Flat roofs are becoming more and more of a favorite of commercial building owners. The most commonly used roofing materials are modified bitumen, single layer membrane, and built-up roof. Today we will be focusing on these three materials and diving into their pros and cons. The best way to decide which flat roof material is going to be most suitable for your roofing needs is to talk to a professional at a commercial roofing company. Failure to do so can lead to costly roof repairs later down the road.
Modified bitumen is an asphalt-based roofing material. It was created in the 1960s. Modified bitumen was made in the likeness of built-up roofs. It has five layers of protection, making it one of the more preferred roofing materials by commercial roofers.
Pros of Modified Bitumen
● Simple installation
● Lasts ten to twenty years
● Environmentally friendly
Cons of Modified Bitumen
● Risky installation; may require a blow torch or open flame
● Less aesthetically pleasing to the eye
● Costlier than other option
Built-Up Roofs (BUR)
Built-up roofs are one of the oldest types of roofs. They are made by creating alternating layers consisting of asphalt and fabrics for added support. This process can be repeated several times depending on the desired thickness. Crushed stones are added on top after this intensive process for optimal weather protection.
Pros of BURs
● Offer the most protection from harsh weather
● Little to no maintenance.
● Strong and durable,
● Simple repairs.
Cons of BURs
● Long installation
● Heavier; cause for roof reinforcement
● Installation can release harmful fumes
Single-layer membrane roofs are often the go-to choice for many commercial roofers. This is the newest method for flat roofing. It is a group of roofing materials such as Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), Polymer-modified bitumen, Chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets, and Neoprene.
Pros of Single-Layer Membrane
● Lightweight materials
● Simple and cost-effective repairs
● Can either reflect or retain heat
Cons of Single-Layer Membrane
● Not strong enough to weather falling trees or branches
● Often vulnerable to leaks
● Installation costs vary
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each type of flat roof material. It can be a daunting task trying to figure out which one works best for your roof. We recommend reaching out to a commercial roofing company. If you’re local to Houston or New Orleans, give Certified Commercial Roofing a call at (713) 355-4868 (Houston) or (225) 235-8210 (New Orleans) to get your free estimate today. We can’t wait to be your commercial roofer.