River Oaks Roofing: Article About Flat Roof Basics
Flat roofs have become increasingly popular, especially in urban, modern neighborhoods. They can provide aesthetic appeal, and with some basic maintenance considerations, they can last for years to come. Flat roofs may not be as ideal in climates where there is frequent amounts of snow and ice or if the roof could be prone to moss growth.
One of the most important ways to protect a flat roof is to ensure that debris does not accumulate and that gutters are regularly rid of buildup. This serves as protection from standing water, which could make the roof more prone to leaks and other problems. Branches should not overhang in any areas as well. If cracks or holes are ever detected, they should be repaired immediately. Homeowners are encouraged to regularly inspect their flat roof so that major damage does not occur. A River Oaks Roofing professional can conduct a thorough inspection and recommend any necessary repairs in order to protect the integrity of the roof.
There are a few basic types of flat roofs, and they typically come with a standard 10 to 20 year warranty.
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A built up roof is constructed with several layers of waterproof material with a hot tar base in between as well as a ballasted layer of river stone for maximum strength. The roof is essentially a typical hot tar and gravel style whereas built up roofs used to feature layers of tar paper in the past. Newer models of built up roofs feature advanced materials, including fiberglass. One of the great advantages of this type of roof is that it is fire retardant and is typically the cheapest flat roof style. However, there are a few disadvantages as well. Gravel is not always an ideal material because it can clog gutters, and due to the heavy construction, joists may have to first be reinforced.
A modified bitumen flat roof is constructed with single ply material that features a surface made with minerals. This style of roof can be installed by heat while the material is being unrolled. A newer type of installation allows for a peel and stick method, which naturally works well to reflect heat and improve energy efficiency.
Some flat roofs are constructed with rubber membrane material that naturally resists damage from UV rays. The membrane is made from ethylene propylene diene monomer, which is an incredibly durable substance that resists scuffing and tearing. If leaks ever develop in the membrane, they are relatively easy to fix.