Finding the Best Material for Your Flat Roof

A flat roof is a common feature of commercial properties, but they are not all made the same. The materials used to construct it depend on the unique performance specifications you need for your roof. Here are the four most common types of materials used in commercial roofing.

Gravel and Tar
This is probably the least expensive type of roof to install, but it doesn’t last as long as other materials do. This roof is built by layering asphalt, finishing it off with gravel and sealing it with tar. If you purchase a building with a gravel and tar roof, you can expect it to heat up more often than other options, potentially lowering your energy efficiency.

Modified Bitumen
A possible solution to the problems associated with a gravel and tar roof is to include materials such as atactic polypropylene and styrene-butadiene rubber. A flat roof made from this aggregate can be expected to last up to 15 years and resist abrasion.

Single-Ply Membrane
If easy installment and repair are the main factors in your decision, single-ply membrane roofs are a good option. The specific makeup of the membrane may vary and the choices can include malleable materials such as PVC, rubber and CPE. These roofs are designed to be waterproof, heat resistant and non-flammable.

A metal roof is an attractive option, but it can be expensive to install and maintain. The support for the roof is typically constructed by layering asphalt or modified bitumen underneath. These layers can provide extra protection for your building’s upper floors.

The roof you choose not only has to meet local building codes but also must provide the specific protection you need. Fortunately, this is not a decision you have to make on your own. Start the selection process by finding a trusted roofing professional in your area. Your contractor can advise the best type of flat roof for your needs.

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