The Greatness Behind Flat Roofs: 4 Types of Materials

flat roofs

Flat roofs offer several benefits that make them the best option for some types of structures. Flat roofs are great for larger structures and those that require constant activity on the rooftop since they are lighter, less expensive to install, and give simple access. If you are in for a flat roof installation, we have the best Woodstock roofing contractors to make that happen!

One thing to keep in mind is that flat roofs aren’t fully flat. They are normally slightly slanted to allow water to flow away. Even yet, because drainage is slower on a flat roof than on a roof with a higher slope, most flat roofs must be maintained regularly to ensure that the roof material is kept watertight and sealed to prevent leaks and damage to the building.

Commercial Flat Roofing 

Most of us have seen flat roofs on commercial buildings where ease, accessibility, safety, and affordability are all important considerations. Multiple HVAC and other systems are frequently installed on the roofs of industrial, warehouse, retail, hotel, and similar commercial buildings, where maintenance people must have rapid access at all hours of the day and night. It is considerably easier to access these types of roofs for maintenance and repairs.

Residential Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are also often implemented in urban areas for high-rise residential and office structures where service access is crucial. In addition, from a design and space optimization standpoint, rooftop space in urban buildings is prized as an outdoor place where inhabitants and visitors can enjoy sunlight and fresh air.

Also, flat roofs are common in single-family homes and other compact structures where the environment, style, design, and price dictate that they are the best choice. They are particularly useful in dry climates, such as the southwest, where there will be minimal rain and little snow load on the roof. Flat roofs hold space for solar panels or a green roof covered in living plants that will make your property energy efficient.

Four Great Materials for Flat Roofs

Let’s review the best flat roofing material so you can make an informed decision!

PVC Membrane

A PVC membrane flat roof is made of scrim, which is a flexible, heavy-duty, non-woven polyester fabric that forms a bonded seal and is also fire resistant. A UV-resistant PVC thermoplastic is laminated to the scrim. These membranes are less heavy than other roofing materials. In most cases, they add very little weight to an existing structure. A PVC roof can often be installed directly over an existing system when re-roofing eliminating the need for costly tear-offs.

PVC is chemically resistant to a wide range of substances. In the severe circumstances found on rooftops, PVC membranes provide long-term service. After more than 30 years of service, many PVC roofs are still functional.

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

The Built-up Roof (BUR) is a type of roof that is made up of hot tar and gravel. Between at least three layers of watertight ply sheets, layers of hot tar are placed. A layer of smooth river stones or gravel is then put on top.

The main benefit of a BUR roof, which is ideal for commercial structures, is that it is quite inexpensive. Another advantage is that, because gravel is naturally fire-resistant, a BUR roof can meet greater fire ratings than other roofing materials.  However, take into account that rock-ballasted roofs are extremely heavy, putting additional strain on the construction of your building.

And after its lifespan has expired, is very tough to remove off. This difficulty in removal raises the expense of roof replacement in the future.

Modified Bitumen

This type of roof requires only one coat of adhesive roofing material, making them ideal for do-it-yourself projects. Previously, modified bitumen was applied with a torch, but today self-adhering solutions are available.

Modified bitumen roofs are also lighter in color, helping to reflect some of the sun’s infrared radiation and lowering HVAC expenditures.

Rubber Membrane

Historically, rubber membrane has been a common flat roofing material. A flat roof with a rubber membrane, often known as EPDM, is both durable and lightweight but is less resistant than PVC. In a hotter environment, one downside of a rubber membrane roof is that it is inherently black, making it more susceptible to heat absorption.

The black rubber roof’s look is frequently cited as its major flaw.

Hire the Best Roofing Contractors in Woodstock!

Regardless of the type of material you are choosing for your roof’s property, you should not entrust the job to just anyone!

At our Woodstock roofing company, you will find dependable and educated professional contractors to ensure that the material is the right one for your building and that it is constructed correctly to avoid future costly damage.


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