The roof is one area of the house that takes the most abuse from wear and tear. It is for this reason that it takes high priority when it comes to remodeling. For instance, sloping and pitched roofs assist in shedding water and reducing snow accumulation. Examples are: shingles, tiled, asphalt and wood shake variants. These look like fish scales that overlap one another in order to let water down. Flat roofing on the other hand is different. They are designed as a monolithic roof surface and require the capability to handle some standing water for a limited time.
EPDM Single Ply Membrane Roofing
EPDM is made from recycled rubber materials, which makes it a friendly environmental option. It can also insulate your roof and attic and therefore can lower your cooling and heating bills. They come in a wide variety of textures and colors for you to choose from.
EPDM is waterproof and it allows you to encase the entire roof. Repairing the system is relatively straight forward and inexpensive. Some homeowners can even attempt DIY repairs if they are knowledgeable enough. They last a long time about thirty to fifty years and is quite good against water, fire and wind. Moreover, the roof deck does not need to be reinforced, as the EPDM material is lightweight. It is quite durable and does not scuff or scratch or scuff that easily.
While some repairs can be done by homeowners themselves, installation of the roof system should only be done by a professional contractor that is well versed in this type of roof. The labor cost is also higher as it requires special technical know how. Also, any exterior pieces such as pipes, HVAC and chimney pose a threat to the roofing system and can cause leakage if they are not properly flashed. The rubber roofing may also be damaged by fallen branches, foot traffic during install or severe storm damage.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
The built-up roofing system previously was the most common type of flat roof system until it was overtake by single-ply roofing and the modified bitumen. BUR makes use of tar and gravel in order to establish a watertight layer over the roof. Some of the primary advantages of this kind of roofing system are thick roof coverage and high damage resistance. However, it is an expensive roofing choice for a residential home, and some of the odors that come with gravel and tar can be quite distracting.
This type of roofing system can last from 10 to 15 years as long as there is regular maintenance and repair done. There are several types of built-up roofing such as smooth asphalt, asphalt built-up, ballasted asphalt built-up and cold built-up to name a few. The system offers amazing protection versus water, ultraviolet rays and bad weather. It is extremely low maintenance and therefore the cost of upkeep is very little all throughout is operational life. It is easy to remove layers when repair or resurfacing the roof. The presence of gravel makes it highly resistant to normal foot traffic.
Installing the BUR is complicated and takes quite some time due to the involvement of a number of materials like asphalt, coral, tar and gravel. Due to the complexity of installation it has high labor costs. It is susceptible to damage from strong winds and high levels of moisture. It is very heavy and needs roof joists that require strengthening prior to installation. Finding the source of leakage can be quite difficult and at times require the dismantling of the entire roof. It is not adaptable to cold temperatures, which make it susceptible to damage if exposed.