Home Insurance and Flat Roofs
If you have a flat roof, specialist home insurance is essential for providing those extra levels of protection. This can include covering alternative accommodation costs for you and your family in the event of insured damage to your property that might require you to move out. Home insurance will also protect against damage to the building and in some cases, home insurance offers unlimited cover for the cost of tracing water leaks which might occur in flat roofs.
Flat roofs are common in extensions or more modern constructions as they are an efficient use of space. Flat roofs also offer innovative space on top of the roof for solar panels, roof gardens or terraces. However, a flat roof must always be water resistant and water tight to prevent serious damage to the roof, the building and its contents. You may have a flat roof as part of your living room, kitchen or conservatory which would need to be covered as part of your home insurance and you should ensure it is in good condition to prevent leaks and damage.
Flat roofs are usually either made of modified bitumen, rubber membrane, or layers of tar and water resistant material which are then covered in gravel. These multiple layers mean that debris can get caught and cause flooding. In fact, 90% of all roof leaks and failure occur at the roof flashing (the waterproof seal around the edge of the roof); so it is essential to keep the flashings in good condition and repair any blisters or deterioration immediately.
Whilst flat roofs have the risk of flooding, they do have the added advantage of giving you alternative space for the family to use. If you plan to use your flat roof for recreation, you can install a wooden deck or paving stones to protect the roof membrane from damage. Check with a builder, roof expert and your insurance company before you make any changes to your roof, however, as some structural changes may not be suitable for your home or current terms of insurance cover.
If you have a flat roof, you should ensure you have specialist content insurance to protect your flat roof and your home into the future.