When replacing your flat roof, it is important to consider all the options available. The flat roofing marketplace is filled with tons of different options, which can make it difficult to choose the material that is right for you. Using the information below, D’Angelo and Sons can help you make an informed decision on the type of flat roof that is right for your replacement.
What is the Purpose of Flat Roofs?
Before jumping into comparing flat roofs materials, it is important to understand the purpose flat roofs serve. Flat roofs are typically utilized in commercial settings for the purpose of (1) aesthetics, and (2) convenience. As commercial buildings are typically high-traffic areas, flat roofs offer a more convenient location to install outdoor HVAC units. Of course, the main function of a roof is to create a barrier of protection between the building below and the above weather elements. However, flat roofs are not completely flat. They do have a very low slope that aid in draining water but, such a low slope holds water and snow differently than a regular pitched roof would. To stay watertight, the appropriate flat roof materials, such as the ones below, must be used.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing
PVC roofing is one of the most popular options for a flat roof. PVC, short for polyvinyl chloride, is a single-ply thermoplastic roofing membrane known for its longevity, durability, and overall energy efficiency. Although the cost of PVC roofing is higher than other single-ply commercial materials, they do offer a wide variety of benefits. The reinforced membrane helps to make PVC roofs resistant to damage on impact and prevent leaks. Due to their white colour, PVC roofing is reflective and can significantly aid in the company’s electrical bill.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing
TPO, short for thermoplastic polyolefin, is a single-ply thermoplastic roofing membrane that offers great energy efficiency for the cost. In a similar fashion to PVC roofs, TPO roofs are also white in colour meaning they have the same energy saving properties and do not degrade easily under harsh ultraviolet radiation. TPO roofs are bonded by melting plastics in the membrane together. Through this method, a permanent bond is formed between the seams and it is less likely that leaks will occur. While they are an inexpensive option for flat roofs, they are also dependable with a lifespan between 10-20 years.
A standing seam metal is a great option for roofs that have a slope greater than 2 inches. Metal roofs are the most expensive option when it comes to commercial buildings however, they do boast the longest lifespan, lasting between 20-30yrs. Metal is known for its durability and is immune to cracks and reflects heat from the sun. Although there are plenty of pros that come with metal roofs, there are also some downsides. Generally, metal roofs need to be torn out completely before a full replacement. Moreover, they are prone to rusting and susceptible to leaks around the seams and roof edges.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
Modified bitumen roofs have a price point that stand out from the rest. Their low cost is a budget-friendly option for flat roofs. Modified bitumen is a multi-ply flat roofing system and is a modern take on its close relative, the built-up roofing (BUR) system. Modified bitumen roofs use an asphalt membrane as the base of the roof. Because they are asphalt-based, modified bitumen roofs are prone to cracking and blistering which can shorten their lifespan to 10-15 years. Luckily, they are quick and easy to install and reflect heat well.
Learn More About Flat Roofs
Replacing or restoring your flat roof is a major decision that can have a huge impact on your business. When you need flat roofing services, it is important to choose experts who understand your unique issues and possess the skills needed to offer quality work. Taking a personalized approach when repairing and constructing commercial flat roofs enables us to deliver superior quality at all times. At D’Angelo and Sons, we offer free consultations for clients looking to make a decision about their flat roof. Contact us today for your customized commercial roofing solution!