Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing Systems

Flat Roofing SystemYou may not know this, but flat roofing is not actually flat; it just has a very low slope, so it still drains water. Such a low slope tends to hold snow and water much longer than steeply pitched roofs and therefore needs very different materials to remain watertight.

 

Here are the three main types of flat commercial roofing in Daytona Beach and what you need to know.

 

Membrane or Single-Ply with EPDM Membrane

 

Pros:

Repairs are relatively simple, and homeowners may be able to make some repairs themselves. Leaks are rare with EPDM roofing, provided no surface damage occurs, and EPDM commercial roofing can retain heat and lowers heating bills.

 

Cons:

Roof additions, such as pipes, HVAC systems, and chimneys, make installation costly and can be a source of leaks if not flashed properly. Membranes can also be punctured by falling branches, foot traffic during maintenance, or storm damage, leading to leaks. Seams between membrane sheets, while sealed, are also common areas for leaks.

 

Built-up Roofing (BUR)

 

Pros:

BUR offers superb protection against water, inclement weather, and UV rays. As commercial roofing goes, it costs little to maintain throughout its lifetime. It’s also easy to remove the layers when repairing or resurfacing the roof, and the gravel in built-up roofing makes it highly resistant to regular foot traffic.

 

Cons:

Installing BUR is usually slow and labor-intensive due to the many layers and materials involved. Finding the source of leaks can be tricky and sometimes can require dismantling the whole roof.

 

Modified Bitumen (MBR)

 

Pros:

MBR is simpler to install. This commercial roofing offers better elasticity at low temperatures, and homeowners can install self-adhesive rolls. Most BUR material can also be recycled, like asphalt shingles.

 

Cons:

Installation requires an open flame/torch, which needs special skills and safety training. Overlapping joints have to be correctly adhered to prevent leaks, and it’s generally less attractive than BUR or membrane roofs with gravel or river rock ballast.