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The Best Flat Roof Materials: Cost, Pros and Cons

the best flat roof materials cost pros and cons

A flat roof is the most common type of roof, and can be found on everything from warehouses to homes. The best flat roof materials depend on what you’re looking for; cost, pros and cons of different types of material, etc.

There are different flat roof materials you can choose from. For instance,some people prefer metal roofs because they have a longer lifespan but are more expensive upfront.

What’s the best way to protect your home? It could be as simple as installing a new roof! Almost any homeowner will need to replace their roof eventually so it pays off in the long run if you do it right away rather than waiting until there’s a problem.

If you live in a coastal area or somewhere that gets a lot of high wind, your home could be at risk from what the sea breeze can bring if the right material isn’t used.

In this guide, we’ll go over the best flat roof materials and their pros and cons to help you decide which is right for your home!

What is a Flat Roof Material?

A flat roof is a type or style of roof that has no incline and rests completely flat against the ground. The surface will either be made out of lightweight materials like wood shingles, metal, or asphalt shingles/asphalt tiles.

Some even have concrete tiles! Because they are so simple to construct, roofs with flat designs are easy to replace.

The right roofing material depends on the region where you live; typically, materials like clay tiles or clay bricks are used because they do well with high amounts of rainfall and fire resistance.

However, metal roofs are common in areas that deal with hurricanes and high storm activity.

Why You Must Replace Old Flat Roofs With Better Roofing Materials

In time, flat roofs do wear out and require replacement. In some cases, roof damage that results from high amounts of rainfall or other types of weather can be fixed with a sealant.

However, if you notice any leaks or other serious damage to your roof while it’s raining, take action immediately so you don’t lose important things like insulation or interior floors.

When using flat roofing materials, you want to make sure they are the best flat roof materials for your climate! Make sure you get a sturdy material that can hold up if there is a lot of force from high winds and rainfall.

Flat Roof Materials vs Pitched Roofing Materials

A flat roof is the simplest type of roof design. It is also the most common because it requires minimal materials and can be replaced easily in case of damage or wear. However, it isn’t ideal for every type of house.

For example, if you live somewhere that has high winds or lots of rain, a flat roof might not be the best option because it lacks an incline and is more exposed to the elements.

The best new roof material options for different types of flat roofs have improved drastically over the past several decades to provide better waterproofing and increased durability.

Flat Roofs need to be installed in multiple layers, to offer superior protection against water leakages and damages caused by moisture.

A pitched roof has a roof design that includes a slope or slope angle, like you would find on most homes and buildings.

The pitch makes the surface less exposed to the elements, which means there is less chance of water seeping in through cracks in older flat roofs. The pitch can also help water drainage in areas that get a lot of rain.

Major Considerations When Choosing a Flat Roof

Material for Your Home

When choosing the best roofing materials for your home, think about what climate you live in. Make sure the material is suitable to handle high winds or lots of rainfall because you don’t want leaks and damage to your interior flooring!

When replacing an aged flat roof with a new one, consider whether you need a stronger type of material and be sure to check if you can afford the roofing materials.

Pitched roofs are usually ideal for homes located in areas with high winds and rainfall because they don’t have an incline, which means there is less chance of water getting into your home.

If your area doesn’t get a lot of rain, then a flat roof may be a suitable option.

How much does it cost to install a new roof?

One of the most important factors in your decision is going to be the cost.

Flat roofs are relatively inexpensive, because they use minimal materials and don’t come with as many costs as those that use pitched roofs (such as cutting into an incline or needing more material).

flat roof with roofing

Types of Flat Roof Materials

Bur or Build Up Roofs

A bur or build up roof is the most common, and is typically composed of a waterproof membrane material over a layer of felt paper/tar paper.

For more than a century, roofs in the US have been covered with a material called “tar and gravel.” A worker would mix hot asphalt or coal pitch into water to make it into a liquid then apply this mixture on top of roofing felt.

