Common Flat Roof Problems
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MATERIAL FOR A FLAT ROOF
Covering a flat roof will be different from a traditional sloped roof for many reasons including the materials required. While a pitched roof can use overlapping shingles or tiles, this method is likely to lead to leaking for a roof without any slope. There are many different materials and methods to installing a flat roof, including rubber, thermoplastic, tar and gravel and modified bitumen, but which one is best?
Rubber membranes such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) are often applied in giant custom sized sheets to fit your flat roof. This material is durable, and the custom size limits the areas where a leak could occur. This kind of rubber can be more expensive than other materials.
Thermoplastic materials such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or TPO (thermoplastic olefin) are durable options, due to heat-welded seams, and offer improved energy efficiency. However, roofs made of these materials can be difficult to repair.
Tar and gravel are used in the Built-Up Roof (BUR) method. While this is typically a cheaper way to cover a roof, it can be heavy and messy to install and is usually accompanied by a strong odor. If you get a leak in this kind of roof, it may be hard to detect where it started.
Using modified bitumen on a flat roof can help save on costs as compared to newer technologies. The installation process can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive due to the number of layers and roll-on method of installation. It can also be difficult to detect the origin of leaks in a modified bitumen roof
A Design & Materials Guide for Residential Flat Roofing Systems
Flat Roofs Are Everywhere – But What About Homes?
Flat roofs are a familiar sight throughout North America. Any typical mall, warehouse, apartment building or school usually features a flat roof. This roof type is easier to install over large surfaces and is the most common choice for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
Why Are Flat Roofs Less Common For Houses?
Also known as low slope roofs, flat roofs are less common in North American residential construction because the low slope of a flat roof has an increased tendency to collect water rather than shed, like its more steeply pitched alternative. This may make it less ideal for rainy or snowy climates.
Flat Roof Drain Types
So, even though flat roofs are ideal for drier landscapes, in climates with heavy precipitation, a properly installed flat roof can be a fine choice for a homeowner – especially thanks to ever-improving waterproof materials and installation techniques.
It looks good
Flat roofs are an attractive aesthetic choice that give homes a unique form. If you love the landscape or cityscape around your home, a flat roof can help complement that without obscuring the view
Flat Roof Space Is Usable Space
Unlike a steeply pitched roof, most of the square footage of a flat roof is available for use. This offers the option to add a unique application such as a rooftop patio, garden or green roof. Solar panels also are popular among homeowners and are much easier to install – and hide from view – on a flat roof.
Tips on Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Home
The right roofing material will do more than keeping your home dry and damage-free. It will set the ambiance, highlight your home’s style, and boost its curb appeal. When choosing the best material for your residential roofing, consider the essential factors to meet your needs.
Consider Your Roof’s Structure
Every roofing material will perform well when installed in proper roof slopes. For instance, when it comes to flat roofs, metal is better than others since it sheds water and snow easily. Meanwhile, clay or concrete tile works best in steeper sloped roofs since they need reinforced roof framing to support their weight. In summary, the heavier the materials, the more structural modifications they require. This will cost you more on labor and materials.
Check Your Home’s Architectural Style
Pick a roofing material that historically matches your home’s architectural style. This way, you can improve your home’s personality and make it stand out. For example, a concrete roof tile works well with Tuscan, Mediterranean, and European homes due to its distinctive shape and texture. Meanwhile, a metal roof looks excellent in bungalow, ranch, and modern homes because of its sleek appearance.
Scrutinize the Material’s Features
Each roofing material has its own set of qualities, so choose the one that will meet your needs. Consider factors like performance, longevity, energy efficiency, affordability, and maintenance. Being clear about your priorities will help you make the right decision for your roof replacement.
Tips for Choosing New Flat Roofing in Milwaukee (That Won’t Leak)
Replacing your flat roof can cost up to $11,000 according to recent data. Normal and natural weather conditions, such as winter storms and rainy spouts, can cause your roof to slowly deteriorate over the years. But, the condition of your roof, whether you have experienced leaks or not, is not a home component that you can ignore for long.
Make Sure the Company You Choose for Roofing in Milwaukee Uses Correct Materials
On a flat roof, in particular, a strong rubber membrane is placed on top of the roof shingles. These rubber membranes are barriers put in place to prevent any type of water pooling from collecting on your flat roof over time.
Choose a Roof With Longevity
When you spend thousands of dollars replacing your roof, you surely want it to last. Pick a material that is flexible and sturdy. Other options besides PVC include TPO membrane and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer). These are materials that are also single-ply membranes.
Flat Roofs Need the Right Insulation
High-quality insulation is another aspect of your new flat roof that requires special attention because you don’t want temperature fluctuations inside your building during the cold or hot months. Eliminate the issues with poor insulation by acquiring the best rigid foam material to insulate your building so you keep your roof intact for many happy years ahead.
Hire Trained Contractors
Don’t try to replace your roof on your own. Doing your own repairs can be extremely dangerous and can lead to severe consequences. What if you fall off a ladder and injure yourself? Leave roofing repair up to the expert since they know exactly how to properly evaluate the condition of your current roof. Professionals will also look for potential leaks and can provide your roof with the right sealants to ensure a long-term fix.
FLAT ROOF REPLACEMENT TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW
BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR FLAT ROOF REPLACEMENT, CHECK OUT THESE TIPS
Every flat roof in the history of mankind has either eventually failed, or been replaced or removed before it failed. The harsh truth about flat roofs, as with any type of roof and most anything in the world, is that they deteriorate and eventually fail. Some roofing materials are stronger than others and will provide protection from the elements for a longer time, but all roofing systems will eventually fail. You need to prepare for your roof’s inevitable failure, and have a plan in place for your commercial flat roof replacement project.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a New Roofing System
No roofing system is the right choice in every situation. While some roofing systems are better than others and are right in more cases, it is still extremely difficult to know in any given situation which roofing system is best. For this reason, you should never choose a roofing system only because you heard it was “the best” or because a colleague has it and recommends it. You should carefully examine some factors about your building, your current roof, and what you want out of your new roof. After examining these factors, you can make an informed decision for your flat roof replacement.
The Slope of Your Roof
Considering the slope of your current roof, which roofing systems are available to you? Materials like shingles and concrete tile depend on water running quickly off the roof to be effective, is your roof too flat for them? Or is your roof too steep to receive rolled on single-ply roofing materials? The steepness of your roof may rule out certain roofing options.
The Drainage of Your Roof
If your current roofing system has poor drainage that you would like to improve, certain roofing systems will require repairs be made to the roof deck prior to installation. Or, should you select a more versatile roofing system, such as spray foam and restoration coatings (depending on the drainage required) you can apply the material in varying depths and thereby improve the drainage without significant repairs
Expected Structural Load
After your flat roof replacement, what is the load you expect to be placed on your roof? A restoration coating will not add much, if any, strength to the roofing system. While they add waterproofing, they won’t make your roof any stronger. So if you expect a heavy load, coatings aren’t for you, and spray foam may be perfect for you (SPF can withstand a car driving on its surface). However, if you don’t expect a heavy load on your roof surface, restoration coatings may be perfect for you. Single-ply systems may also work well as they don’t add much strength, but are typically good reflectors of the sun.