How To Replace A Flat Roof
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Although you don’t see it, your flat roof goes through a lot of wear and tear over time. Thankfully, these are probably the simplest roofs in terms of replacement jobs. After removing the old roof, you can install a new one with minimal effort using ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. Even without roofing experience, this is something you can pull off with confidence!
Examining Flat Roof Myths What Are The Drawbacks
Flat roofs are hard to replace
Some observers suggest its harder to replace a flat roof than a traditional pitched shingle roof because of the labor required to remove its layers . But now, flat roofs often are constructed with fewer layers because of improved waterproofing technology. This could mean flat roofs may not raise the same red flags they used to among prospective homeowners who may want to replace or remodel the roof once they move in.
Prone to water damage or leakage
Many of the potential problems a flat roof may attract such as water pooling, leakage and resulting rot or damage are due to poor installation or poor maintenance. Pay careful attention to the roof at the construction phase and throughout its lifecycle to help prevent these problems in the first place.
Modified Bitumen: Quick Facts And Cost Installed
- Modified Bitumen, an asphalt-based multi-ply flat roofing system, is considered a modern take on its close cousin, BUR or built-up roof.
- Modified bitumen is installed in multiple layers , each of which is torched to the surface below at every ¼ turn of the roll. This is a very labor intensive process that absolutely must be performed by a professional.
- This type of roof does have cold-rolled technologies available now as well, but it involves a lot of application of roofing tar.
- Estimated costs are $7.50 to $12.50 per square foot installed, depending on the project and location.
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Disadvantages Of Pitched Roofing Systems And 3 Great Alternatives To Consider
We already discussed the steps on how to make a flat roof have a pitch. Were going the opposite route this time. Why would you not proceed with this roofing project?
A major drawback is that youll lack additional space for your rooftop equipment. Got HVAC units, water tanks, or solar panels? Think about where to place them this time. The second disadvantage is the cost. Know that this project is expensive and time-consuming. Ask yourself, is a pitched roof really worth the hassle?
Having said these, Cox Roofing Systems recommends the following alternatives for Toronto ON building owners:
Recovering A Flat Roof Permanently
Prior to fixing a leaking flat roof permanently, make sure the flat roof is free of any debris. Even though the leak has been traced, its still essential to ensure that theres no more damage to be fixed. Before cleaning the space that requires repair, make sure to prepare safety procedures.
Your plan for repairing a flat roof permanently may vary based on the kind of material you have to apply to the roof.
Asphalt Flat Roof Repair
You can fix an Asphalt roof by producing a short patch of roofing felt affixed to it. You can look for a professional roof repair expert in Ontario to serve you.
Concrete Flat Roof Repair
Normal damage concerns surface wear or involve cracks to the cement roofing. Surface wear can cover breaks, so make sure to remove any random debris. Bigger and more visible holes on a flat cement roof can be fixed with a small patch of torch-on roofing felt. This needs a soft cover for the topmost layer to seal and dry the leaking region.
Rubber Flat Roof Repair- Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer
Expected damage on rubber roofs can happen from hanging debris like roof tiling. A small patch can serve as a constant EPDM roof replacement for leaks and cuts. Use an EPDM primer. When drained, attach a self-adhesive rubber tape 3 in the plastic flashing covering the leak.
The patch must place to the core above the leak, outwards with a firm, thick roller. Also, a lap sealant is as a replacement and applied around the corner as an extra waterproofing concern.
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A Guide To Flat Roof Options
When choosing the right flat roof covering, you need to take a number of considerations into account, including the look you want to achieve, the size of your flat roof, the type of weather itll face, and the amount of labour it will require.
Taking on a flat roof construction, repair, overlay or replacement? It’s critical that you choose the best flat roof material. Read on to understand the different types of flat roof covering, their advantages, and the various installation methods available
Flat Roofs Are Everywhere But What About Homes
Flat roofs are a familiar sight throughout North America. Any typical mall, warehouse, apartment building or school usually features a flat roof. This roof type is easier to install over large surfaces and is the most common choice for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
From the start, youll likely have questions, including: is a flat roof the right choice for a home? Is it more expensive that a steeper pitched alternative? Is it harder to install? What about ongoing maintenance?
Whether choosing a roof design for a new home, or replacing/repairing a current flat roof, IKO Industries offers much of the information needed to make informed decisions for a lasting, sturdy cover for your investment. Explore the following guide to answer many of your flat roof-related questions:
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Why Are Flat Roofs Less Common For Houses
Also known as low slope roofs, flat roofs are less common in North American residential construction because the low slope of a flat roof has an increased tendency to collect water rather than shed, like its more steeply pitched alternative. This may make it less ideal for rainy or snowy climates.
