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Why Insurance Companies Don't Like Flat Roofs

You’ve applied for insurance and the company tells you they can’t cover your home because a part of your house has a flat roof with either rubber membrane or other roofing material. What makes insurance companies hesitant to cover a home with this type of roof? The number one reason is that they are more likely to leak. Beyond that, here are some other considerations:

  • Rubber membrane roofs (the predominant form of flat roofs in Virginia) are more prone to damage as they are made of softer materials that are easily punctured by sharp objects, such as nails, screws, and tree branches. They are also more susceptible to damage from extreme weather conditions, such as hail, wind, and rain.

  • Flat roofs can be more expensive to repair. When damaged, more often than not they need to be replaced, which is a costlier process.

  • Installation is more difficult because installers have to cut large pieces of material to go around vent pipes and attic vents, making the risk of gaps more likely.

  • Unless done just right, most flat roofs have drainage issues over time which can cause structure damage and surface wear if not addressed quickly.

  • Debris build-up - leaves, branches and moss can quickly accumulate on a flat roof, which requires frequent clearing by the homeowner.

  • On average, flat roofs have a shorter lifespan, typically lasting only 10 – 15 years.

Types of Flat Roofing