In contrast to the various styles of sloped roofs, a flat roof is one that is almost level. Pitch, the technical term for a roof’s slope, can reach up to 10 ° on flat roofs. A living roof or living space can be built on top of a flat roof, which is an old design that is typically employed in arid climates. On commercial structures all across the world, flat roofs, often known as “low-slope” roofs, are a typical sight.

Every region of the world has its own customs or preferences for the materials used in flat roof construction. Many flat roofs are made of masonry or concrete in warmer climates where there is less rainfall and freezing is less likely. These materials are inexpensive, easy to work with, and effective at blocking out the sun’s heat in areas where wood is rare and expensive.

Knowing the three typical top applications on a flat roof will help you save more money, extend the life of the roof, and properly install the material. 

Commercial property is a large investment. The most sensitive area of any building to fluctuations in temperature and weather is the roof. Property owners can choose which roofing material to choose and which roofing services, such as roof repairs or restoration, they will require by having knowledge of the various roofing materials.

Three Typical Top Applications on a Flat Roof

1. Synthetic Roofing Membranes:

  • Thermoplastic olefin (TPO): If properly maintained, a tough synthetic roofing membrane with a thermoplastic olefin (TPO) as its basic material can last for 20–30 years. The material used for the roof is fire-resistant, creates airtight seals to stop the growth of interior moisture, offers superior insulation, and effectively deflects UV rays
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): The strongest and most expensive option among all synthetic roofing membranes is PVC. The US Requirement of 200 PPI for all roofing materials can be easily exceeded by polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can support any roofing equipment with an average load of 350 pounds per inch (PPI). Similar to TPO, it can be used to create airtight seals for improved insulation, rainfall protection, and UV ray blocking.
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM): Roofs made of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) are the least expensive option for synthetic roofing membranes that are strong and long-lasting. It is constructed using recycled materials like sawdust, slate dust, and tire rubber. At $0.80 per square foot, EPDM roofs have the best price point among all synthetic materials thanks to their inexpensive manufacturing process and materials. One of the flat roof roofing materials kinds that pay for itself is EPDM if it is maintained regularly and effectively. They perform on par with TPO and PVC roofs and have a 20–30 year lifespan.

2. Metal roofs:

  • Aluminum: It is thin and lightweight. They are strong and have a long lifespan, with a maximum of over 50 years, and are utilized to build airplanes and even certain heavy military equipment. Aluminum is used on most high-end business roofs because it is resistant to all types of inclement weather, does not deform, break, or burn, and provides good insulation.
  • Steel: Compared to aluminum, steel roofing is a better option for the majority of dwellings. It can last up to 50 years and is significantly less expensive. The least expensive to maintain and repair are the two types of metal roofing available for flat roofs. With the proper installation, steel provides good insulation for homes, is resistant to punctures under tremendous pressure, and can tolerate extreme weather. However, when it rains or hails, both forms of roofing make noise. 

3. Traditional Membranes: 

  • Modified Bitumen: As inexpensive as EPDM roofing membranes are roofing felt and modified bitumen. Water leaks are prevented by airtight seals produced by roofing felt. However, the substance is susceptible to the development of mold, algae, and fungi.
  • Mastic Asphalt: With a lifespan of more than 50 years, asphalt is the most resilient roofing material available for flat roofs, rivaling the durability of metal roofs. One of the most resilient traditional membranes is asphalt roofing. To sustain their weight, though, contractors frequently erect extra joists and structures. Because of its improved cost, lifetime, and durability, a low-maintenance roof is worth all the hassle.
  • Tar and Gravel: The strongest roofing material available is also the heaviest and most affordable. Membranes for tar and gravel roofs are constructed of two layers of corrosion- and leak-resistant material coated with tar. This speeds up and simplifies their construction procedure. Tar, however, smells bad and takes a while to dry. This implies that rainfall destroys the freshly constructed tar and gravel roof right away. A tar and gravel roof that is properly maintained can last 20 to 40 years.