When it comes to performance, flat roofs can hold up very well. For one, flat roofs offer better wind resistance than sloped roofs, which means when the wind picks up, roofing material will not be lifted or blown away easily, leaving behind repair concerns. Flat roofs have also been known to stand up to the ravages of weather quite well. However, like with all roofing options, flat roofs can suffer damage or outlive their usefulness leaving you with the chore of frequent repairs or complete replacement. When that happens, it is important that you know what your options are. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of the best materials that New Albany roofing companies offer for flat roofs.
The grandfather of flat roofs, built-up roofing or BUR goes back more than a century. It entails building up the roof with layer upon layer of a special type of waterproof felt material, which is alternated with hot tar, with a final layer of gravel added on top for extra protection. In the past, BUR consisted mainly of bitumen felts, but today newer technologies see the use of more advanced materials like fiberglass membranes and torch on felts.
Thanks to its multiple layers, BUR system practically solves the low pitch downside of flat roofs (which causes water pooling) by providing excellent leak resistance. The same multi-layer feature also provides great uplift resistance, long-term weather performance, and high tensile strength. The top layer of gravel in turn gives the roof a very nice look while also providing extra UV and fire resistance. With BUR however, a roof needs to be strengthened first because the use of several layers of roofing material makes for a heavy roof. This adds onto the expense and time required to install a built up roof.
Developed in the 1960s as a replacement for BUR technology, modified bitumen roofing adds layers of reinforced polymer (or cap sheets) to the built up roof construction. The added polymers not only provide added protection and an extended lifespan but also give the roof extra elasticity and flexibility.
Typically applied as a 3-layer system, modified bitumen roofing can be installed in a number of technologies including heat and torch application, cold application, and a self-adhered system where the roofing material is literally peeled and stuck onto the roof. The specifics of a roofing project as well as the materials being used are what will determine the application method to be used.
Single Ply Membrane
The latest technology offered by roofing companies, single ply membrane roofing is the general term used to describe any flat roof material that provides a waterproof cover in just one layer. Available in an array of materials, single ply membrane roofing materials share the desirable traits of being lightweight, flexible, environmentally friendly, and resistant to UV rays, microorganisms, and chemicals. As for performance, most single ply membranes are fire resistant and self-extinguishing and can handle extreme weather and temperature changes. Some of the popular single ply membranes include:
On the aesthetics front, nothing beats GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) fiberglass as far as flat roofing materials are concerned. The jointless finish of the material coupled with the endless array of color options offered by some New Albany roofing companies gives fiberglass its rightful place as the best looking flat roof. Even in the event of damage, fiberglass roofs are usually repaired with an invisible material allowing the roof to retain its good looks.
The biggest benefit of fiberglass however is durability that sees a roof last up to 30 years. As a material, fiberglass is highly resistant. It will resist wind, rainfall, storms, and even several forms of abuse including foot traffic, knife cuts, and falling tree branches. Unfortunately, the excellent performance and unrivaled beauty of fiberglass roofing comes at a cost, since this option is the most expensive of flat roofing materials. Maintenance of fiberglass roofing is also not easy, as you will need proper guidance as well as appropriate materials to deal with damage.
As you can see, flat roofing materials come in many options each with its own pros and cons. Get in touch with New Albany roofing companies to discuss which option is best for you. Once you have honed in on what your roofing needs are, expert roofers can answer questions regarding the roofing materials you are interested in and therefore help you find the right fit for your roof.