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Learn all you need to know when it comes to the shingles on your roof.
Learn all you need to know when it comes to the shingles on your roof.
Modified Bitumen is the classic standard in flat roofing, but has recently fallen in popularity.
A flat roof in a consumers eyes is mostly a leveled roof rather than a sloped roof. A flat roof pitch needs to be approximately about 10% for it to be considered a flat roof, and that percentage would be called the pitch of the roof. Flat roofs have been used in more arid and dry climates, where the roofs are used as a form of living space. Commercial buildings commonly use a flat roofing system throughout the world. The National Roofing Contractors Association defines a low-slope roof as having a slope of 3-in-12 or less.
There are 4 main types of flat roof systems EPDM (Rubber) Thermoplastic Membranes PVC or TPO Modified Bitumen and Roofing Built-up roofing (BUR).
Albany flat roof contractors know the differences between the types of flat roofs. EPDM is the newest flat roof technology with being about 55+ years old, and BUR roofing being the oldest with over 120+ years. Modified Bitumen has been around for around 80 years.
Flat Rubber roofs are usually easy to recognize, they are installed with a couple of basic ways, 1) Adhered or glued down 2) Mechanically fastened or 3) Ballasted (weighed down by a heavy object).
EPDM is made of recycled rubber material, which also makes it a fan favorite as it is environmentally friendly. Rubber roofing also helps insulate your roof and attic, saving commercial buildings a lot of money on cooling and heating costs, which also makes it an environmentally friendly option. When installing an EPDM flat roof there are no reinforcements needed on the deck of the roof because EPDM roofing is lightweight making it easier for flat roof contractors as an install.EPDM flat roofing has extremely high durability, it doesn't scratch or scuff easily and repairs are usually a very cost-effective alternative to full roof replacement.
Due to the high durability of the material the life span of EPDM roofs can range from 30 to 50 years, and it holds up really well against wind, water, and fire.
TPO Roofing (Thermoplastic)
TPO flat roofing is changed from solid to semi-solid state when heated. That enables the sheets or panels overlapping to fuse together. TPO sets itself apart from other commercial roofing systems, it has an extremely high-temperature tolerance. In the flat roofing industry, use of TPO roofing is steadily rising among Albany flat roof contractors. Thermoplastic has a lot of advantages, here are some to consider when selecting your next roofing application
TPO can be less expensive than other commercial roofing. It is seen as a lower cost option when repairing a commercial roofing system. The lower cost does not mean that the material will wear out soon. TPO and PVC can last about 15 to 20 years without needing any major repairs.
Durability - The thermoplastic membrane is a type of flat roofing that offers excellent durability. The single ply is flexible, which allows it to withstand punctures or tears as well as many chemicals.
Energy Efficient - Thermoplastic roofing can provide some major long-lasting benefits including low energy cost, due to their heat resistant properties. White TPO and PVC roofs are extremely reflective leading to lower cooling expenses.
Weather Resistance - Thermoplastic flat roofing is excellent for places where the weather is going to play a big role in the longevity of the roof
Thermoplastic membranes help to protect buildings in situations with heavy rain or hail and are even the option of choice in hurricane zones, having proven they can help withstand incredible winds, rain, and even debris that come with the strongest storms.
Ease of Installation - The last advantage of a thermoplastic membrane like TPO or PVC is the relatively easy installation process. Membranes can be mechanically attached, ballasted or adhered using adhesives.
Due to their chemical properties, thermoplastic membranes do not contain cross-linking molecules and flow when heated. During the installation process, membrane sheets can be welded together, creating a durable, watertight seal. As a result, they’re a lower liability for installers.
When taking these advantages into account, a thermoplastic membrane might be the right solution for your next commercial roofing replacement. Contact your local commercial roofing contractor to get more information on the product and the installation.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
With the BUR roofs being such a hassle to install, it did not take that long for people to dislike the smell, heat, and the mess. That, unfortunately, was the only option for years until the 1960s when this new flat roofing technology came out. This roofing was promising and even leveraged the performance of built-up roofing.
This roofing membrane also has added roof wear layers that were polymer reinforced and provided durability. Bitumen roof is one of the longer lasting options when it comes to flat roofing. It is also applicable in different ways. It can be installed in both cold and hot temperatures. It is applied in overlapping rolls creating large seamless areas. It has the benefit of two different types of roofs in one. Better durability than BUR with the ease of installation like EPDM roofing, It is less complex to install, saving labor and installation cost.
Unlike some of the newer types of commercial roofing, Bitumen has a proven track record that can be counted on. This kind of commercial roof can easily last up to 20 years. The seems are usually melted together which helps stops the leaks regardless of how the material is applied. Bitumen roofs are extremely durable so it is very unlikely to develop cracks that may develop in other types of roofing. It is also rated extremely well against natural elements like fire, wind, and hail.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
Built-Up Roofing (BUR) was the most common type of flat roofing used on low-slope roofs until EPDM roofing and Bitumen roofing were invented. BUR was the preferred flat roofing system by flat roof contractors on low-slopes as it creates a continuous sealed surface. BUR roofing uses gravel and tar to create a watertight layer on the roof. Longevity, thick coverage, and its high resistance to damage are some of its main benefits. BUR roofing is more of an expensive choice of flat roofing for residential homes and the smell of the gravel and tar can be unpleasant to some. Bur roofing is highly resistant to foot traffic, and if a repair is to be needed it is easy to remove the layers. It usually has a life span of 10 to 15 years with regular maintenance.
Here are some remedies to repair common problems:
Open Joints - You can add some cement to repair joints or seams if that doesn't work, cutting a large piece of felt and placing it over open joints would do the work. Use nails to secure and then cover the nails with roofing cement. Lastly, spread gravel over the cement and let it dry.
Blisters - Blisters are an easy repair, just allow the spot to dry as much as possible and use a knife to cut the blister. Remove the chipped felt and replace it with new felt. You can also use liquid-applied coatings on the repaired area if chippings aren't available.
Cracks - Start by cleaning up the area and make sure there is no gravel or debris. Then apply a coat of cement on the area and install roofing felt. Repeat the process and apply a final coat of asphalt cement. Lastly, apply gravel on top of the cement.
Flat Roof Maintenance & Care
Increase Your Roof Lifespan
The lifespan of a flat roofing system can be greatly improved with the proper care and maintenance. It is very important to ensure all sealants, membranes, caulking, flashing and penetrations are in good condition and to fix any issues before they cause a leak.
Regular Inspections & Maintenance
Preventative maintenance can prevent small deficiencies from growing into costly leaks, interior property damage, and early roof replacement. Annual or semi-annual inspections can catch small deficiencies and lower your overall roofing costs, while also extending the life of your roofing system.