Flat roofs are increasingly common these days – while in the past, they were used exclusively on commercial and industrial facilities, today they are widespread on residential buildings that feature minimalist, modern designs as well. The range of the materials used for building flat roofing structures has become more diversified, too, the classic options, such as tar-and-gravel and metal still being very popular, but no longer the only options. One of the features that most owners of flat-roofed buildings look for is certainly durability. Experienced Atlanta commercial roofing contractors tell us that this is what you can expect of some of the most widely used roofing materials for flat roofs in terms of longevity, resistance and other qualities.
BUR solutions have been around for over a century, being the most traditional and most common options for flat roofs. Comprised of alternated layers of asphalt and reinforcing fabrics and featuring a layer of aggregate, such as gravel or mineral granules on top, built-up roofs come with a longevity of 15-30 years and are preferred by many building owners for easy installation, low maintenance needs and resistance to UV radiation and water penetration.
This modern roofing material is a synthetic rubber material that comes in large rolls that are laid out to build the roof. Besides being one of the most affordable roofing materials available today, EPDM roofs stand out with resistance to cracking and punctures, their light weight and their durability of over 30 years. EPDM sheets are also easy to install and easy to maintain. They come in black, grey, tan and white, allowing the building owner to select the color that best suits the climate conditions in the application site to minimize the building’s energy needs.
Another synthetic membrane, thermoplastic polyolefin roofing systems, commonly referred to as TPO roofs, have been around since the ’90s, but they have quickly become popular due to the benefits they offer. The material is more affordable than most other solutions, they can last for up to 25 years and they offer superior resistance to punctures, cracks as well as to winds and various forms of extreme weather. The material’s flexibility ensures quick installation and TPO roofs are also easy to maintain due to their resistance to the accumulation of dirt, algae, mold and mildew.
The solution is quite new, therefore not yet very widespread, but it is one of the most effective options available. The special foam is applied on the roof surface in a uniform layer from large cans, then the material hardens and forms a sealing layer that resists almost any weather, from harsh storms to strong UV radiation and from heavy raining to thick blankets of snow and that provides very efficient thermal insulation to promote the building’s energy efficiency. Spray foam is also a very strong material that can be used to improve the structural integrity of the entire building. The expected durability of spray foam roofs is around 50 years – longevity that is achieved with very low maintenance needs.