A flat roofing contractor has to be skilled in many different types of roofing materials as well as being able to be both a commercial and residential roofing contractor so that the roofs installed meet the appropriate specifications. A flat roof is defined as one that has a three inch rise to a twelve inch run or less, leaving it almost flat. A flat roof needs to have a little bit of a slope so that water does not pool and destroy the roofing materials and cause leaks to the building. With a little bit of a slope, water will run into the gutter or other drainage system and run off of the roof. Flat roofs are usually not used in high rain or show climates on residential buildings since they do not hold up as well as pitched roofs do in those conditions.
Types of Materials
Flat roofing contractors most often need to install built up roofs, such as tar and gravel or modified bitumen. These two types of roofs are very economical and last around fifteen years. They are messy to install since every layer of the roof has either tar or bitumen holding it together. Tar and gravel roofs use three to five layers of saturated felt which is layered with tar and asphalt. The top layer of the built-up roof is covered in a mineral and rock mixture so that it holds up to the elements better and can be walked on if necessary. Flat roofing contractors who install modified bitumen roofs layer polyester or fiberglass material and put bitumen in between layers.
Another inexpensive roofing material that flat roofing contractors must work with is roll roofing material. This material only holds up for about ten years since it is only laid in a single layer. It is made up of an asphalt shingle mat which is easy to install and not as messy as the previously mentioned built-up materials.
Flat roofing contractors also need to be able to install EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber roofing material. This is also applied to the roof in a single layer over a rigid insulation making it easy to install as well. This rubber material is very durable so that it lasts longer than the built-up roofs and also provides limited UV protection which helps with energy costs in hotter climates. PVC membrane is also used by flat roofing contractors which is beneficial since it does not have seams that can let in water. It also reflects the sunlight which helps in hotter climates.
Another type of flat roofing material that is gaining popularity is metal roofing, which comes in a variety of different textures and styles. It is also the longest lasting of the roofing materials, many lasting up to fifty years before needing replacement.