What Is The Best Roofing Material For A Flat Roof?


Flat rooftops have come a long way in how they are constructed. It used to be that flat roofs were achieved through the use of gravel and tar, alternating layers of these materials with the aim to build a waterproof finish. Nowadays, flat roofs are made using other materials that have proven to be much more effective in protecting the homes.

Although they are known as flat roofs, these types of structural coverings must include a slight pitch in order to divert water to the eavestrough or downspout. However, they are very affordable in both their upkeep and installation. Also, there are fewer damage and repair costs over their lifespans.

What Is The Best Type Of Roofing For A Flat Roof?

There are several options of materials to be used on a flat roof that will increase and preserve their reliability. Among them:

  • Single Layer Membrane

Using the latest roofing technology, this type of roof is also known as elastomeric or plastomeric roof membrane. It comes in a few varieties:

  • EPDM – which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer
  • PVC or polyvinyl chloride
  • Chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets
  • Polymer-modified bitumen
  • Neoprene or polychloroprene

If you are interested in any of the above materials, it’s important to note that EPDM (a synthetic rubber) is the most popular membrane applied today both in residential and commercial structures.

  • Built Up Roofing

This type of roof calls for the application of several layers of special roofing felt that has been impregnated with asphalt and embedded in bitumen. It is applied with the aid of a hot mop. Layers of felt and asphalt are repeated until a roof membrane is created. A surface of finely crushed granules is applied to the top layer to protect it from light and weather.

  • Modified Bitumen Roofing

This type of roof offers great protection against water, UV rays, and bad weather. It’s low maintenance and costs little to maintain. The layers are easy to remove when repairing or resurfacing the roof and it is highly resistant to foot traffic. However, it is susceptible to wind and high levels of moisture damage and has high initial installation costs.

Take Care Of Your Flat Roof

The reason a flat roof requires special care is mostly due to the lack of inclination as compared to other types of roofs. Their limited slope makes it hard for them to get rid of water and it’s hard to avoid snow pile-ups on top of it.

As a general rule, when water sits on top of your flat roof for over 48 hours, the damage will start. If it is not removed promptly, the integrity of the roof as a whole may end up being compromised.

Another issue affecting flat roofs is shrinkage. This happens when the material is installed poorly when the type of substrate material is of poor quality or when there is excessive deterioration of the material. If this happens, portions of the roofing material may have to be repaired or replaced.

Contact your Portland roofing contractor today to have your roof analyzed for rot or damage and to obtain an estimate for the job. Remember that the roof is as important to your home as the skin is to your body, it needs your special care and attention.

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