Keep in mind, all flat roofs have a slope of between five and 15 degrees to allow water to flow into drain systems .
Pros Of Rubber Roofing
Longevity – A properly installed EPDM roof will last much longer than other flat roofing options – up to 50 years!
Ease of installation – EPDM material comes in large single-layer rolls which are easy for your roofing contractor to work with. The rubber membrane is elastic and flexible and you dont need to use blowtorches to seal the seams together.
Resistance to the elements – Since rubber is elastic, it naturally expands in the summer and contracts in the winter. It can withstand temperature extremes easily without wear. Rubber is also a fire retardant and naturally impact resistant.
Affordability – With the average installed price per square foot around $2.50, this roofing option is much more affordable than other flat roofing systems.
Easy repairs – Unless using a ballasted system weighed down by lots of rocks, its straightforward to find roof leaks and repair them.
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So Which Flat Roof Covering Is Right For Me
And there you have it a rundown of the best flat roofing materials on the market. Ultimately, choosing the right flat roof covering for you depends entirely on your budget and personal requirements. If youre looking to protect your garden shed but dont want to break the bank, take a look at our shed felt. If youve got a larger project on, roofing felt offers weatherproof protection at a low cost. Or, if you think your flat roof will take a battering from the elements, protect it with a sturdy EPDM membrane. But if youre looking to truly stand out, there are few options better than a green roof. And dont forget, adding aluminium decking to a flat roof terrace is the ideal way to elevate your property and add some much-needed entertaining space, perfect for the summer.
As you can see, theres truly no end to the choice available to you when undertaking a flat roofing project. Were proud to work with leading manufacturers to offer homeowners a brilliant range of products, so no matter your budget, requirements, or taste, weve got what you need.
If youre still unsure about what to choose, or you have any more questions, be sure to get in touch with our award-winning customer service team. You can reach them via telephone on 01295 565 565, via email at or by using the handy live chat on our website. With over 40 years experience in all things DIY and roofing, theyre sure to be able to help you get your project underway.
Why Flat Roofing Materials Are Different Than Pitched Roofing Materials
Pitched roofs have a physical advantage over flat roofs in their ability to let rainfall cascade down into gutters for drainage to the ground. Therefore, pitched roofing materials like asphalt shingles are engineered to ensure water flows well over the surface. Flat roof shingles tend to do more harm than good when it comes to protection from the elements. Water tends to seep between each shingle and can penetrate your roof membrane.
While flat roof systems are more affordable from the outset, they can be more expensive over the life of your building. Leaks are harder to diagnose and repair in a flat roof, especially on pebble roofs where you cant actually see the roof structure.
Until recently, flat roofs have had to be installed in multiple layers to protect against moisture damage and water leakage. Flat roofing materials have improved drastically over the past several decades to provide better waterproofing. Below, we review the best new roof material options for different types of flat roofs.
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Green Flat Roof Alternatives
A green flat roof alternative is a type of living roof, consisting of a layer of vegetation placed on a rooftop. If yours is visible from above, imagine looking down onto an attractive point of interest! Green roofs provide wildlife habitats for insects and birds in an otherwise redundant space. So, theyre not only beautiful to look at, but also provide an ecological and environmental benefit by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Have you heard of the urban heat island effect? Green roofing reduces the impact of the summer heatwaves forecast to be an increasing problem in the future. The fact they are a great natural insulator will save money and reduce energy costs.
The heat-regulating effect keeps your building cool in summer and warm in winter saving on your energy bills! The sound-reducing properties of a green roof means they are chosen to provide more peace and quiet. Not only do they provide protection from noisy aircraft/traffic, but also heavy rainfall or hail, which can cause problems on a flat roof.
Easy to install, the tiles of this flat roof material click together, so theres no experience or green fingers necessary! Theyre also self-sufficient, requiring no irrigation and zero maintenance. Our pre-grown, ready-to-use complete green roof kits are from GrufeKit. Simply choose from sedum or sedum and wildflower mix. Both provide evergreen colour all year round.
Roof Restoration To Extend The Life Of Your Flat Roof
Roof restorations make your roof new again and resolve existing roofing issues. That way, you wouldnt have to change your roof which is a costly project.
If this is your first time to hear about a roof restoration service, heres what its about. Roofing restoration entails cleaning the roof, repairing, and replacing some materials to make it brand new. Previously, we featured a guide about roof restoration. In there, we explained that a roof restoration improves your flat roof in various ways so it lasts longer:
- Makes your building more energy-efficient
- Improves the overall look of your commercial roofing system
- Strengthens your roof so that it becomes resilient to environmental damage
Here at Cox Roofing Systems, we also offer quality restoration services. We recommend our exclusive TTR which combines EPDM and polyurethane insulation.
