Much of our time is spent replacing flat roofs with an EDPM solution on local flat roofs around the areas of Somerset, Bristol, Bath, and surrounding areas. These flat roofs are often installed on garages that have had a felt roof that hasn’t stood the test of time, or a perspective conservatory roof being replaced with a flat solution to make better use of the space when the room is more thermally regulated. While much of our work takes place on garages, conservatories, extensions, and dormers, we thought we would take a look at the more unusual uses for a flat roof. 

Solar panels

With a drive to become more eco-efficient, solar panels are becoming increasingly popular. Flat roofs are ideal for solar panel installation, as they provide a large, open surface area that is not shaded by trees or other obstructions. Having solar panels fitted on a flat roof is a great use of space and can help you generate your own electricity. 

Green roofs

Green roofs are roofs that are covered with vegetation. They provide a number of benefits, such as improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and providing habitat for wildlife. If you are keen to disguise the grey of your flat roof, you could consider a green roof. If done properly, and maintained according to the guidelines of the roof, they can make a great addition to your home. 

green roof garden

Rooftop gardens

A great way to add green space to a city or urban area, especially if you don’t have much of a garden, a rooftop garden can make a most welcome addition. They can also provide a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. However, be careful that anything you do is subject to the correct planning permission. If you suddenly start using a flat roof as a terrace, this could be considered a change of use. Not to mention, it may upset the neighbours

Car parking

Yes, a flat roof, as long as structured to be able to take the weight, can be used as a parking space. Again, it requires careful planning and you need to ensure you have an access drive and a well-built structure, designed to load bear. 

Heli-Pad

And if you have a helicopter (because don’t we all?), flat roofs can be used as helipads, which is a convenient way to transport people and goods to and from a building. We have to admit, we have yet to fit a flat roof for use as a helipad though.

Other uses include:

Commercial buildings

Flat roofs are common on commercial buildings, as they provide a large, open space that can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, many commercial buildings have solar panels on their roofs, and some have rooftop gardens or parking areas.

Industrial buildings

Flat roofs are also common on industrial buildings, for the same reasons as commercial buildings. Additionally, some industrial buildings have helipads on their roofs.

Residential buildings

Flat roofs are becoming more common on residential buildings, as people are looking for ways to add green space and recreation space to their homes. For example, some people have rooftop gardens or decks on their homes. If you have ever watched an episode of Grand Designs, or such home improvement programmes, you will have seen buildings that have had roof gardens or ‘green roofs’ installed to blend the home in with the environment. 

The benefits of a flat roof

Flat roofs have a number of benefits, including:

  • Affordability: Flat roofs are typically less expensive to install than pitched roofs. This is because they require less material and labor.
  • Versatility: Flat roofs can be used for a variety of purposes, such as solar panel installation, green roofs, rooftop gardens, parking areas, and helipads.
  • Ease of maintenance: Flat roofs are easier to maintain than pitched roofs. This is because they are less likely to leak and they are easier to access for repairs.
  • Energy efficiency: Flat roofs can be more energy efficient than pitched roofs. This is because they can be insulated to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
  • Durability: Flat roofs can be durable if they are properly installed and maintained. They can last for many years with little or no repairs.

Ultimately, the most popular uses of a flat roof will depend on the specific needs of the building or property owner. If you fancy a helipad, or even just a flat roof for your conservatory, get in touch with the team at Thermal Roof and we will be happy to offer our advice on the most suitable option for your property.