quality and long lasting flat roof systems are preferred methods of installation.

If you have questions/concerns about the viability of installing a flat roof for your home, call the residential flat roof experts at Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 to obtain the answers you need to make an informed decision.