Flat roofing is most often associated with commercial buildings, but you can find it used on homes as well. Flat roofing is particularly beneficial in warmer, dry climates when there is no need to worry about too much rain and water collection. Even with the reduced risk of pooled water, flat roofing can still experience this. The difference is that the water just evaporates rather than rolling off as it does with pitched roofing. When water collects on the roof, leaks can happen, so it is important to know the best ways to replace a flat roof should leaking occur.
Best Options for Flat Roof Replacement
If you’ve never had a leaky roof, here are some signs to look for:
- Water damage and stains on your ceiling and walls
- Bubbling paint
- Dripping water—and not from the sink
- Mildew on the ceiling or exterior walls
For older roofing, replacement is the best option and there are a few options for your flat roof.
Metal Flat Roof
Metal is by far the most popular materials for flat roofing, specifically aluminum which is known for its strong durability. Metal roofing can last for close to 35 years with proper maintenance and it can lower energy bills by reflecting away the sun and heat. Typically, metal roofing comes in large sheets that are cut to fit around any roof extensions such as HVAC units, chimneys, or skylights. The downside to metal roofing is that to replace it, the entire roof needs to be removed. New roofing cannot be installed over the top of it. Since metal is prone to rust, replacement is necessary whenever that happens.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a type of synthetic rubber made from recycled materials. EPDM is popular because it is inexpensive, easy to install, and durable. It also has a longer lifespan than metal roofing. The installation process involves seaming, which increases the chance of leaks. You can reduce this risk by spraying your EPDM onto the roof as the seams are less likely to pull away.
Built-Up Flat Roof
A built-up flat roof is made of tar and gravel and it is the roofing most people think of when they imagine flat roofing. These roofs have been around for a long time because they look nice, they are sturdy, and are great insulators. If you already have a built-up roof, then it is recommended to replace it with the same materials. However, if you have different material but want built-up roofing, you need an experienced roofer to do the job as additional support will be needed for the extra weight.
Modified Bitumen Flat Roof
Modified bitumen is rolled out onto your roof and then secured using a blowtorch. Because of the installation process, there are dangers involved, so you want an experienced roofer to handle the task. Despite the possible installation dangers, modified bitumen is quick and easy to install. It also reflects heat away from the building so can help lower energy bills.
Spray-applied coatings are made from either polyurethane foam or silicon and used to help seal and protect flat roofs from water damage. The coating is sprayed onto the roof so there are no seams that can allow leaking. These coatings are generally applied to EPDM roofing to increase its longevity. Despite being tedious to apply, they are a great investment for extending the lifespan of your flat roof. If the time has come to replace your flat roof, you have options. Reach out to us today to discuss what option is best for you and your roofing needs.