Pros and Cons of the Best Materials for Your Flat Roof

Pros and Cons of the Best Materials for Your Flat Roof

Commercial buildings, offices, and other industrial properties often have a modern look with their flat roofing, but residential spaces can also embrace this contemporary design and stray away from the typical, pitched roof that has been the image of American homes for so long. 

Flat roof

A residential flat roof looks visually appealing, making it the kind of style that can make your home stand out in the neighborhood. But just like any other roofing system, the materials you choose will have a significant impact on its functionality; that’s why it’s crucial to explore your options so you can pick the one that suits your expectations as a homeowner. Let’s check And what you learn from this article here:

Table of Contents

Why You Should Know the Best Materials for a Flat Roof

As mentioned above, different materials have parts to play in a flat roof’s overall look and feel. You can’t use the materials you often associate with a pitched roof since their core functionality are polar opposites, so an asphalt shingle would do more harm than good if you pair it with a flat roof. 

A flat roof can be tricky since it doesn’t benefit from letting rainfall cascade down the gutters. The good news is that flat roofing materials have evolved in recent years, so it now provides better waterproofing capabilities that allow property owners to ease their worries when it comes to protecting the roof above their heads from harsh, outdoor elements. 

Nonetheless, different materials have their unique qualities with advantages and disadvantages, so we’re here to break down some of the best materials for flat roofs. 

The Best Flat Roofing Materials: Pros and Cons for Homeowners and Commercial Buildings Alike

1. Rubber Flat Roofing Material

The installed cost per square foot: $1-4

Rubber is an excellent choice for eco-conscious homeowners who want a sustainable roofing material that doesn’t come short in durability against inclement weather conditions. Also technically known as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), the rubber material for flat roofing functions well with its reliable strength and flexibility, all for an affordable price. 

Pros of Rubber Roofing 

  • Longevity
  • Easy installation
  • Elastic 
  • Affordable
  • Easy to repair

Cons of Rubber Roofing

  • Shrinkage
  • High heat absorption
  • Less-than-ideal aesthetics

2. Modified Bitumen 

The installed cost per square foot: $4-6

One of the strongest choices in terms of durability and sturdiness, a modified bitumen roofing material is made from asphalt with added polymers rolled into a single-ply roof. It mimics the look of asphalt shingles, making it the top choice for homeowners who want to maintain the classic “homey” feel with a contemporary upgrade. 

Pros of Modified Bitumen

  • Curb appeal
  • Easy installation
  • Superior, waterproof sealing 

Cons of Modified Bitumen

  • Fragile
  • Short longevity

3. Built-Up Roof

The installed cost per square foot: $3-6

Made up of hot tar and gravel, the combination of these two materials results in one of the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials known as a built-up roof. Think of it as multiple layers of roofing topped on each other, making built-up roofs the best choice for those who want peace of mind with their unprecedented protective qualities. 

Pros of Built-Up Roof

  • Superior safety
  • Longevity
  • Strong seal
  • Durable against the elements

Cons of Built-Up Roof

  • Heavyweight
  • Slow installation
  • Leaky tendencies

4. PCV Roofing 

The installed cost per square foot: $6-12

Most people associate PVC materials with plumbing pipes and other similar uses, but it’s a highly versatile plastic that can offer amazing functionality and aesthetics to your flat roof. It comes in a membrane form laid and adhered throughout the deck of your flat roof, but the plastic layers give it better sealant capabilities that other flat roof materials lack. 

Pros of PVC Roofing 

  • With a minimum breaking strength that is well above the standard set by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), PVC roofing can be good as new between 20 to 30 years;
  • Great against the elements thanks to its reliable fire-resistance rating, superior wind uplift resistance, and durability against hail storms;
  • Excellent waterproofing properties with little-to-no chances of roof leaking;
  • Energy-saving due to the material’s white membranes, giving it the ability to deflect heat and light;
  • Multiple colors options;

Cons of PVC Roofing 

  • Non-eco-friendly;
  • Complicated to replace.

5. TPO Roofing 

The installed cost per square foot: $2-5

Just like other flat roofing materials, TPO roofing uses a single-ply membrane with sheets of rubber and other synthetics. The multiple layers give TPO roofing one of the most effective choices for improving insulation, so its biggest highlight is its excellent energy efficiency. 

Pros of TPO Roofing 

  • Despite having the same heat-reflective properties of PVC roofing, it comes at a more affordable price; 
  • Energy-saving;
  • Long-standing and little-to-no need for maintenance;
  • Lightweight material that is perfect for easing the load on your property’s structure;

Cons of TPO Roofing 

  • Multiple brands and manufacturers aiming to improve the material due to its newness in the market;
  • Being the new roofing material in the block, it’s no surprise that it requires specialtyrepair jobs with heat welding abilities;

The Bottom Line: Different Materials For Your Flat Roof 

The materials can make or mar the cosmetic appearance, functionality, and longevity of a flat roof, so it’s important to choose the right one that meets your specific needs. 

Factors such as environmental-friendliness, weather resistance, waterproofing, and even the materials’ energy-saving potential can influence your decision, and while there is no blanket rule when it comes to shopping for flat roofing materials, the best choice is often the one that suits you best within your budget. 

More importantly, the materials above fulfill different purposes for all kinds of flat roofing systems, so your choice can be ideal for both residential and commercial needs. 

Are You Looking for a Reliable Roofing Company?

There’s no doubt that your roof is one of the most important elements in your home. Because of this, you need to ensure that you’re choosing the right style and using the right techniques to install it safely onto your home. Fortunately, we’re here to help you for finding the best roofing option.

Southern Premier Roofing offers fantastic roofing services, such as roof replacements, sidings, gutters, and paintings to Raleigh, Charlotte, and Fayetteville, NC, as well as Boise ID. If you’re ready for your new roof to make a premier, work with the best roofing company in Charlotte

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