As simple as a flat roof may seem, some variations bring about this article on the types of flat roofing available. Flat roofs are the most cost-effective roofing option.
They provide excellent weather protection for your home or commercial property while keeping the interior dry and toasty. Flat roofs have many advantages, but they also have some drawbacks.
Flat roofs are common on all structures, and we’re all familiar with them. Is a flat roof, however, the best option for your structure?
Flat roofs differ from the more ornamental sloped roofs found on homes and small buildings, but they offer a number of benefits in certain scenarios and could be the best option for a new structure.
There are various types of flat roofing materials available to satisfy the needs of building owners and managers when a flat roof is the best option or when replacing an old flat roof.
Flat roofs offer several benefits that make them the best option for certain structures. Flat roofs are great for larger structures and require constant activity on the rooftop since they are lighter, less expensive to install, and give simple access.
One thing to keep in mind is that flat roofs aren’t entirely flat. They usually are slightly slanted to allow water to flow away.
Even so, because drainage is slower on a flat roof than on a roof with a higher slope, You must maintain most flat roofs regularly to ensure that the roof material is kept watertight and sealed to prevent leaks and damage to the building below.
Flat roofs should be inspected thoroughly every year to search for faults and seal surfaces that have been harmed by UV radiation or dampness.
Without much Ado, let’s move to the different types of flat roofing.
Table of Contents
- 1. Thermoplastic Membrane Flat Roof
- 2. Build Up Roof (BUR)
- 3. Rubber Membrane Flat Roof
- 4. Modified Bitumen Flat Roof
- 5. Spray-On Flat Roof
- 6. Metal Flat Roof
- 7. Green Flat Roof System
- 8. Concrete Flat Roof
- 9. Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof
1. Thermoplastic Membrane Flat Roof
A single-ply layer of material is fastened to the roof with screws and plates in this form of roofing. It is typically white or gray, although it can also be other hues.
Their high-temperature endurance and durability are lauded. Thermoplastic membrane roofing comes in two varieties: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic olefin (TPO).
PVC is the third most often used synthetic material. Because of its flexibility, roofing is quite simple to install. It is also the more durable of the two thermoplastic membrane roofing types. They can endure up to 20 years in most cases.
Furthermore, TPO is a more environmentally friendly version of the thermoplastic membrane roof. When it’s time to replace the sheets, You can recycle the old material.
UV absorption and flame resistance are two advantages of this roofing material. TPO roofing has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
Thermoplastic membrane roofing is still a popular choice because of its low cost, energy efficiency, and durability. This is one of the different types of flat roofing.
2. Build Up Roof (BUR)
For almost a century, build-up roofs have been a fixture in flat roofing. Thanks to their rough tar and gravel appearance, they’re simple to spot.
The installer will build it until there is a dense layer of minerals and tar packed on the roofing (thus the name).
This is a popular choice because of its low maintenance requirements and affordable price. It is also effective against UV radiation. They can endure up to 15 to 20 years if properly maintained.
However, there are a few drawbacks. Also, it doesn’t hold up well in bad weather, and it’s tough to track down the cause of a leak once it happens. It’s also relatively hefty and inefficient in terms of energy.
3. Rubber Membrane Flat Roof
A single-ply rubber membrane is used for this roofing material. It’s either cemented down or fastened down with rocks.
The rubber will be secured with boulders, giving it the appearance of a built-up roof. The membrane will be held down by much larger stones rather than gravel.
EPDM roofing is available in two colors: black and white. It is the most cost-effective roofing choice for both installation and repair. Also, Installation is usually a quick and straightforward process.
Rubber roofing typically lasts 25 to 30 years. In addition, the white option is preferable if you live in a cold region because dark roofing material can absorb heat and increase your cooling bills.
4. Modified Bitumen Flat Roof
A modified bitumen roof is an asphalt-based sheet with a texture and appearance similar to the BUR. Starting with insulation, it is put in five layers.
However, the modified base sheet, modified bitumen membrane, adhesive, and surface topcoat are applied.
A modified bitumen roof is a time-consuming and labor-intensive technique. It should always be done by a professional.
However, Hot-mopping, cold-pressing, or self-adhering materials to the roof surface are possible installation methods. Also, the results are worth it, even if the installation is complicated.
Also, Modified bitumen roofs are incredibly long-lasting, lasting up to 20 years, and are simple to maintain. This is one of the different types of flat roofing.
5. Spray-On Flat Roof
This roofing alternative is sprayed directly onto the roof, as the name implies. A base layer of high-density polyurethane foam is placed with a wand or sprayer to begin the installation.
Following that, the contractor will apply a waterproof elastomeric coating. It’ll usually be white or gray. The entire procedure is designed to be rapid and effortless.
Furthermore, spray-on roofs are expensive, but for a good cause. Also, due to the lack of seams, it can easily conform to any roof shape and provides an almost fully waterproof finish. In addition, this roofing can endure up to 40 years if correctly placed.
6. Metal Flat Roof
Another typical flat roof material is metal. Because of its malleability, aluminum is usually the selected material.
Other metals, like tin, copper, steel, or zinc, are also options. Using screws or other fasteners, your contractor will adhere huge metal sheets to the roof’s surface.
Dry, warm regions are ideal for this type of roof. However, they can last up to 35 years under these optimal conditions. The metal sheeting reflects heat and wicks moisture away effectively.
Also, if you pick metal roofing in a rainy area, you risk corrosion difficulties down the road because flat roofs don’t have much drainage.
7. Green Flat Roof System
Environmentally friendly options are all the rage these days, especially in the roofing industry! Living plants are used to create green roofs.
This innovative, up-and-coming solution has an attractive appearance and a cheaper energy bill. They may even absorb contaminants from the air!
To install this type of roof, make sure it has at least a 14-inch pitch per foot of run and is structurally solid. Also, a rubber or plastic base material and insulation must be present beneath your green roof.
Once you’ve determined that your rooftop is suitable for growing plants, you may use planting trays or create a “landscape” directly on the roofing material.
8. Concrete Flat Roof
Contrary to popular belief, concrete roofs are made up of several layers. A screed layer is applied first on the concrete slab, followed by a vapor barrier.
The insulation is then coated with a polyethylene covering. A contractor can begin installing the self-compacting concrete roofing material only after all of this has been completed.
Concrete is tried-and-true flat roofing material. They are weather-resistant and relatively simple to maintain. Furthermore, they can last up to 50 years in optimal conditions.
However, because of the porous nature of concrete, this sort of roof might leak. This is one of the different types of flat roofing.
9. Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof
A wand or sprayer is used to apply a coating of high-density polyurethane foam to a spray foam roof. After that, the foam is sprayed with a waterproofing elastomeric top layer. The hue of this top coat is usually reflecting gray or white.