A question many people have been asking over the last couple of years is; What are the different types of roofs (otherwise known as flat roofs)? The first type of roof to most people would associate with being flat and roofless. This was the most common style of roof in North America up until the 1980’s when vinyl replaced the wooden shingles that were once used for this style. Vinyl is a material that is used by many people these days looking to create a flat and clean look in their homes and also make the roof more durable. Another reason people would like a flat roof is because they can be much cheaper than having a home with a traditional home construction style.
One major difference between a flat roof and a roof with a ridge is the water that collects on the top of the roof. If you have a flat roof without any type of runoff or water collecting area the water just flows off the roof as rain. If the water builds up and runs off in a downspout on top of the roof then you have a runoff water system. With a flat roof the water is able to run off the roof but often there is not enough space for this water to be absorbed and this means that it just falls straight down onto the ground.
There are a number of reasons why this happens, but the most important reason is because the roof is flat and does not allow for the water to spread out as it does with a flat roof. Flat roofs can leak and when this happens the water will often pool around the foundations of the house. This water can then seep into the walls and other areas of the house and cause structural damage to the home. Since houses with flat roofs are not supported by any type of structural lumber the wall cavities can easily collapse and the rest of the house can crumble. The amount of damage that this can cause to a house is extensive and it can be extremely expensive to repair the damage that has been done.
Different types of roofs will have different runoff needs. Some roofs will need to carry more water because they are designed to allow it to run off. If the materials used in the construction of the house do not hold up well in high water conditions then the roof may fail at some point. When this happens the water can run off and get in between the shingles on the roof or it can even get underneath the shingles.
This process is known as capillary action and it occurs because the water is traveling along the surface at a slower rate than it is traveling upward. Water travels faster downward because it has less resistance than the water moving upward. As the water travels downward the rate of this water travels increases. As the water travels downward, it also creates pressure along the roof which pushes up on the ceiling and allows it to be lifted off the floor.
If you see the water running downhill from a flat area on the roof, then the drainage system on the roof is probably not working correctly. If you see water flowing uphill from the roof, then there is probably a leak somewhere in your attic. Leaks in the attic are very difficult to detect without a good inspection of the area. You should never let water sit for long periods of time without cleaning it up. If the water that accumulates in the attic is left alone, it will eventually start to rot out the wood framing and cause major damage to your home.