Even though flat roofs are mostly associated with commercial and industrial buildings, all flat roof experts will agree that a flat roof installation is an excellent choice for residential homes as well.
For homeowners who want to stray away from the traditional pitch roof and create a more modern appeal, a flat roof is the way to go.
Homeowners who are considering a flat roof installation will also be happy to know that these kinds of roofs offer many benefits, including space saving, affordability, fast installation, easy maintenance, and more.
Various materials can be used for residential flat roofs, each with their pros and cons. The best way to find the right fit for your home is to familiarize yourself with what these materials are.
One of the most popular flat roof materials for residential homes are metal tops. Metal roofs can last for up to 50 years if the right maintenance is conducted.
Another plus side of flat metal roofs is that they are energy efficient because they reflect the sun’s heat. Therefore, homeowners can expect a decrease in their energy bills when installing a flat metal roof.
There are various metals to choose from for the construction of a flat residential roof, including steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper. All of these materials are lightweight, but the cost of equipment will differ.
Homeowners with flat metal roofs do not have to worry about punctures, water intrusion, fire hazards, or other extreme weather conditions as this is a very durable material.
Metal roofs nowadays, especially in the residential sector, come in all kinds of styles and colors. Therefore, one can choose a metal roof that goes with the theme of the house and obtain a very stylish result.
The only downside to metal roofs is that they can be a bit expensive. Rust can also be a problem on metal roofs in certain areas, but a roofing contractor can provide you with a coating that will protect the metal against rust and other elements.
Flat roofs that are made from rubber are also known as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). This kind of rubber is composed of recycled rubber, which is seamed together to form a synthetic waterproof material.
EPDM is an eco-conscious choice because it can be recycled, and other benefits include durability, affordability, flexibility, and resistance to harsh weather conditions.
With so many benefits, rubber is an excellent choice for flat residential roofs. However, homeowners must schedule regular inspections and maintenance to prevent premature damages.
A built-up roof (BUR) is made from tar and gravel. These kinds of flat roofs are highly durable and long-lasting. If the roof is installed correctly and maintenance kept to standard, it can last up to 40 years.
Built-up flat roofs are waterproof and very tough, but constant sun exposure over time can cause the tar to shrink. The installation process of BUR can also be more challenging compared to certain other lightweight materials, due to its heaviness and composition.
Modified Bitumen is a single-ply material that is durable and sturdy. This single-ply material is rolled on to the surface of a residential flat roof and secured with a blowtorch, which makes the installation process a bit more complicated.
Damage tends to shorten the lifespan of this type of flat roof and therefore, maintenance is crucial. However, modified bitumen is easy to repair and very weather-resistant.
Two of the most popular thermoplastic membranes used for residential flat roofs are polyvinyl chloride or PVC and thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO.
PVC can also be reinforced with fiberglass or polyester and it is known to be durable, waterproof, resistant to fire, and resistant to ultraviolet rays. However, this material may be harmful to the environment as it is produced from chemicals.
TPO, on the other hand, is less harmful to the environment because it does not contain chloride. Its lightweight makes it easy to install, yet it keeps it durable.
TPO is also fire resistant, it reflects UV rays, and a proper TPO installation will ensure that moisture is kept out.
One of the materials on the market that is used to construct the flat roof is mastic asphalt and it continues to be a tough and long-lasting residential flat roof choice.
However, asphalt can be difficult to handle, which makes the installation process more complex and therefore, the labor cost can be more expensive. Mastic asphalt flat roofs also require reinforcement joints to support the material during installation.
Most residential flat roof material options are highly durable, which can make the choosing process challenging.
However, guidance from an expert roofer is an excellent way to go and it will help you greatly in making your final choice.
In addition to that, it is also good to keep in mind the cost, the weather in your area, and your design preferences.