Flat Roof Materials Fundamentals Explained



There are several roof systems readily available in today's market, each with various toughness and weaknesses. Below I will explain each system briefly, and afterwards provide the cons and pros.

Thermoplastic and PVC- Single ply, could be mechanically affixed, fully ballasted or stuck.

Really light-weight roofing systems, in the community of 30lbs. Another plus with these roofs is that large custom made area sheets could be bought from the manufacturing facility, reducing joints secured by the crew on the jobsite. Immune to field, algae and ozone seams are 3-4 times more powerful compared to EPDM filed joints.

Disadvantages- Being single ply, they are at risk to disposed of cigarettes, sharp things went down on the membrane layer, and damaged glass from bottles tossed on roof (this happens a LOT) I usually discourage customers from installing these sorts of systems if the roof has a great deal of foot traffic or is easily obtainable to unapproved employees. In the past, material contraction went to times an extreme issue on Thermoplastic and PVC roofing systems, yet modifications in make-up and production has actually alleviated this concern. These roofing systems still reduce with time, though not to the factor of failing as in the past.

Profits- Great roofing systems, particularly on roofings that pond water heavily, as long as the roof is normally easily accessible just to licensed employees.

Asphalt Modified Bitumen- This roof is what a great deal of individuals call a rubber roof, when it remains in truth made up mostly of asphalt. It is available in 3 ft. large rolls and is normally torched with an open flame, though they could be applied with warm air welders in particular conditions also.

Pros- In my point of view, the biggest strength of these roofing systems is exactly how well they take on outside stresses. They deal with foot web traffic far better compared to any other membrane, and are difficult to penetrate, specifically if they have a granulated surface. These roofs are so difficult as a matter of fact, that a lot of insurer will not also identify hail storm damage as they do on various other roofings (I have directly seen customized roofings definitely pummeled with hailstorm and come out entirely intact).

Disadvantages- The most glaring disadvantage with these systems is that there is a seam every three feet, makings for a LOT of seams. You'll most likely be fine with this system if you have a diligent staff with a competent supervisor who will ensure that every seam on the roof is triple examined. Otherwise, you can be rather sure you will end up with leakages fairly quickly, well prior to the warranty ends in my experience. And big ponding areas of water on these systems will deteriorate the material too soon.

Profits- With a good, experienced staff this can be a good roof on a building that does not pond water excessively. And if you have a building with a lot of roof foot website traffic, this is possibly the only method to go.

Foam roofing systems- This system is applied with a big spray unit, splashing 2 fluid elements (isocyanate and resin) When the fluids are blended together, they increase 20-30 times and will certainly abide by concrete, wood, steel and most current roof systems, yet inning accordance with the makers, NOT to modified asphalt.

Pros- When complete, the roof is monolithic without any seams, totally stuck and has insulating residential properties.

Disadvantages- Full disclosure, I have actually limited experience with these roof coverings here in NE Illinois. We do not mount them, yet I have been on 9-10 structures with this system, and all of them dripped badly, in a couple of situations within months of being set up. Leaks are very challenging to track down and tough to take care of even when discovered, as fixing products don't adhere to this surface extremely well.

Profits- Based on my admittedly restricted experience with this system, I would not suggest my clients to go this route when a new roof is required.

EPDM Rubber- Rubber roofing systems can be fully stuck, mechanically secured or considered with ballast (Riverbed gravel or pavers) They are flexible, proper for numerous installations and have a long performance history.

Pros- Rubber roofs are relatively economical, easy to fix and set up. They are offered in huge sheets to reduce the variety of field joints, and there is fairly bit of flexibility in the membrane layer.

Disadvantages- Field seams on these roof coverings are not as strong as Thermoplastic roofs. Flashings and roof edges tend to break more quickly than the remainder of the roof. Shrinking over long periods can be remarkable in some applications.

Profits- Can be a great financial investment for a structure proprietor, yet every one of the conditions of a given installment needs to be carefully considered. And good handiwork on the set up is essential.

Some companies refer to them as "re-plys", as you are essentially adding a ply to the existing roof surface. If an existing roof is experiencing leaks but has not advanced to the point of outright failure, them may be excellent candidates for this remedy.

Pros- Can be incredibly economical, especially on roof coverings that have a great deal of projections and rooftop HVAC units. The material is pure white, which in many cases (especially on steel roofings) could dramatically reduce get more info AC air conditioning expenses. As this is thought about to be roof fixings instead than a new roof, there are tax obligation benefits.

Disadvantages- The existing roof must still be in somewhat respectable problem. If put on a roof that has already stopped working, your loan will generally be lost. Also, because this material is sprayed on, any kind of cars within 100 ft approximately need to be moved throughout the application process, as this material will certainly be extremely tough otherwise difficult to eliminate from a car's coating. Some producers do not warranty this material if there is ANY ponding water on the roof. Could not be applied to a roof with an existing gravel ballast.

Bottom line- This option may conserve a building proprietor a great deal of money, if the existing roof is in good enough condition to approve the coating. Outstanding remedy for steel roof coverings in particular.

As you can see, there are several options to your level roofing requirements. It is important however to choose a roofer who will recommend the best system for your certain roof and circumstances, and not the most effective service for his purse. Make certain you recognize why a roofer is advising a certain system for your task, and which system will be the very best investment for you.


Cons- Being single ply, they are susceptible to disposed of cigarettes, sharp items went down on the membrane layer, and busted glass from bottles tossed on roof (this happens a LOT) I typically discourage clients from installing these types of systems if the roof has a whole lot of foot website traffic or is quickly accessible to unauthorized employees. These roof coverings are so challenging in fact, that the majority of insurance policy companies will not even acknowledge hailstorm damage as they do on other roofs (I have actually directly seen customized roofing systems absolutely mauled with hailstorm and come out completely intact).

Cons- Field seams on these roofs are not as solid as Thermoplastic roof coverings. Flashings and roof sides have a tendency to wear out extra promptly than the remainder of the roof. As this is taken into consideration to be roof repair work rather compared to a new roof, there are tax obligation advantages.

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