Flat Roofing – Low Slope Roofs
Entrust the long-lasting reputation of Bowles Roofing when you need to replace your roof.
There are two reasons behind why a builder or contractor would call for a flat roof; both aesthetics and convenience.
In Residential when adding on to a home with something like a three-seasons room, a flat roof simply looks nicer versus unblended roof pitches.
In Commercial buildings, flat roofs, outright, offer a more convenient place to install outdoor HVAC units rather high-traffic areas.
Call and let us at Bowles Roofing help you in making the right decision; our experts will lay out your options, then help you find the best choice based on your needs.
Types of Flat Roofing Material
Choosing an appropriate flat roofing material is a two-part process. On one hand, you want a substance that has nice aesthetics while fitting within your budget. You also want to know the product will last:
- TPO Single-Ply Membrane: 15 – 30 years’ expectancy. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply reflective roofing membrane made from polyprophylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized together. TPO is installed in a fully adhered or mechanically attached system and is arguably the most popular of all flat roofing materials. TPO membranes are composed of a single layer of thermoplastic material which is especially strong and durable. The seams are heat-welded to form a watertight bond. The welded seams are stronger than the material itself. TPO membranes, especially white-colored ones, are very energy efficient, coming with a 5-Star Energy Rating from the Department of Energy. TPO roofs have been vastly growing in popularity mainly due to their energy-efficiency and availability. TPO is said to offer the best of both EPDM and PVC in one package. The material is closer to a rubber roof in cost, but also features welded seems for durability like PVC membranes.
- PVC: 7- 20 years’ expectancy. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and is another single ply roofing membrane that chemically bonds rubber, ethylene, and propylene as well as numerous filler materials. Like most materials used on flat roofing, PVC comes in a membrane form. This membrane is rolled out onto the roof and adhered to the deck either with adhesives or nails. Like its counterpart TPO, PVC is usually heat welded at the seams. This is important because seams are the weakest part of any flat roof and the heat welding seals the areas and keeps them watertight.
- Modified Bitumen: 10- 20 years’ expectancy and modified bitumen features an advantage since it is a multi-ply roofing material. A base layer is mechanically attached to the roof deck with plates or bars. Then a strong, durable Granular top surface is applied to provide aesthetic and energy efficient properties.
- Built Up Roofing (BUR): 15- 20 years’ expectancy is better known by their ‘street name’ of tar & gravel roofs, BUR is just that. Built up roofing can include up to four plies or more consisting of alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt, coal tar, or other adhesive) with a topping aggregate layer of gravel or other materials. Built up roofs have been in use for over 100 years with their biggest advantage being the ability to withstand traffic and collisions with elements.
- Coating Roof Systems: 15- 20 years’ expectancy- Silicone or elastomeric coating is an example of a coated roof. The material can be applied right over some existing roofs. The biggest advantage of a coated roof is that it has no seems and its wide array of uses.
- EPDM: 10- 15 years’ expectancy and is commonly known as a rubber roof. One of the biggest advantages of EPDM over a PVC roof membrane is a much lower price. The seams of EPDM are not as strong as the PVC, heat-welded joints either. EPDM also tends to absorb heat, which can drive up utility bills for the property owner. It is more widely popular in the North as the membrane itself retains heat.