Low Slope/Flat Roofing

Any sheet of material used to cover a flat or low-pitched roof is usually known as a membrane and the primary purpose of these membranes is to waterproof the roof area. Materials that cover flat roofs typically allow the water to run off from a slight inclination or camber into a gutter system.

There are multiple types of flat roofing.

Asphalt Roll
Asphalt roll roofing or membrane is a roofing material commonly used for buildings that feature a low sloped roof pitch. The material is based on the same materials used in asphalt shingles; an organic felt or fiberglass mat, saturated with asphalt, and faced with granular stone aggregate. The installation process, known as Torch On Roofing, is often used on commercial properties.

Roll roofing is usually restricted to a lightweight mat compared to shingles, as it must be rolled for shipment. Rolls are typically 36 inches by 33 feet in size. Due to its light weight compared to shingles, roll roofing is regarded as an inexpensive, temporary material. Its broad width makes it vulnerable to temperature-induced shrinkage and tearing as it expands and contracts.

Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber most used in single-ply roofing because it is readily available and simple to apply. Seaming and detailing has evolved over the years and is fast, simple and reliable with many membranes, including factory applied tape, resulting in a faster installation.

It is a low-cost membrane, but when properly applied in appropriate places, its warranted lifespan has reached 30 years and its expected lifespan can reach up to 50 years.

There are two installation methods: ballasted and fully adhered. Ballasted roofs are held in place by large round stones or slabs. Fully adhered installation methods give the longest performance.

The most advanced EPDM is combined with a polyester fleece backing and fabricated with a patented hot-melt adhesive technology which provides consistent bond strength between the fleece backing and the membrane. This results in largely eliminating shrinkage of the product, while still allowing it to stretch up to 300% and move with the building through the seasons. The fleece improves puncture and tear resistance considerably and is more than 3 times the strength of non-reinforced membranes.

This thermoset polymer is known for long-term weathering ability and can withstand fluctuations in temperature and ultraviolet rays. They can also be great energy savers.

Modified Bitumen
Modified bitumen membranes are hybrid roof systems that combine the high technology formulation and prefabrication benefits of single ply with the traditional roofing installation techniques used in built-up roofing. The membranes consist of factory-fabricated layers of asphalt, modified using a plastic or rubber ingredient and combined with a reinforcement.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing. This roofing material can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted. TPO seam strengths are reported to be three to four times higher than EPDM roofing systems. This is a popular choice for "green" building as there are no plasticizers added and TPO has very low degradation under UV radiation. It is available in white, grey, and black. Using white roof material helps reduce the "heat island effect" and solar heat gain in the building.

Metal Low Slope
Metal is one of the few materials that can be used for both pitched roofs and flat roofs. Flat or low-slope roofs can be covered with steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper just like pitched roofs. However, metal shingles are not practical for flat roofing and we recommend standing-seam and screw-down metal panels. While metal can be an expensive option in the short term, superior durability and simple maintenance of metal roofs typically saves money in the long term.

Whatever your low slope or flat roofing needs are, Firehouse Exteriors can handle the job.