Flat Roofing 101

Flat roofing is largely popular for domestic and industrial buildings. This is because flat roofs offer a number of conveniences. From being highly affordable to being low maintenance and easy to take care of, this type of roofing provides a lot of benefits. However, along with these benefits, there might be a number of disadvantages of a flat roof which is why you should carefully consider your choice before getting a flat roof installed professionally as there are many types of flat roofs.

Benefits of Flat Roofing for Commercial Use

While designing a commercial building, roofing is always an important concern as it protects the building and ties the whole look of it together. Flat roofs are very common in commercial use due to their low-cost installation and easily affordable maintenance. Some types of flat roofs can even be taken care of by the owner himself without having to pay heavy amounts to professionals. Following are some the advantages of flat roofs especially for commercial use

  • Flat roofs don’t require a lot hassle for their installation. They come in varying materials, and some of them are particularly low costing roofs.
  • Flat roofs also don’t require too much attention regarding the maintenance. Repairing them is also very cost effective.
  • These have a great resistance for harsh and stormy weathers as they are not scaled and a level surface takes little effect to windy storms.
  • It is easy to keep the outdoor units and such on the top which is important in a commercial building.

Types of Flat Roofs

Flat roofs can be classified into many different types according to the materials they use. Some flat roofs are made of PVC, polymer, neoprene, membrane, rubber, and EPDM.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Flat Roofs

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer flat roofs are commonly popular in domestic and residential roofing. The EPDM roofing is considered an environmentally friendly option because it is made of rubber that has been recycled. It is an inexpensive option as it also has insulating properties and keeps in the heat in the attic and the roof. This saves you from further investing in heating costs. The EPDM roofing is great because it has water-resistant properties and can be spread over the entire roof easily. Their maintenance is easy and can be done by the owner himself without having to pay heavily. It is a tough roof that can last you about 30 to 50 years and stays unaffected by harsh weather and rarely gets broken and leaks. It is an easily repairable roof that is lightweight and stays put for many years. However, the installation can be quite costly as it’s done by professionals.

Built-Up Roofs

Until the invention of newer roofs like modified Bitumen and single ply roofs, built-up roofs were very famous and common. The built-up roof is made with materials such as tar or gravel. This ensures that the roof is tough and can combat any damages. It’s a very long lasting roof and can last from 10 to 15 years. The tar and gravel also ensure a thick coverage, but it can be an expensive option especially for residential purposes. There are a few options to choose from while selecting a build-up roof such as cold built-up and smooth or ballasted asphalt. It is also sun protection and blocks UV rays along with being water resistant. It is very reliable against rough weather. Although the installation cost is very high as it uses a number of other materials, its maintenance is less costly. It resists windy weather but can’t handle rainy weather well.

Modified Bitumen Roofs

The relatively new method of roofing that was introduced in the ‘60s is actually the advanced version of the older method of build-up roof came. This was because of the disturbing fumes and heat that was released during the installation. This was a modified and updated form of the built-up roofing system with added layers of roof wear to increase the reliability and sturdiness of the room. This system involves mineral surfacing which makes for an unfailing application. The sheets are rolled up so when applied to create a smooth surface. It has improved methods of installation that uses less labor and less heavy machinery. Moreover, it’s low in cost and also in maintenance, therefore, is very budget friendly. The roof layers can be reinforced which increases the longevity and makes it a durable option. However, since the rolled up sheets are applied in a way that they overlap each other, sometimes undetectable gaps can be left which can cause leaking afterward.

PVC Membrane Roofs

PVC membrane roofs are a modern way of roofing which is formed from a material called scrim. This material is also layered with a thermoplastic that UV blocking properties. Pvc membrane is quite long lasting and can last up to 30 years. These are flame/ fire resistant. It does not catch fire easily, therefore, is durable and also helps to fight the harmful fumes that are released during combustion.

These are also very flexible and can fit different sizes and constructions. These are also sold in a customized way which reduces the difficulties in fitting and installation. Pvc is very light in weight. Their quality of being lightweight contributes to their further use of layering roofs. These are easily adjustable while layering and can be used to fix any scraps and tear on an already installed PVC roof. While being installed, heat is commonly used because heat can easily weld them. Heat welding creates a smooth surface and seamlessly blends the different sheets together. This also reduces the future risk of leaking, and strongly welded seams prove to be very durable.

Pvc membranes also have a nice cooling effect as they are constructed in a way that they have a reflective surface. These are also very environment-friendly as they can be recycled easily.