Flat roofs have certain requirements. Sloped roofs rely on gravity to shed water and material, but flat roofs depend on drains and rely on a waterproof membrane to protect the owner’s property. The term ‘flat’ is a little misleading — no roof is completely flat or water would pool on top of it. “Low slope” is a more accurate description of what’s commonly called a flat roof. Flat roofs have at least a 1/4 inch of slope per foot (or more) so that water can flow to drains and then off the roof and down to the ground.
Built-up roofing (BUR) is what is often called “hot tar roofing.” Its an old, time-tested method. Built up roofs are made of three or four overlapping layers of asphalt felts which are fused together by hot asphalt. They have to be protected from extreme weather, sunlight and people walking on it by some kind of surface material like gravel, a mineral granule top layer (a cap sheet), a coat of asphalt or a some type of special reflective coating.
Foam is sprayed straight onto the roof, where it “foams up” and hardens before a protective coating is put on top. Because of its flexibility, foam is especially good for roofs with unusual shapes and configurations. Foam has several unique advantages over other types of flat roofing systems. It protects against thermal shock and it can greatly reduce your energy bills.
Single ply membranes are made of rubber, plastic or a combination of the two. Single ply membrane is applied in a single layer. Installation is simple: roll out the membrane, heat weld the seams between the sheets, chemically weld them or glue them together, then the membrane is attached to the roof with screws/flat plates, ballast (like rocks) or adhesive.
Modified bitumen, like built-up, is made of reinforced asphalt impregnated felts. Unlike built up roofs, the asphalt in the felts is modified with plastic or rubber polymers to improve its flexibility, durability and overall performance. Because of the polymers, modified bitumen can be applied in a single layer and overlapping the seams. They are then glued to the roof with hot asphalt or an adhesive, or by using torches to melt the asphalt underneath. Some modified bitumen roofs require protective surfacing materials, usually mineral granules or a liquid coating.
Cool Flat Roofing – Flat roofing in Phoenix often has a white layer on top. It helps to keep the sun and its heat under control. The white coating also expands and contracts temperatures rise and fall. This helps your property stay cool, so you enjoy a cooler environment and lower energy bills.
Understanding & Overcoming the Challenges of Flat Roofs
Flat roofs have basic problems and challenges. As an example, drainage can be the biggest problem with flat roofs because they don’t have any significant slope. A drainage issue could also lead to leaks and mold. You use water tight seals to solve this problem. Plastic or rubber can be used to provide a leak-proof flat roof. Another great way to avoid this issue is to use some pitched roof along with flat sections. No one needs water pooling on, in or around their property. At Mikku and Sons Roofing, we use successful methods to ensure that your flat roof is installed perfectly.
Maintenance of flat roofing is another issue that is often cited by property owners trying to decide on a flat roof. Some are discouraged about getting a flat roof for their property due to being misinformed. While there are concerns, we say the key is to use the right materials, installation procedures and methods for installing a flat roof.
At Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, we make sure your flat roof system is professionally installed and maintained, which includes choosing the best quality, most suitable materials and planning the roof maintenance and repairs based on your property, preferences and budget. Give us a call when you need a trusted, professional flat roofing contractor to help you with your flat roof repair needs.