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Flat roofs are quickly gaining popularity as a prominent part of our modern lifestyle. In cities, they allow for additional living space in urban buildings and increase the quality of indoor living. In the countryside, they reduce constructional disturbances of the environment and thus contribute to a lifestyle in harmony with nature. Lately, even investors have discovered the bonuses of flat roofs, although a while ago the flat roof was not particularly popular. On the contrary.

I can be your garden, your lawn, your pavilion, your terrace, your playground, your parking lot – high above the city …Flat roof

In areas with frequent rain, flat surfaces on buildings have long been considered unstable and unsuitable. Many a constructor will tell you that flat roofs are divided into those that are already leaking and into those that will do so shortly, and quickly offer you a different solution. Thankfully, the development of flat roofs and materials is heading towards sustainable construction. Today, flat roofs, if well designed and properly implemented, are built for life.

Dreaming of a flat roof and waking up to reality

A garden, a terrace, a pavilion, a pool, perhaps even an outdoor cinema, as it was installed in a hotel in Brisbane, Australia. Considering a flat roof often leads to discussing aesthetics and usefulness. Yet, while consulting articles and leafing through magazines to create our perfect spot under the clouds, we often forget about the consequences of bad design and improper implementation.

Flat roofs should always be multi-layered, with multiple layers of sealants to prevent external factors from affecting the quality of life in the residential space below. First and foremost, a flat roof must offer protection from external influences. Unfortuntaley, this often turns out to be a problem.

Usually, the roof construction is left to the contractor, while little consideration is given to the choice of a truly appropriate flat roof system. As a rule, we use the cheapest waterproofing (ie. the layer preventing the penetration of water into the building), and only the minimal thickness of thermal insulation prescribed by construction regulations. If we are lucky, the first rainy season will not result in a leaky ceiling or traces of condensate. However, by laying the waterproofing the usual old way, without special protection, the material is exposed to heat, sunlight and weather, leading to deterioration and reduction of its service life (Figure waterproofing). This is the reason why first roof repairs are due already after 10 to 15 years and are followed by a fair number of consequent repairs. To avoid this, special attention should be given to choosing good quality flat roof system. Then, after selecting high quality materials for the appropriate layers, we should insist on proper workmanship. With little or no additional input, these steps will result in reliable construction durability of your flat roof.

In construction, there are no second chances. You can spend the rest of your life paying for the errors of a hasty solution.

When deciding about a flat roof, the most important factors to be considered are rational design and thinking of the future

To ensure that a flat roof is durable, usable and walkable, we should observe new trends in construction and modern lifestyle and adopt new implementation methods. As waterproofing, in addition to its structure, is the most important aspect in the construction of a roof, it is essential to protect it from external factors, and to never leave it exposed, such as is often the case. Only in this way can we protect our building from accidental water leakage.

Consideration should also be given to protecting the waterproofing from the sun, mechanical damage (walking, hail) and temperature cycles, especially during spring and autumn temperature fluctuations, as these cause the material to expand and contract, thus contributing to its faster wear.

In practice, we solve this problem by implementing a more than half a century old system, commonly known as the inverted roof. In an inverted roof, layers of thermal insulation have a double function. Besides its obvious original feature, they also serve as a protective layer for the waterproofing, ensuring that it is not exposed to environmental impacts. With this method, the useful durability period of a flat roof can be prolonged to last all through the life of a building. Simultaneously and at no extra cost, the flat roof offers a new multipurpose area and increases the value of our building.