Flat roofs are a popular roofing choice for commercial buildings, modern homes and many low slope applications where other roofing types are not able to be installed. Below are a few of the choices available to give a better understanding of each flat/low-slope roofing system.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
Peel & Stick Application
MODIFIED BITUMEN ROOFING (MOD-BIT) - Modified bitumen roofing is a type of asphalt roofing that has been modified with rubber or plastic additives to improve its flexibility and durability. It comes in rolls that are applied to the roof with heat or adhesives. When applied with heat, or fire-emitting torches, it is commonly called the "torch-down method". Modified bitumen roofing is easy to install, repair, and maintain, and can last up to 20 years.
BUILD-UP ROOFING (BUR) - Built-up roofing, also known as BUR, is a traditional flat roofing material that consists of multiple layers of asphalt and felt or fiberglass mats. These layers are applied in alternating fashion and then topped with a layer of gravel or a reflective coating. BUR is an affordable and durable option that can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. However, it requires professional installation and may emit harmful fumes during installation. If you recall the roof top scene in the Shawshank Redemption, they were installing a Built-up roof using the "hot mop and kettle" method.
TPO ROOFING - Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofing is a single-ply roofing membrane that is made of a blend of rubber and plastic materials. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to UV rays, punctures, and chemicals. TPO roofing is easy to install and maintain and can last up to 30 years. Unfortunately, it may be susceptible to tears and punctures from foot traffic or debris. A common reason for punctures in all types of single ply roofing is debris or hardware (like nails or screws) left on the roof that then get stepped on creating small holes through which water can leak.
EPDM ROOFING - Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofing is a single-ply roofing membrane that is made of a synthetic rubber material. It is durable, weather-resistant, and can withstand extreme temperatures. EPDM roofing is easy to install and maintain and can last up to 50 years. On the downside, it may be susceptible to shrinkage and tenting due to the elasticity of rubber, which can cause leaks and damage.
PVC ROOFING - Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofing is a single-ply roofing membrane that is made of a synthetic plastic material. It is durable, fire-resistant, and resistant to chemicals and UV rays. PVC roofing is easy to install and maintain and can last up to 30 years. However, it may be susceptible to punctures and requires regular inspections to prevent leaks.
METAL ROOFING - Metal roofing, while not exactly "flat" perse, would be considered "low slope", as it typically has a slope of 2:12. It is a system of metal pieces seamed together to provide a continuous metal surface. Metal roofs are known for their longevity, durability, and energy efficiency. They can be composed of a number of different metals, with common ones being steel (galvanized, galvalume, or factory-coated), aluminum, copper, and zinc. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years and require little maintenance.