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Cons Of Modified Bitumen Roofs
Fragility – Other roof types are more resistant to hail and falling branches than modified bitumen roofs. The material is fragile enough to be broken when installers simply walk around on your roof trying to put it in.
Longevity – Modified bitumen roofs only last about 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. Because TPO or PVC hold up much better to standing water in puddles than modified bitumen, you may want to consider those options instead, especially if you live in a region with consistent seasonal rainfall.
How To Cover A Flat Wood Roof
The proper covering of a flat wood roof ensures it stays free of leaks and rot. The construction and built-in drainage system of a flat roof is its first line of defense against standing water and leakage, but the additional covering is its second. If this layer is disregarded, warping and rot are certain to occur. There are multiple types of covers, and correct selection depends on several factors, including cost and location of the building.
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What Are The Best Flat Roof Materials
Whether youre replacing a leaky garage roof, or youre looking for something to protect your new pent roof shed, finding the right material is key. After all, the flat roof material you choose will play a major role in determining the longevity and reliability of your new roof. You want something that offers solid protection, whilst looking smart, and at a reasonable price.
But with such an abundance of different materials to choose from, it can be difficult to choose between them. Thats why weve written this guide to the best flat roof coverings, to help you find out more about the unique selling points and advantages of each, so you can make the best decision for your project.
Epdm Holes And Leakage
Leaks can develop for several reasons, including holes, shrinkage and punctures within the EPDM membrane. The best way to deal with leaks is through prevention rather than cure, highlighting the importance of regular roof inspections and thorough cleaning. Although EPDM is a very versatile material, it can still suffer punctures in adverse weather, but one of the main advantages of EPDM is that it can be easily repaired.
Planning A Shrink Wrap Temporary Roof
Although, shrink wrapping does not require the initial scaffolding design considerations of a temporary roof system such as Haki or Ubix, covering a scaffolding roof with shrink wrap sheeting will always need some planning.
Additional scaffold boards will need to be fixed securely on the roof surface to batten the shrink-wrap and a hand rail will be required around the perimeter of the roof to provide edge protection and to provide a point for anchoring safety lines for additional fall protection.
In addition there will need to be some planning to take advantage of the best weather window as fitting shrink wrap sheeting in wet and windy conditions will significantly affect the strength & performance of the product.
Finally, your team may need some kind of shrink wrapping training to achieve the results you or your client are looking for.
take advantage of the best weather window as fitting shrink wrap sheeting in wet and windy conditions will significantly affect the strength & performance of the product.
Other Factors To Keep In Mind For Your Flat Roof
Of course, when I comes to flat roof construction details and specifications, youll have to remember certain regulations about building a flat roof. Many of these flat roof building regulations pertain to the ability of the roof to withstand quite a bit of weight.
Thats because water puddles, if allowed to form on the roof, can generate a lot of weight. Over time, that could lead to sagging structures or the rotting of your roof entirely. You can find more details on these regulations and specifications in a manual.
Theres also the matter of the best way to protect your roofing plywood decking from the impact of weather. Some regulations will also address this factor.
Thats why its vital to keep in mind weatherproofing materials that can act as an additional layer of protection. Once a roof has started to rot such as from condensation buildup it is very difficult to repair
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Repeat Until Roof Is Covered
If your roof is larger than just a single layer of felt, you will repeat the process in Step 3 until the entire roof is covered. As you roll out each additional layer, make sure that there are at least 2 inches of overlap.
This means that you will be nailing both the original layer and the overlap layer along the edge of the felt that is parallel to the roof edge. When the final piece of felt is added, you will need to make sure that all 4 sides are secured to the roof.
The 3 Most Common Materials Used For Flat Roof Construction
There are several methods and materials for the design of the exterior surface of a warm or cold flat roof.
Material 1: Hot tar and gravel
Also known as the built-up roof , this type of flat roof features three or more layers of waterproof material, mixed in an alternating fashion with hot tar and a layer of smooth stone-like gravel.
As you might imagine, this is the cheapest version possible and good for covering a shed.
Material 2: Modified bitumen
This involves a single-ply rolled roof that creates a protective layer against ice and water. It can be made stronger with a mineral-based surface. To guarantee the material stays secure, most of these materials come as peel-and-stick systems that are easy to apply.
Material 3: Rubber membrane
Also known as EPDM , this is natural rubber the kind you might find on a car tire or an inner tube. Its durable, and can be fastened to the roof with fasteners and glue. This is probably one of the easiest versions for a DIY project.
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