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Flat Roof Systems

Flat Roof Systems 101
–Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Did you know that roughly 40% of what you see of a house from the street is its roof? Yes. Since most houses have sloped roofs, many with steep slopes, too, there’s always a lot of roof staring back at you! But, some houses and most commercial structures have flat roofs. From the street, flat roofs are usually completely out of sight. Normally, the only time you get to see what’s going atop flat roof buildings is when you fly over them.  That’s when you see the expanse of often white roof coverings dotted with roof-mounted equipment and various roof components like pipe vents, skylights, utility boxes, etc. Unlike sloped roof homes in which HVAC equipment is somewhere inside the structure or on the ground beside the foundation, flat roofs accommodate such equipment safely and conveniently on top where it can be serviced via access to the roof, which is safe for technicians and commercial flat roofing contractors to walk on and work on.

Commercial Roof Replacement
Commercial Roof Repair

Okay…So Commercial Flat Roofing isn’t Exactly Flat. Why?

Flat roof systems aren’t exactly flat! Naturally, for drainage purposes, flat roofs have a slight pitch of roughly 10o. This ensures that the roof can effectively shed water which flows through a system of scuppers, gutters, and downspouts. Still, a “flat” roof with a  10o slope can’t be seen from ground level, a condition that reinforces a building owner’s need to have commercial properties undergo an annual or semi-annual roof inspection, just for good measure. Roof Inspections are key to maintaining an impermeable flat roof that protects a commercial property and its contents.

Typical annual inspections and maintenance check-ups can include:

Commercial Roof Replacement
Commercial Roof Repair

Inspection Reports may contain:

Types of Flat Roof Installation

Flat roofs utilize a membrane installed over the entire surface of a roof deck, like wall-to-wall carpeting! Membranes can be made from a number of different substances and compositions, but, like a bowl of food covered with cellophane, a flat roof membrane keeps water and moisture from penetrating a building’s interior, and helps keep temperatures nicely regulated in the living or working environment, inside.

Commercial Roof Replacement
Commercial Roof Replacement

Popular forms of commercial roofing:

  • Single-Ply
    • TPO – Thermoplastic polyolefin
    • EPDM – Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer
    • PVC –  Polyvinyl chloride
  • MBR – Modified bitumen roofing
    • MBR APP
    • MBR SBS
  • BUR – Built-up roofing
  • Metal Roofing
Commercial Roof Replacement

Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing is the top product preference for flat roofing companies, such as Liberty Roofing Pros. It’s manufactured using a mixture of chemicals with the final product being a sheet of rubber. Single-ply membrane roofs use one layer of material, as contrasted with built-up roofing (BUR), for example, which uses multiple layers. For this reason, many commercial roofing professionals and property owners find single-ply roofs, such as TPO, EPDM, and PVC roofing, simpler to maintain.

Modified Bitumen Roofing (MBR)

The base material of MBR or modified bitumen roofing is a flexible coating similar to asphalt shingles. In this flat roof installation, sheets are rolled onto the roof atop a membrane sheet. It also can be applied as self-adhesive, peel-and-stick. MBR is lightweight and performs well in very cold weather.

Commercial Roof Replacement
Commercial Roof Replacement

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

BUR or built-up roofing is installed in the form of alternating layers of reinforcing fabric and asphalt, finished off with a top layer of aggregate, such as gravel. BUR is used widely on low-slope and flat roofs because it produces a continuous sealed surface. The basic system has been around for over a century, but today’s modern built-up roofing products incorporate a rigid insulation layer for improved energy efficiency.

Metal Roofing

Before the invention of plastic and vinyl compounds, commercial structures relied on the outstanding durability of metal roofing. Metal roofing is sleek, efficient, lightweight, low maintenance, and fire retardant. Generally speaking, there are two main types of metal panel roofing, corrugated (roll form) and standing seam (concealed fastener) metal roofing. 

  • Corrugated metal roof panels
  • Standing seam metal roofing
Modern country houses
Commercial Roof Replacement

Commercial Flat Roofing Contractors You Can Count On

When your needs call for an experienced flat roofing professional, hiring a company that adheres to proper installation and safety guidelines is essential. Not all flat roof systems are the same. Different materials require different and precise techniques to ensure reliable moisture resistance and peak performance in fluctuating weather and temperature conditions. Liberty Roofing Pros is your expert source for commercial roofing replacement, repair, and maintenance, so contact us first! [email protected] – (844) 454-0604