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What Is The Best Material For Flat Roof

Howoften Should A Flat Roof Be Coated

best flat roof material

Every type of roof should have regular inspection and maintenance, and a flat roof isnt any different. Flat roof maintenance is typically applying a coating on it, which should be done every 5 years. This process will save money going forward because it will need fewer repairs and keep the roof sealed from leaking. A flat roof offers the owner, occupants and maintenance team several benefits:

  • Construction is cost less expensive
  • Easier and faster to install
  • Access and maintenance are easier
  • Want to learn more about flat roof systems in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO? Dial to speak with the professionals here at ProCraft Exteriors!

    The Absolute Best Materials For Your Flat Roof

    When you find its time to replace that big flat roof you have on your home or business, youll need to determine the best flat roof materials for your project. In this article, we let you in on the details of each flat roofing option, include a list of pros and cons for each, and how much you can expect to spend. Lets take a look at each of the following options.

    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.

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    The Best Material For Flat Roof Residential Properties

    We all want to know what is the best material for flat roof residential home. Well, the first step is to identify what the options are. Learn about the flat roofing materials excellent features as well as the drawbacks that are involved. Then, you also have to check if the performance of this material would align with your priorities as a homeowner. In reality, its not the question of whats the best out there. Instead, you should find the best match for your long-term plans and preferences.

    Flat roofs can exude that modern minimalistic approach.

    To begin, we have identified the most common flat roofing systems that are used for residential.

    A Guide To Flat Roof Options

    EPDM Flat Roofing

    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

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    What Is The Longest

    EPDM, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is known as the longest-lasting flat roof material. Its designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions that a flat roof can face, and this durability can help it last at least 30 to 50 years. If youre seeking a long-lasting flat roof thats permanently flexible and highly resistant to UV and infrared light as well as acids from rainwater, then EPDM may be the roof for you.

    Single Layer Membrane Roof

    The traditional hot-tar-and-gravel roof is built from three or more plies of waterproof material alternated with hot tar and ballasted by a layer of smooth river stone. In the past, these roofs were made of tar paper. Now, these types of roofs gradually are using more-advanced materials such as fiberglass membranes.

    Single-Ply Membranes sheets can be mechanically fastened, ballasted, or chemically adhered to insulation, creating a layer of protection on your commercial facility. The sheets are made of rubber and other synthetics. This flat roof system contains layers of waterproof membrane consisting of a treated fiberglass basemat tar and gravel to seal the flat roof surface.

    The Pros:

    • Designed to be installed in one layer
    • Great flexibility
    • Excellent against acid rain conditions
    • Excellent performance under dramatic weather changes
    • Wide variety of grades available
    • Lightweight product
    • Thinner surface that can be easily punctuate
    • Relatively short lifespan
    • Can be susceptible to water retention problems

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    Cost To Install A Modified Bitumen Roof

    The most effective modified bitumen flat roof system is the multi-ply one, and it can be very labor-intensive since multiple layers have to be applied. Even the newer cold-rolled technologies require a lot of work. You need a professional to handle the installation ofmodified bitumen.

    Depending on the type of modified bitumen you pick, the materials plus installation costs will be around $4 to $7 per square foot.


    This is another flat roof system that has a proven track record. Its durability adds to its lifespan making it last longer than several flat roofing systems available today.

    It has high tensile strength, making it less likely to develop cracks.

    The addition of fiberglass and polyester layers makes this roof system very hardy and resistant to damage, even from extreme weather events like storms.

    The seams on modified bitumen flat roofs are heat welded to give the roof a seamless look. This is very important as it helps prevent leaks.

    Again, the top surfacing option can help reduce energy wastage by keeping interiors cooler on hot summer days.


    When it comes to disadvantages, the biggest concern with modified bitumen is the danger it poses during installation. Blow torches on the roof can lead to fires if safety precautions are not strictly adhered too.

    Lack of proper roof insulation or granules can cause overheating of the rooms and damage the roof.

    The multi-ply option is costlier.


    Is A Flat Roof A Good Idea

    What Are the Best Materials for a Flat Roof?

    While flat roofs are generally accepted as a standard in commercial building and especially valued for their usually low installation costs and durability, many homeowners are also considering flat roofing as good option over traditional sloped roofs. They work especially well in warmer climates because most of the materials used in flat roof designs are highly reflective and help keep the roof and building cooler. If you want to go green, you can take advantage of the flat roof design and add vegetation, which can increase energy efficiency and improve drainage. At the same time, flat roofs often need to be replaced sooner than sloped roofs, and are prone to poor drainage, which causes the roofs to pond.

    Also Check: How Much Shingle Roof Cost

    Takedown All Wall Arts

    When its a roof installation process or even repair one, facing jerks and vibrations are very common to experience. Such vibrations will move through the walls and if you have decorative items hanging on the walls then it may fall and get damaged. So, take the initiative to put them down and store in a separate room till the time the work is over and you are back to normal life.

    Cons Of Rubber Membrane Roofs


    While expandable, the rubber does shrink through time. This may lead to insufficient sealing and leaks, which will cost you additional money for repairs and maintenance. If left untreated, it could also cause damage to your other roofing systems, such as the flashing and insulation. Its also harder to patch up compared to other materials like TPO or PVC.

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    Common Flat Roof Materials

    For those researching replacement options for flat roofs, there are several key factors to consider such as material and installation costs, life expectancy, energy ratings, ease-of-maintenance, environmental concerns, aesthetics, etc.

    Below, we break down some of todays most widely used flat roofing materials.

