All You Should Know About Flat Roofing
What is flat roofing?
Flat roofing is a type of roofing where the surface area is almost level with the ground or other surface below it, as opposed to sloped roofs which are at an angle. This type of roof is common in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as homes.
What are the types of materials used for a flat roof?
There are a variety of materials that can be used for a flat roof, including:
Asphalt - This is the most common type of material used for this application. Asphalt composes a liquid substance that is poured over a waterproof membrane and then covered with granules resembling gravel to create an extremely tough barrier against wind and rain.
PVC - Often used in single-ply roofing, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic polymer that is created through the reaction of vinyl chloride monomer and ethylene dichloride. It offers great strength, durability, and water resistance and is relatively lightweight.
Modified Bitumen - A man-made material that is made from a variety of materials, including asphalt, polyester, and fibreglass. This type of roofing is known for its long lifespan and resistance to fire, UV radiation, and moisture.
EPDM - Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber material that is often used in flat roofing applications. It is known for its high durability, weather resistance, and flexibility.
Green Roofing - Green roofing is a system that requires layers of waterproofing, drainage, root-proofing, and an extensive structure to hold dirt. Grass or other vegetation are then planted on top of the rooftop, adding insulation and reducing heat absorption.
The most common types of flat roofing include:
Rubber membrane roofing - Rubber membrane roofing is a popular choice for flat roofs because it is highly durable, flexible, and weather-resistant. It can be installed in a variety of ways and is often used in commercial buildings.
Foam roofing - Foam roofing is made of polyurethane foam that is sprayed onto the roof. The foam is flame-resistant, watertight, and provides insulation.
Coal tar - Coal tar is a petroleum product that can be applied to flat roofs with or without reinforcement. Although it is effective in protecting the roof from weather conditions, it is carcinogenic when used in manufacturing facilities.
Built-up roofing - Built-up roofing is a traditional type of roofing that consists of multiple layers of waterproof materials, such as tar and asphalt. It is generally used in commercial buildings.
Modified bitumen - Modified bitumen is a type of roofing that is made from asphalt and polymer films. It is installed in different ways - rolled, mopped, or felted.
Thermoplastic polyolefin - Thermoplastic polyolefin is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is resistant to UV radiation and extreme weather conditions. It is often used in place of traditional roofing materials.
EPDM - EPDM is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is often used on flat roofs. It is resistant to UV radiation, extreme weather conditions, and tears and punctures.
Green Roofing - Green roofing is a type of roofing that is made up of living plants. It helps to insulate buildings and reduce cooling costs.
What are the benefits of flat roofing?
Flat roofing has several benefits, including the following:
What are the disadvantages of flat roofs?
The disadvantages of flat roofs include:
How long should flat roofing systems last?
Flat roofs typically last for about 30 years. This may change depending on the material used, weather conditions, the thickness of the roof, and the quality of flat roofing installation.
Is flat roofing used for residential properties?
Yes, flat roofs are used for both residential and commercial properties.
What is a key benefit of flat roofing?
One of the key benefits of flat roofing is that it resists fire much better than other types of roofs.
What factors affect the life expectancy of a flat roof?
The following can affect the life expectancy of a flat roof:
What are the most popular materials used for flat roofs?
The most popular materials used for flat roofs are asphalt, fibreglass, and modified bitumen.
What should you do if you have a leak in your flat roof?
If you have a leak in your flat roof, you should contact a qualified roofing contractor to troubleshoot the problem.
What are some signs that your flat rooftop needs maintenance or repairs?
Some signs that your flat rooftop may need maintenance or repairs are worn roof tiles, curling roof tiles, buckling roof tiles, moss growth, and blistering paint.
What kind of maintenance should be done on a flat rooftop?
The type of maintenance that should be done on a flat rooftop varies depending upon the material used. Fibreglass and gravel roofs require more frequent cleaning, while asphalt roofing requires less frequent resealing.
Which flat roofing system is most suitable for your home?
The most common flat roofs are made of asphalt, but you can also find metal roofs. Your choice depends on the design requirements, budget, and aesthetic taste. Also, it depends on the maintenance requirement. Metal roofs are very durable but because they're typically rusty, they may require more maintenance than asphalt roofs.
Can you walk on EPDM flat roofs?
It's possible to walk on EPDM roofs if you do not go over the new roof. If you intend replacing old tiles with a rubber product, it is important that you remove old nails and thoroughly clean any debris from the roof before installation begins.
Is EPDM better than TPO?
EPDM roofs are better than TPO roofs in cold climates because the EPDM membrane is more flexible and therefore less likely to crack in cold weather. However, TPO roofs are better than EPDM roofs in hot climates because TPO membranes reflect more sunlight and thus stay cooler.
Are flat roofs very expensive?
Yes, flat roofs are more expensive to install than pitched roofs. However, they are often less expensive to maintain and repair. The average cost of installing a flat roof is about £10-12 per square metre, while the average cost of repairing a flat roof is about £5 per square metre.
What's the best way to clean a flat roof?
The best way to clean a flat roof is to power wash it with a commercial-grade pressure washer and a flat cleaning attachment.
Are metal roofs more expensive compared to EPDM or TPO roofs?
Yes, metal roofs are generally more expensive than EPDM or TPO roofs. They are the most expensive type of roof typically used on home buildings. The average cost of installing a metal roof is about £25-30 per square metre, while the average cost of repairing a metal roof is about £10 per square metre.