  • Bur roofs are excellent for safety because it is sturdy that anyone can walk on it when doing some home maintenance.
  • Bur roofs can last up to 25 years because each layer of it can extend the lifespan up to 5 years.
  • The layering of bur roofs can allow a strong seal and the debris of any catastrophe like hailstorm won’t be an issue at all!

Afterwards they’d use their bare hands (or mops) for protection from toxic chemicals while spreading more layers until there were 2-4 inches thick piles or sheets made up mostly of small stones known as aggregate/pea gravel which protects our UV ray damaged tar so it won’t degrade faster.

This is a great type of material if you want to spend as little money as possible. The downside is that it’s typically not very durable, and after a few years the material will begin to crack and leak.

Many homeowners opt for this kind of roof because it can be applied easily by hand or machine, which cuts down on labour costs. It’s also a cheap option for those looking to perform a quick fix on their roof.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

A modified bitumen roof is quite similar to the other type which is the built up roof in that it consists of asphalt rolls that is usually wide around 3-foot but instead has two layers.

Modified Bitumen, or MBI for short, can be installed in a variety of ways to suit the needs and tastes of homeowners.

1. Hot applied with a flame

2. Cold solvent adhesive that won’t really require heat for application

3. A torched down version of our product which can melt both sheets together and

4. Self adhering peel & stick design

The cap sheet of a roof is usually granulated and has the look similar to shingles. It can be light gray, white or brown in color according to what material it’s made from.

  • Bitumen roofing offers you excellent options if you are concerned about aesthetics. There are varieties of colors and materials you can choose from.
  • Bitumen roofing is pretty much easy to install, in which the rolls come with it’s own self-adhesive.
  • Take note however that bitumen roofing is fragile and is prone to tearing and splitting.
  • It can last up to 20 years, but its lifespan depends on the quality of the materials used and how it was installed.
Flat roof installation. Heating and melting bitumen roofing felt.

EPDM Rubber Roof

The EPDM Rubber Roof may be one of the most expensive materials but is also one of the best available since it’s very durable, has a long lifespan and can withstand just about anything that nature throws at it.

It also provides great insulation against both cold and heat which will help you save on your energy bills each month.

A black roof with a rubber strip is the most common type of roofing today. These roofs are typically installed over insulation boards or fiber-board, and they come pre-assembled so you can easily install them yourself!

  • EPDM roofs are easy to install because they come in larger roles of shingles, with an elastic rubber membrane that makes it flexible.
  • Because the rubber is elastic, EPDM roofs are also resistant to elements and withstand extreme temperature changes.
  • You won’t have a problem with its cost because you’d only have to spend some $3 which makes it affordable when compared to other flat roofing materials.

Rubber roofs are often ballasted, which means they have large stones on top of them.

If you carefully move away the stone and expose the roof membrane it will be obvious that this is not tar like most roofs but rather a durable material composed mainly of rubber with some fiberglass mixed in for strength!

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof

Finally, there’s a roof that can be installed over almost any existing material – including an asphalt shingle! It’s called a spray polyurethane foam roof, or SPF roof.

They’re very easy to install and do not require any kind of heat for them to dry out – another great benefit considering the extreme heat this time of year.

These roofs are typically colored white, which helps reflect the sunlight during hot summer months. SPF roofs will also help to lower your energy costs since they provide great insulation!

This type of roofing can be affordable. They typically cost around $1.65 – $2.25 per square foot, which can make them affordable and worth the price if you’re looking to install them on your home. This is one of the best materials out there for roofs – especially flat ones!

Technician spraying foam insulation using Plural Component Spray Gun. Spraying polyurethane foam for roof

PVC Roofing

There’s a new type of roofing material that is quickly becoming the go-to choice for those looking for affordable roofs. PVC, or PolyVinyl Chloride roofs are made from premium materials and come in a variety of colors to suit your tastes.

