What Kinds of Flat Roofing Materials Are Available?

by Grace Motley

A building with a flat roof needs to have a different kind of roofing material than a building with a sloped roof. Part of that is because a sloped roof can get rid of the rain and snow that falls on it. The rain and snow just slide right off a sloped roof, but a flat roof doesn't have that capability; and, it could collect puddles if you don't have the right roofing material. So, if you are building a home or office with a flat roof, you'll want to look at the different materials that are available before contacting commercial roofing services.

Thermoplastic Roofing

This kind of roofing is made out of a special kind of plastic. That plastic can withstand high temperatures. It is also flexible in low temperatures. That means that it will last for a long time on a flat roof. These roofs have benefits when it comes to things like heating and cooling. One of those benefits happens when the roof is white. A white roof can reflect heat away from the building instead of absorbing it. That can help keep cooling bills down. 

This material is generally applied as a membrane. That membrane is just put over the roof area of the building. While it doesn't go on in one continuous layer, it looks like it does because seams are fused together. That seals them tightly, which helps keep out the rain and snow. The fact that the membrane is sealed together at seams is one reason why thermoplastic roofs are also called seamless roofs. 

In order to get rid of the snow and rain, these roofs generally have special drains built into them. Those drains will make sure that the water is funneled away from the roof. Usually, the drains are installed in small depressions on the roof, which lets the water get to the drains easier. The roof may also have slots at the top, so that snow can be pushed off of it. 

Ethylene-Propylene-Diene-Monomer Rubber

EPDM is a synthetic rubber. It is used in a lot of places, Roofing for flat roofs is just one of them. Like thermoplastic roofing, it is applied as a thin membrane on the roof. The seams of an EPDM roof are handled slightly differently than on a thermoplastic roof, so it doesn't have that same seamless look. 

There are a lot of benefits to used an EPDM roof. One of those is that when it is applied, it doesn't take a lot of machinery to get it on the roof. Another is that it long-lasting. The rubber is pretty durable and can stand up to a lot of temperature change. Like thermoplastic roofs, these roofs have drains built in. That lets the water get off the roof without getting into the building. 

Flat roofs have to deal with weight issues because of the fact that they don't shed rain and snow like a sloped roof. That's one reason that they need to have different roofing material. Roofs for flat buildings need to be lighter, and they need to be able to handle the rain and snow that will sit on them. Now that you know the materials, you'll want to contact a builder to find out which material is more suitable for your tastes and needs.