Why Consider A Flat Roof?
Initially, flat roofing became popular because installation is typically less expensive than that of a sloped roof. These roofing systems are also relatively easy to maintain. Additionally, flat roofing can be installed significantly faster than a sloped roof, so if a home is being built on a strict deadline or tight budget, a flat roof might be something to consider. There are more benefits to flat roofing than just logistics, though.
- Increases Space - Flat roofing can increase the space in the top of your home, providing an effective roofing system while increasing cubic footage in your home.
- Easier Access - A flat roof is easier for a layman to navigate. Whether you need to check out potential damage after a storm, clean out the gutters, or simply hang holiday lights, doing so on a flat roof is much less dangerous for a homeowner than trying to do the same on a sloped roof.
- Economically Friendly - Flat roofing contractors don’t have to install designer shingles or other decorative accents to the roof. This helps keep the cost of installation low. For that same reason, repairs are also a little easier on the wallet.
- Weatherproof - Flat roofs have a life cycle of 30+ years, depending on the material you opt for. Tar and gravel are used in the installation process to help the roofing system withstand the elements.
- Wind Resistant - One specific type of weather flat roofing withstands better than the sloped roof is wind. Our Colorado neighbors know a thing or two about wind damage. Flat roofing systems do not have shingles that are vulnerable to high-speed wind so you can prevent damage.
- Mechanical Capabilities - The design of a flat roof allows you to embed pipes, HVAC, and other mechanical systems in the top of your home, helping you maximize the square footage on the ground. A sloped roof does not have the infrastructure to accommodate the mechanical necessities of your home.
All of these benefits are worth considering when you are building or renovating a home and need to make a decision about the roofing system you want to have installed.
What Materials Do Flat Roofing Contractors In Fort Collins Recommend?
There are three key materials used in flat roofing. Our flat roofing contractors in Fort Collins are going to walk you through some of the pros and cons of each type of roofing available.
Membrane or Single-Ply Roofing
This type of roofing can be made of PVC, neoprene, or a number of other materials. The most common single-ply material that our flat roofing contractors in Fort Collins use is EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). EPDM is made from recycled materials, making this an environmentally friendly option for your home. Here are some of the pros of EPDM roofing:
- It’s waterproof
- You can encase your entire roof
- Repairs are often inexpensive
- Roof deck does not require reinforcement
- The material is very durable and lasts up to 50 years
Our flat roofing contractors in Fort Collins listed these as some of the cons for EPDM roofing:
- Requires professional installation - initial work can be expensive
- Not ideal for homes with exterior pieces, like chimneys, because it can lead to leaks if not properly flashed
- Extra caution is recommended when walking on a single-ply roof to prevent damage
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
Built-up roofing has been around for decades, previously claiming the title of most popular material according to our flat roofing contractors in Fort Collins. This type of roofing uses tar and gravel to create a waterproof layer of thick coverage. Here are some pros of a BUR flat roof:
- Can be customized for a specific look
- Provides solid protection against water, weather, and the sun
- It’s low-maintenance and repairs are often inexpensive
- Layers can be easily removed with repairs require it
- The gravel aspect makes the material resistant to foot traffic
On the other hand, there are a few cons to BUR flat roofs, too. These include:
- A slightly shorter life cycle of 10 to 15 years
- Installation is tedious and time consuming
- There are smells associated with the materials used, like tar
- There is also the potential for hazardous fumes to be emitted during installation
- Finding the source of a leak can be difficult - sometimes the entire roof needs to be dismantled
- Roof joists must be strengthened and reinforced
- The BUR material is not flexible in cold temperatures
Modified Bitumen Roofing
Modified bitumen roofing, MBR, was the first alternative to BUR roofing, emerging in the 1960s. Our flat roofing contractors in Fort Collins explain that MBR roofs leverage the performance of BUR roofs with added strength and durability. Here are some of the additional pros of MBR flat roofs:
- Factory applied mineral surfacing makes application consistent
- Less complex installation process, making them less expensive and reducing the risk of error
- Low maintenance and durable
- Less expensive that other alternatives
- Can be recycled at the end of lifecycle
Our flat roofing contractors note that some applications require an open flame, which leads to some safety concerns. Additionally, the overlapping installation technique must be done correctly to prevent leaks.
All of these different materials offer different benefits and drawbacks. An experienced flat roofing contractor can help you navigate the different options and make the best selection for your home. If you are considering a flat roof for your home or you need a flat roofing contractor in Fort Collins or other metro area, contact Ethos General Contractors today.