What is the Best Roofing Material for a Flat Roof?

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What is the Best Roofing Material for a Flat Roof?

4 Nov 2019

Flat roofs are not particularly common in residential communities. They are mostly installed on commercial buildings for space, energy efficiency, and design purposes. No matter the setting, choosing the best type of material for your flat roof can be an arduous process. There are many choices to consider such as Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), TPO/PVC, metal, and a few other materials. Flat roofs tend to be exposed to direct sunlight and do not naturally dispell water (unlike pitched roofs). When choosing the best material for your roof, it is important to consider the environment that you live in, local building code regulations, and budget. Before making your final determination on a roofing material for your flat roof, it is recommended that you consult with experienced commercial or residential roofers. Learn more about the best roofing material for your flat roof below.

What is the Best Roofing Material for a Flat Roof?
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Most Common Roofing Material Used for Flat Roofs

Roofing materials differ in what they are made of, how they are installed, as well as costs. Each roof will have its own set of needs and each material has pros and cons. Listed below are the most common types of roofing materials for a flat roof.

  • EPDM Rubber: EPDM is essentially a roof made of specialized rubber. This material is one of the most popular types due to its relatively low cost, durability, and strength. In comparison to older materials, it is easy to install and lightweight. If not fitted with a white reflective coating, EPDM absorbs a lot of heat and can negatively affect your cooling bills.
  • TPO/PVC: Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a mixture of EPDM and PVC roofing materials. It is lightweight, energy-efficient and reflects heat well. In recent years they have become popularized due to how easy they are to install, cut to size, and ability to block harmful UV rays. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is closely related to TPO. They are typically recommended for buildings that have oil, grease or concerns about chemicals. Both materials are budget-friendly and waterproof.
  • Metal: Metal is more likely to be found on older flat roofs than more modern ones. This is because they are not built to hold water and are susceptible to leaking and/or rusting if exposed to standing water for long amounts of time. The benefit of a metal roof is that they can last for quite some time. Though they are not walkable.

Choosing the Right Material

Choosing the right roofing material is not only about your budget (although the cost does play a significant role). It is more about choosing the material that fits the needs of your home or business the best. Residential roofers will typically recommend a different material than roofers. When making your choice, you should be sure to consider the weather conditions of your environment, whether or not you desire a walkable roof, as well as energy conservation concerns.

Working with the Right Roofing Contractor

Choosing the right roofing contractor is the first step when installing any material on a flat roof. Incorrect installation can lead to leaks, safety concerns, and a lot of future repairs. An experienced roofing contractor will help you to choose the best roofing material for your flat roof as well as offer multiple options for installation. Ensure that you schedule multiple estimates before making your final choice. Choose your contractor based on the quality of material, reviews, experience, and budget.

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