Flat Roofing Types

Mid-century architecture and houses have grown significantly in popularity in recent years. Although these homes have been standing for more than half a century, most people believe that only commercial buildings have flat roofs. Although some mid-century houses have traditionally pitched roofs, many of them have flat or low slope roofs and their new owners are often unaware of the characteristics of that type of roofing. A professional roofer such as Ocean County roofing will be able to offer advice on all of these types.

There are basically four types of roofing for flat or low slope roofs. The oldest of these and the least expensive is the traditional tar and gravel, or built up, roof. This roofing is made up of layers of asphalt sheets, roofing felt and hot tar. A layer of bitumen sits on top, coated with light colored gravel to reflect the sun’s light. The gravel also protects the roof layers and needs to be carefully maintained at all times. Allowing the under layer to become exposed will lead to damage and possibly leaks. A tar and gravel roof is relatively inexpensive, but its lifespan is usually only about 10 – 15 years.

The roofers from Fortified Roofing in Ocean County NJ can answer your questions about skylights or gutters.

Modified bitumen is a single ply rolled material that is affixed to the house either with heat or a peel-off adhesive. It is available in a range of light colors to reflect the sun’s heat and reduce energy costs. This type of roofing can last for 15 – 20 years.

EPDM is a synthetic rubber that can be glued, fastened or covered with stones to keep it in place. EPDM is extremely easy to install, but the materials cost is higher than both modified bitumen and tar and gravel. However, its typical lifespan is about 25 years, so it is much more durable.

The last type of flat roofing in common use is vinyl or PVC roofing. It is very popular because of its longevity as well as its fireproof and waterproof properties. It is applied in sections that are heat welded together. This very strong material can last 20 – 30 years or even longer if well maintained. It’s available in a range of light colors to conserve energy in the building.

There are not as many types of roofing for flat roofs as there are for pitched roofs, but they both share the same overriding principle. The better quality the roof, and usually the more it costs, the longer it will last and the less it will need to be maintained. Opting to spend more upfront will usually save you more over the years. Any of the roofing contractors from Fortified Roofing of Ocean County can answer your questions about roof repairs or skylights.

Term explained by the roofers from Fortified Roofing in Ocean County NJ:

Roofing felt

A sheet material impregnated with asphalt or bitumen used in building construction. The term felt comes from the historical method of making the material which is to use pressure to mat the fibers.

The professional roofers in Ocean County NJ answer a roofing FAQ:

Do I need to find a commercial roofer to install a flat roof?

No, most roofing companies can install roofs on both commercial and residential buildings. However, it is important to make certain that the roofer has experience with the type of roofing material selected. If they offer a warranty on the installation of the new roof, that’s even better.

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