  • They can be installed easily on nearly any surface, which makes them very popular with home builders, contractors and the average homeowner.
    • PVC roofs are typically inexpensive since they can be made in large batches.
  • PVC has resistance on elements such as fire, mold and mildew. It has excellent impact resistance and is easy to maintain.
    • These roofs typically last years before they need to be replaced, which makes them a little higher priced up front but well worth the cost over time.
  • There’s no reason you can’t have your roof done in style – especially if it includes insulation against the elements. For consumers in need of affordable roofs, PVC can be a great choice!
  • PVC is also great for waterproofing because it’s highly impossible for water to easily leak through it.

If you’re looking for a roof that’s affordable, durable and easy to install then you’ll want to check out this material before making any decision on your home.

It provides great insulation since it’s watertight and is impervious to the sun. PVC can last up to 20 to 30 years.

TPO Roofing

A TPO roof is another great choice for homeowners since they are durable, easy to install and offer you lots of design options. They come in different colors, styles and thicknesses to suit everyone’s budget and personal tastes.

  • TPO roofing has new brands, which means you’ll have quite good options to choose from.
  • The coating of TPO roofings are colored white which can allow heat to reflect which causes you to have lower surface temperature when compared to darker roofing materials.
  • TPO roofings are mostly used in commercial buildings.
  • TPO roofings require less maintenance because it’s roof membrane made with a single-ply material is laminated, making it impossible for algae to easily damage it.
    • However, if you need a TPO to be repaired, you can’t do it yourself and you should hire a professional to do this for you.

TPO roofs have a lot in common with PVC, but they cost less.

They also come equipped with some great benefits that make T-Pois more appealing than plastic: It reflects heat and can be sealed from rain by simply brushing away any moisture on the surface of your home’s roof before closing up for winter – saving you energy bills!

You’d also only expect to spend around $4 per square foot for TPO roofing.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is one of the most expensive types of roofing material, but it’s also the toughest. Metal roofs will last a very long time and can be customized to suit your needs or match your house!

One of the best things about metal roofing is that you can choose from a range of colors – including light gray, dark gray and black! This is a good option for those of you looking to make a bold statement with your roof.

Metal roofs are also very durable. They tend to last between 40-50 years, which means you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years before they need replacing or repairing.

There’s no doubt that metal roofs are expensive; but considering how gorgeous they look, their durability and the low maintenance, it’s worth considering this for your home.

Maintenance, Repair and Cost of Flat Roofing Materials

Maintenance and repair for flat roofing is very important, and you need to have a regular inspection, no matter what type of flat roofing you have. If you fail to do this, you’ll end up with more problems down the line.

If you notice that your roof is leaking, you should immediately call a professional to take a look and fix it. Even small leaks can cause massive amounts of damage if left unattended.

Most flat roofs are easy to repair, but when damage results in leaks or other major issues, you need to replace the whole roof. That being said, it’s important that you choose a roofing material that will stand up against weather.

If you live somewhere constantly under rainfall or high winds, be sure to get a strong material like metal roofing. Other roofs like metal and clay tiles will be able to handle the elements much better since they’re made out of natural materials.

Another factor that can affect your flat roofing cost is what type of material you get! Metal roofs are very good at withstanding weather conditions but they are typically more expensive than other types of options, depending on size and style.

If you live in an area where the climate isn’t too harsh, there are plenty of great options available that will be both cost effective and water-proof.

If you’re looking for the best flat roof material option, make sure you talk to your contractor about what roofing material is most suitable for your house!

The right material can make all the difference with keeping your home safe and sound.

There are so many different types of roofs – each with its own benefits and disadvantages. And it can be difficult to know if you’re making the right decision when choosing a roof.

The bottom line is that there are many great options available to homeowners. You just need to consider how much you want to spend and how long you want your roof to last.

With so many choices available in flat roofs, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a beautiful roof over your head.

When you’re looking for flat roofing materials, be sure to consider all of your options so you find something that works best for your climate!

Professional flat roof sealing of a large roof