Although they are not as alluring as slate, tile or wood roofing, a flat roof is still extremely significant and may even require more attention. Flat roof systems work by providing a waterproof covering over a building. Water is then directed to drains, downspouts, and gutters by the slight pitch of the roof. For this reason, flat roofs are more common in areas where there is very little rain.
The Four Different Types of Flat Roofs
There are four main different types of flat roofing. They are:
- Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
- Single Ply Membrane
- Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
- Roll Asphalt
Built-Up roofing (BUR) is composed of overlapping rolls of saturated or coated felts, literally built up to form layers. These roofs are designed to last 10 to 30 years, depending on the materials used.
Single Ply Membrane roofs come in two main types, thermoset membranes and thermoplastic membranes. Warranties of 10 to 12 years are typical, but as with any roofing system, proper installation is crucial and maintenance by the owner is still required.
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a seamless roof system consisting of a layer of foam, sealed and protected by a resilient coating. It has been used successfully as a roofing and insulation material for over 30 years.
Roll Asphalt roofing has been used for the longest. This type of roofing typically consist of one layer of asphalt-saturated organic or fiberglass felt, applied with nails and cement, and then covered with a mineral surface. Generally, roll asphalt will last about 10 years.
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Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.
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