Flat roofing is different from asphalt shingles and tiles that are used on sloped roofs. It's essential for flat roofing to be waterproof since rain may not roll off of it quickly. There aren't any open seams on flat roofing as there are with shingles and tiles because water could leak in the open areas. Here's a look at a few types of flat roofing you can choose from.
Plastic And Rubber Membranes
Plastic and rubber membranes are common for commercial flat roofs. Rubber membranes are made from synthetic rubber manufactured with petroleum byproducts. Plastic membranes are made of two sheets of plastic with a fabric middle. All types of flat roofing membranes are thin. They're spread over the roof, attached to the deck with adhesive or screws, and seamed to each other with adhesive or heat.
The plastic membranes are usually white, so they help reduce solar warming. Membranes are also used for flashing rather than metal flashing as used on shingle roofs. Membranes can often be placed on top of old membranes when getting a new roof.
Foam roofing is sprayed on the roof deck. If the foam will cover old roofing, the roofer may put down cover boards first to provide a suitable surface for the foam. Foam roofing is coated with a silicone coating that shields the foam from the sun and reflects UV rays. Foam is an easy material to repair when it's punctured, and it makes its own flashing as it's sprayed around pipes.
Built-Up Flat Roofing
Built-up roofing has a long history of use. It's made by stacking membranes on the roof and applying tar between them. The final layer of roofing is usually gravel. These roofs have an attractive appearance, and since they're topped with rocks, they are protected from impacts.
Hot tar was originally used on this type of roofing, and it is still sometimes used today. However, the hot tar gives off strong fumes, so some roofers use cold adhesive instead. This makes installation more pleasant for the crew and workers inside your building.
Metal roofing can sometimes be put on flat roofs, but this requires the higher-end double-locked standing seam panels that are more costly than other flat roofing options. These are the most watertight metal roofing options, but they may not be suitable due to their cost.
Asphalt shingles, clay tiles, slate, and concrete tiles are not used on flat roofs since they allow rain to flow under them when installed on a flat surface.