Flat roofs have certain requirements. Unlike sloped roofs, which rely on gravity to shed water and material, flat roofs depend on drains and rely on a water resistant membrane to protect the owner’s property. The term ‘flat’ is a little misleading — no roof is completely flat or water would pool on top of the property. “Low slope” is a better description of what’s commonly called a flat roof. Flat roofs should have at least a 1/4 inch of slope per foot (or more) so that water can flow downhill to drains and then off the roof and down to the ground.
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Foam is sprayed straight onto the roof, where it “foams up” and hardens before a protective coating is put on top. Because of its flexibility, foam is especially good for roofs with unusual shapes and configurations. Foam has several unique advantages over other types of flat roofing systems. It protects against thermal shock and it can greatly reduce your energy bills.
Built-up roofing (BUR) is what is often called “hot tar roofing.” Its an old, time-tested method. Built up roofs are made of three or four overlapping layers of asphalt felts which are fused together by hot asphalt. Built up roofs have to be protected from extreme weather, sunlight and people walking on it by some kind of surface material like gravel, a mineral granule top layer (a cap sheet), a coat of asphalt or a some type of special reflective coating.
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Modified bitumen, like built-up, is made of reinforced asphalt impregnated felts. Unlike built up roofs, the asphalt in the felts is modified with plastic or rubber polymers to improve its flexibility, durability and overall performance. Because of the polymers, modified bitumen can be applied in a single layer and overlapping the seams. They are then glued to the roof with hot asphalt or an adhesive, or by using torches to melt the asphalt underneath. Some modified bitumen roofs require protective surfacing materials, usually mineral granules or a liquid coating.
Single ply membranes are made of rubber, plastic or a combination of the two. Single ply membrane is applied in a single layer. Installation is simple: roll out the membrane, heat weld the seams between the sheets, chemically weld them or glue them together, then the membrane is attached to the roof with screws/flat plates, ballast (like rocks) or adhesive.
If you have flat roofing needs, call Mikku and Sons Roofing to make sure they're taken care of correctly. Call us at 623-465-1068 for your free estimate.