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Low Sloped Roofing 102: Different Flat Roof Materials

September 2, 2018
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Flat roofs became a thing of the past some years back. Every house switched out to pitched roofs. It was noticed that sloped branches provided great shade from rain as well. Alas! The whole of America and Europe took a liking to the new discovery, and all the houses were built with pitched (sloped) roofs. The flat roofs had a comeback and regained their popularity.

Flat roofing can uniquely and beautifully change the look of a building. It adds more of an urban look to the structure. They are easier to install and maintain than the “other” kind. They have approximately 10°. This ensures that rainwater flows towards the drain. Flat roofing has an average cost of $250-$350 per square. This is similar to that of asphalt-shingle roofs.


Mainly there are three types of different flat roofing types to choose from. Of course, there isn’t only one; nothing can be fashionable without variety nowadays. Before anything, you’ll need to decide which type of flat-roofing you want. Each one has a different use, climate, budget and will also have a different style to it.


First on our list is Built-Up-Roof (BUP). This is the traditional way of doing it. This type of roof is fire-resistant. All the materials are placed on top of each other, the fiberglass, tar, gravel, roofing felt, everything. The cost comes around to $3.50-$7 per square feet. It lasts for about 30 years. It would be wiser to do have a pro do this for you. Occupied houses are advised not to opt for this one; the roofing process is smelly.

Modified Bitumen

Second, comes Modified Bitumen. Unlike the latter, this system involves only a rolled sheet of materials that need to lay down on your roof. This further divides into two methods of applications.

The torch-down application method uses heating the material when they are being laid down. A large torch is used to secure the elements in place. But as you may have guessed this method involves a potential fire hazard and is only used professionally.

The next method can be called a DIY project. It is more like a peel and stick than heating. Both can last for around 30 years. The cost is $3-$6 per square feet.

Rubber Membrane

Better known Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) or “true rubber.” You can understand it like a flat tire of a car. It is made to withstand possible damage from the sun, scuff marks and tears. And are practically easier to repair in case of a leak. EPDM roofing comes in Black and White. Black absorbs heat, White, on the other hand, reflects heat but is also the more expensive one.

You can install it in some ways, using mechanical anchoring, adhesive anchors or even ballasting with stone. The cost becomes $4-$6 per square feet.

Between BUP, Modified Bitumen & other rubber membranes renovators have a big selection of flat roofing available for their clients

Pros & Cons:

Flat exteriors are visually more appealing and are better compatible with the modern building methods. Energy Star rated them more efficient than pitched roofs, which drastically increased their popularity. They are safe to walk on if properly applied.

Although flat roofs do come with a lifespan of 20-30 years. They generally need to be replaced in only 15 years. Prolonged changes to weather can further damage them. The slope on these roofs is also slight. This can lead to water forming a pool on the roof and ice dams.


It is very important to keep a look-out any signs of tears, holes or leaks. Immediately tend to any water pools forming on the roof, as these are the most likely places to leak. Adding more layers to the rood increases its durability. If not tended to can cost you about $300-$500 to call for the help of a professional roofer. These roofs are also more likely to accumulate debris and dirt, so it better to clean it regularly.

NY Roofing 553 Prospect Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 (646)-838-0441

NY Roofing is the premier residential & commercial exterior contracting company in the Downtown Brooklyn area. We are GAF certified Master Elite Contractors. We provide full repair & install solutions for our clients. Contact as now for a free estimate.

Royal Renovators Inc is Fully Licensed and Insured, with Offices Throughout the NYC Area.
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553 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215

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