    Cons Of Rubber Roofing

    Flat Roofing

    Shrinkage – While EPDM is easy for roofers to install, the seams can break apart and the rolls are more prone to shrink away from each other, exposing the roof underlayer. If not installed properly, EPDM roofs can leak in a very short amount of time. Thats because the glue holding the material down is not welded like a TPO roof. This is more of a risk on larger, industrial-sized installations than smaller roof types.

    Heat – Most EPDM rubber is black. In the summer, it will absorb heat from the sun and lead to higher building cooling costs.

    Aesthetics – A rubber roof doesnt look pretty. Its made out of the same rubber weatherstripping material found on car doors. If youre looking for a sleeker look, TPO or PVC would be a better option.

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    Flat Roofs Improve Energy Efficiency

    Homes with steep, pitched rooftops have a lot of room for air to fill the house. This means that heating and cooling homes with these antiquated roofs are often costly. On the other hand, a flat roof means your home does not have unnecessary overhead space.

    Depending on the materials used to construct your roofwhich were about to break downyou can reduce your flat roofs surface temperature by up to forty percent. In turn, this lowered rooftop surface temperature means that heat transfer is limited. If youre striving towards efficient energy in your home, a flat roof is a step in the right direction.

    Dont Overload Your Flat Roof

    This is an important aspect to keep in mind if you want to maximize the lifespan of your flat roof. Its an even more important factor to keep in mind if you plan on utilizing your exterior rooftop space. Your flat rooftop will be able to support a certain amount of weight.

    Its important to find out exactly how much weight your flat roof can sustain so that you can keep this in mind. If youre unsure, the designers and builders of your flat roof will be able to provide you with this information. This helps prevent the threat of your flat roof collapsing!

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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.

    Here Are The Best Coatings For Your Flat Roof

    What options are available when it comes to a flat roof?

    Posted in: Blog, Flat Roofing, Roofing

    Flat roof coatings are available in a variety of types these days. Homeowners no longer need to use tar with toxic fumes to seal their flat roofs. Rubber and PVC coatings are newer products you can use to seal your roof from the elements. The type of coating you choose for your roof will depend on your roofs existing condition and the kind of coating already on your roof. Here are some of the best coatings for flat roofs today.

    Also Check: Rv Roof Repair Cost

    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.

    What Are The The Pros Of Modified Bitumen Roofing Materials

    EPDM Rubber Material deteriorated due to heat

    The image above shows walking mats to protect the EPDM material but yet there are patches all over the roof. Protective mats are never walked on. The reason for all the patches is because of the intense heat and the black membrane absorbing most of the heat breaking down the adhesives bonding the seams. After 60 years there is no solution to this problem yet.

    Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber Material

    Notice the white rubber membrane. This rubber material comes with ceramic granules embedded protecting the rubber against ultraviolet and causing less heat to be absorbed.

    Finished Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber

    The image above is of a Torch Down over 20 years old and shows no sign of deterioration. This is the best roofing material that could be installed on a flat roof.

    Ultraviolet protection against Roofing Materials

    This video shows how ultraviolet rays can break roofing material down. All types of roofing materials are prone to degradation if not protected. EPDM Rubber and TPO Vinyl materials do not come with ultraviolet protection regardless of the claims that it is built-in.

    Modified Bitumen Membranes can come with protection or without protection. When a roofing contractor installs a Torch Down Rubber material without the granules. them it is important to have it coated with Silver Paint or Aluminum Asphalt paint.

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    What Is The Best Material For A Flat Roof Installation And Info

    Today we are going to write about what is the best material or a flat roof. This is a common question we see many people ask online and we wanted to provide you with a professional guide so you can learn about flat roof materials and a lot more info on the subject. Lets get started.

    Despite having a reputation for repairs and leaks, flat roofs are the first choice of many people because of the flexibility they offer. Of course, the word flat does not mean that they are flat. The roofs are called flat because of their slight pitch of ½ or ¼ per foot. Although the pitch creates enough slope for water drainage, it often becomes a problem if its material is poor or has structural flaws.

    That means choosing the right material for your flat roofs is vital for its longevity and lifespan. The good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to selecting material for the flat roof. There is no need to choose the same conventional hot-mopped built-up roofs that rarely provides the long-term reliability as well as safety you want in the flat roofs.

    Best Materials For Flat Roofs

    Best Material For a Flat Roof

    Single Layer Membrane Roof

    The roof membrane is one of the most advanced roofing technologies. That makes it a top choice in the commercial roofing construction industry. They are popular with the name of plastomeric or elastomeric roofing membrane in the market. This single-ply roof comes in a variety of categories that includes

    • Polymer-modified bitumens
    • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
    • Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Sheet and Chlorinated polyethylene

    The common and most sought-after single-ply membrane material is EPDM, which is also called rubber roof. This material makes the first choice for commercial and residential use for roof construction.

    One of the key advantages of this single-membrane rubber roof is that it is affordable as compared to other roof membranes. If you choose darker shade of EPDM membrane, it has great quality to absorb heat. The feature drives up energy bills for you.

    The roof experts install a thin sheet material and apply it to the roof as single layer. Because this flat roof material uses polymer and synthetic rubber, it gives wonderful elasticity and flexibility of the roof. Moreover, this feature gives EPDM an excellent ability to handle weather and temperature changes and other impacts as compared to traditional built-up roofs.

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    Different Types Of Flat Roof Material Options

    Kelly Bacon is a licensed general contractor with over 40 years of experience in construction, home building and remodeling, and commercial building. He is a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.

    The flexibility of a flat roof offers certain benefits, but flat roofs do have a bit of a reputation for leaks and repairs. The good news is that there are material options for your flat roof beyond traditional hot-mopped, built-up roofing that will increase the reliability of the flat roof.


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