What Is the Difference Between a Flat & Sloped Roof?

It can be quite easy to look up and see the differences between a sloped and flat roof. However, do you actually know the real differences between these two types of roofs? They both have pros and cons that you need to know about for your commercial business. Learn more about both of these types of roofs and how they rank below. Let’s go!

 Best Uses

Flat roofs are very often found on commercial buildings in the city. They are very common in towns as they allow the ceiling to reach as high as possible without having to deal with the sloping walls. Obviously, this utilizes the vertical space.

 Sloped roofs, however, are usually found on homes more than they are on commercial buildings. This is unless they are in areas where debris or water drainage could be an issue.


While the name “flat roof” can be ever so slightly misleading, flat roofs actually have a slight slope in order to help them drain water. However, snow and water are much more likely to sit dormant on flat roofs. This is why they are far more susceptible to leaks than sloped roofs are, as they have gravity on their side.

 A sloped roof still needs to be properly ventilated in order to avoid any ice dams in the winter season. The gutters will also need to be maintained to ensure water doesn’t pool or back up on the roof and cause damage.


Depending on the installation quality and the type of materials, a flat roof can essentially last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, this is reliant on many different variables. On the other hand, a sloped roof that is made from high-quality materials and installed properly lasts between 15 to 20 years.


Both sloped and flat roofs will require some form of regular maintenance. Flat roofs, at some point, will need to be patched as it is inevitable that water could pool and create weak spots in your roof. On the other hand, sloped roof maintenance requires replacing blown-off shingles, fixing nail pops, and resealing nail pops. Though, this is less expensive than flat roof maintenance.


There is no denying that flat roofs cost less in both installation and materials than sloped roofs. However, you will be required to pay far more when it comes to maintaining the roof. Regardless of the type of roof you have, the right roofing contractor will make all of the difference when it comes to your roof. There is so much more that needs to be thought of than just the installation costs. Maintenance costs are almost always the main concern.

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