The best flat roof materials offer longevity, strength, and protection. Here is a detailed outline of multiple roof membranes, which helps you compare the most popular structures.
Benefits of Flat Commercial Roofs
Contrary to its name, flat commercial roofs aren’t flat. Also known as low slope roofs, flat roofs’ slopes are angled between 1 and 10 degrees. The slight slope of a flat roof is equivalent to ¼ to ½ inch per foot. This allows water to run off, which keeps it from damaging the surface. To remain watertight, flat roofs are built with different synthetic materials made of durable plastic, rubber, or metal.
While Standard slope roofs typically have overlapping shingles, flat roofs are monolithic, meaning the membrane is made of large sheets of material that cover the roof’s surface from end to end. Flat roofing is used on commercial buildings all over the world. Many are also energy efficient and versatile, available in different types of roofing materials:
Thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO is one of the most common and durable plastics known to the roofing industry. TPO material and installation is inexpensive and saves you money, thanks to its white surface that reflects UV rays. Since the TPO roof surface reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it, the building maintains cool and comfortable climates throughout the summer months. Since your AC isn’t turned on full blast to keep the building cool, your utility bills decrease.
Another reason TPO roofing is an excellent choice for warm climates is because the seams are welded instead of glued. That means they’re less likely to separate due to extreme heat. Property owners who choose TPO can expect 10 to 20 years of strength and protection from their roof.
Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, better known as EPDM roofing, is made of multiple rubber materials, which is why it’s also referred to as rubber roofing. Coming onto the scene in the 1960s, EPDM is tried and trusted, making it one of the most popular roofing materials in the world.
EPDM roofing scores high in durability too. It withstands extreme weather conditions, including hail and snow, so repairs are rarely needed. When they are necessary, they’re likely minor, which makes the job quick, easy, and inexpensive.
Metal Roofing is another popular option for commercial buildings, thanks to its high durability and versatility. Metal is also one of the most expensive roofing materials, but buyers benefit from a great return on investment. Metal roofing has the longest life expectancy, which is 30 to 40 years, often outlasting the building itself. Plus, they’re sustainable and consist of 25% recyclable materials.
Cons of Flat Commercial Roofing
Although there are several advantages of flat commercial roofing, there are also a few drawbacks. For one, exterior penetrations, including pipes, chimneys, and HVAC equipment, cause leaks if they aren’t sealed correctly. Additionally, flat structures are prone to punctures from tree branches and falling objects; this is especially true for rubber roofs. A downside to metal roofing is its susceptibility to leaks around the seams and roof edges.
The good news is that most, if not all, issues are avoidable. When they do arise, it’s not until later down the road. That’s why property owners are recommended to hire professional roofing contractors to complete inspections, installations, and ongoing maintenance and repairs. Hiring non-professional or inexperienced people to work on your roof is not only dangerous, but it also wreaks havoc and causes costly damage on your roof’s surface if procedures are done incorrectly.
Partner With New Image For Your Roofing Needs
At New Image Roofing, we take pride in the business we conduct with each of our customers. Our certified technicians are trained and well-versed within the industry, and we provide you with sound advice and long-term solutions suitable for your building’s unique needs. We specialize in constructing the best commercial roofing systems, but we also excel when it comes to residential projects. Whether your home or business needs our expertise, we complete our projects with friendly professionalism and in a timely manner. We have a sense of urgency regarding your concerns and challenges. Reach out to our knowledgeable team today and enlist the state-of-the-art services of New Image Roofing.