Consider A Flat Roof for your Home

Flat roofs are gaining popularity for residential homes. This is an option El Paso roofers frequently install. Even though the concept is pretty basic, there are still different materials you can choose from for your flat roof. 

Different Types of Flat Roof Material Options

Various Flat Roof Material Options

We love the flexibility of a flat roof for certain design limitations but they have a bit of problem reputation for leaks and repairs

Of course, flat roofs are not really flat but have a very slight roof pitch of between 1/4″ to 1/2″ per foot. Just enough slope to drain water but also flat enough to be a problem if not constructed properly.

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.

Let’s review the most common categories of flat roof materials available for your home:

  1. Single Layer Membrane Roof
  2. Modified Bitumen Roof
  3. Built Up Roof (BUR)

Single Layer Membrane Roof

The membrane roof is the latest roofing technology and is also the roof of choice in commercial construction. Known technically as elastomeric or plastomeric roof membrane (depending on the material), single-ply roofs come in a few different varieties including:

  • Neoprene (polychloroprene):
  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets
  • Polymer-modified bitumens

Of all these membrane types EPDM, a synthetic rubber is the most common single-ply membrane roof material in both residential and commercial use. So all you really need to be able to say to your roof contractor is you want an EPDM rubber roof.

These roofs are installed as thin sheet materials 0.030 (30 mils) to 0.060 inches (60 mils) thick and are applied to the roof in a single layer. Being made of synthetic rubber or polymer, they are flexible and elastic and are able to handle temperature changes and some impact types better than built up roofs.

Membrane roofs are attached in a variety of ways. They can be partially loose laid and held down with river rock ballast (requires roof structure to support the weight) or fully adhered to the roof deck. Fully adhered is the most common application. EPDM and Neoprene roof seams are fastened by adhesive and PVC roof seams are heat or solvent welded.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen cap sheet roofing was developed in the 1960’s as a replacement technology for BUR, or built up roofing, by using the proven technology of BUR but also adding polymer reinforced roof wear layers or cap sheets.

These roofs can be installed using any number of techniques which are determined by the project’s specific requirements and material specified. These installation methods include:

  • Hot Applied
  • Torch Applied
  • Cold Applied
  • Self-Adhered

The polymer used in the cap sheet provides improved elasticity and flexibility in lower temperatures. The most commonly used polymers are atactic polypropylene (APP) and styrene butadiene styrene (SBS). SBS imparts a rubber-like characteristic to the bitumen.

SBS cap sheets are usually installed using cold adhesives or hot asphalt tar. Thermoplastic APP sheets, on the other hand, are installed using the torch applied method.

Read the full article here: Here Are Some Choices for Flat Roof Materials