Flat Roofing Materials

October 25, 2016 4:55 pm Published by

Installing a new flat roof or replacing an old one can be costly, so it’s important that you make the right decisions to ensure that your roof’s maintenance, cost, and look is in line with your requirements. Lower maintenance and more long-lasting roofing materials can cost more upfront, but ultimately cost less over their lifetime because they need fewer repairs and replacements.

The most popular flat roofing materials are rubber, fibreglass, and felt. They all differ in terms of lifespan, cost, longevity, appearance and flexibility.

Rubber Flat Roofing

Rubber roofs can usually be installed in a single, complete layer with no joins (depending on the size). These roofs are typically glued onto the decking but can be mechanically fixed and ballasted if you prefer.

Pros:

  • More long-lasting than felt roofs
  • Can handle foot traffic (with care !, but not as tough as fibreglass.)
  • Excellent expansion and contraction

Cons:

  • More expensive than felt roofs
  • Few colour options
  • Can wrinkle and sag when poorly installed
  • Many joints and seams on complex roofs

Felt Flat Roofing

Felt is torched onto the roof with bitumen to create a waterproof surface. They typically have a bad reputation due to older installation methods, but there have been improvements when it comes to the material’s flexibility and durability. Modern felt flat roofs have 3 layers that are melted together with a blowtorch. Installers need to have the correct insurance to work in your home/business with a hot flame.

Pros:

  • This is the cheapest flat roofing materials
  • Easily patch repaired
  • Comes in a few colours, including black, grey, brown, and purple
  • Good expansion and contraction properties

Cons:

  • Not as long-lasting as other materials
  • Foot traffic can damage the roof
  • Repairs can look messy
  • Susceptible to UV damage, especially when the mineral finish is scuffed

Fibreglass Flat Roofing

Fibreglass was originally used to build boats, so its waterproof properties are second to none. These roofs are built up in layers but the finish is a continuous, seamless surface.

Pros:

  • The most long-lasting roofing material available
  • Huge variety of colour options
  • Extremely tough once cured
  • Repairs are usually unnecessary, but can easily be done and blend in with the existing roof

Cons:

  • The most expensive option, initially, but very cost effective over the long term lifespan.
  • Should not be attempted as DIY

The right roofing material for you depends on your budget and preferences. If you would like to discuss a new or replacement fibreglass roof, please get in touch.

 

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