Four Flat Roof Choices for Protecting Home and Business

A flat roof is never simply a flat roof. To begin with, it must always have a slight pitch to avoid the pooling and leaking of water. Second, not all flat roofs are constructed of the same materials.

Aside from correcting any problems with pitch, the first step in choosing a new flat roof, or reroofing an old one, is to become familiar with materials available for the project whether commercial, industrial, or residential. Here are four common choices.

Built-Up (BUR) and Modified Bitumen

These materials generally are only used on houses. BUR stands for “built-up roof,” which is the old fashioned combination of a thick asphalt or coal tar layer mopped over underlayment and covered with gravel to protect against solar damage of the tar. Modified bitumen is another built-up product involving wide layers of asphalt rolls applied using either hot or cold methods. The top layer is embedded with granules that give it a silvery look.

EPDM Rubber

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a dark rubber membrane that is either glued to underlayment or attached at the edges of a roof and weighted down with small river rock. Although the rock protects the membrane and lightens the roof’s color, it can be too heavy for some structures.

Thermoplastic Membrane (PVC or TPO)

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic olefin (TPO) are membrane products in rolls up to 18 feet wide that are applied with adhesive or screws and plates. Due to the reflectivity of their light colors (usually white or pale gray), they are often referred to as energy-saving “cool roof” products. PVC and TPO are used for residential as well as commercial flat roofs.

Spray Polyurethane Foam

Another energy-efficient flat roof choice that is popular for commercial and industrial buildings is spray polyurethane foam. It’s a lightweight product. Installers use wands to cool spray the roof area with high-density polyurethane foam. Then they spray on a stretchy, waterproof, elastomeric coating. Together, these products create seamless roof protection against leaks and save energy through their thick layer of insulation.

Regarding elastomeric coatings, Ainger Group prefers NaturaSeal’s SpraySeal NS-R200, which provides excellent expansion and contraction in many kinds of weather. Custom colors are available by adding the manufacturer’s NS-AcriSeal. The end result is a roof that is LEED and Energy Star rated.

Family-Run, Family Strong

Ainger Group is a family-run business with more than 25 years in the Georgian Triangle, covering the Collingwood area including Clearview, Thornbury, and Wasaga Beach. Our service area stretches east to Barrie and south to Orangeville.

Whatever style of roof your home or business may have, we can assist you with tidy, well-priced completion of the project. Please contact us for more information and a free estimate.