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Flat roof

Guide to Flat Roofs in Insurance

Flat roofs have a bit of a stigma attached to them, particularly when it comes to getting insurance. Because they’re pretty quick and simple to erect, they’re popular with builders. You’ll find them on all sorts of buildings all over the UK, which is why you’ll often find flat roofs on Mosques, Madrassahs and Islamic schools.

What Is A Flat Roof?

A flat roof is one which is almost entirely level, as opposed to a traditional sloped roof which is more common on UK buildings. While sloped roofs are triangular, and rise up to a point, a flat roof has only a very slight incline of about 10°, which allows enough of a slope for water run off.

Are There Different Types of Flat Roof?

There are about a dozen different types of flat roof:

  • Asphalt
  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM)
  • Turbo Seal
  • Commercial Hypalon® (chlorosulfonated polyethylene)(CSPE)
  • Modified Bitumen
  • Cold applied liquid membranes
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane roofing
  • Flexible Thermo Polyolefin (FTPO)
  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin single-ply roofing (TPO)
  • Coal-tar pitch built up roof
  • Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) roof – fiberglass
  • Metal flat roofing

Why Do Flat Roofs Affect Insurance?

Primarily, flat roofs are more vulnerable than traditional sloped roofs. Their main vulnerabilities are the weather and burglars.

Flat roofs are a perfectly acceptable choice in warm climates, but the British weather means that roofs have to contend with rain and snow. A sloped roof allows rain water and snow to slowly slide off the roof onto the ground or into a guttering system before it can seep in to the building and cause damp and damage to the structure. In contrast to this, a flat roof does not allow for the water or snow to slide off, and it sits in place on top of your property. If there is even the smallest area of damage, the water and melting snow can get into the bricks and mortar of your property.

Criminals also find it a lot easier to break through flat roofs, as they do not have the solid material properties that bricks and roof tiles have. A burglar could not easily access a tiled roof, but a flat roof is made of a weaker material, and an easier target.

The more flat roof there is to your Mosque, Madrassah or School, the more of a risk your insurer will see, as a higher proportion of the building is susceptible to damage.

How Can I Maintain My Flat Roof So It Meets Insurers’ Criteria?

Insurers will want to see that you’re being a responsible owner for all flat roof surfaces on your property. In order to do this, you’ll need to pay for a professional roofing contractor, qualified builder or surveyor to inspect it at least once every 1 – 2 years. If they spot any problems or defects, they must be immediately repaired, and you’ll need to keep all records of inspections and remedial work, as it’s likely you’ll be asked to provide these if you ever need to make a claim. These documents will prove that you have been taking all reasonable steps to keep the flat roof in good order.

Having a flat roof does not mean you’ll be unable to get Mosque insurance, as long as you can show that it’s in a good state of repair and you’re maintaining it well.

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