There are several options to consider when looking for roofing materials on your low slope roof. Low slope roofs are more prevelant in commercial and business settings but do exist in residential settings as well. Roofcorp takes a look at some of those roofing material options and their benefits and drawbacks.
Built-Up roofing is one of the most common types of roofing in commercial settings and low slope settings. It is a system of bitumen layers built up on top of each other to create outstanding waterproofing. Bitumen is a type of asphalt. These layers can be built hot or cold, hot roofing uses heat and melted bitumen to seal the layers together. Cold built up roofing uses sealants and cold welds to merge the layers together.
Benefits of Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
Built up roofs have stood the test of the time, as they have been in use for more than 150 years. Built-Up roofing materials provide excellent waterproofing and resistance to ultraviolet aging. Depending on the type of material, BUR can have be very highly rated in fireproofing. They are very versatile and can be used in a number of flat and low slope roof settings.
Drawbacks of Built-Up Roofing
Built up roofing can be quite costly. Most built-up roofs are constructed with hot asphalt. The installation process is noisy and often leaves noxious fumes and vapors floating around during the installation. Buildings may have to be temporarily shut down during the installation process.
BUR can be costly due to the labor intensive installation and the cost of materials. Like most roofing composed of asphalt, BUR can have a relatively short lifetime and may need to be replaced after only 20-30 years of service.
Rubber Roofing Materials
Rubber roofing is another option for flat and low slope roofing materials. The more popular materials are EPDM and TPO. They are readily available but since they are relatively new, it is difficult to find certified contractors who can install rubber roofing materials.
Advantages of Rubber Roofing Materials
Rubber roofing materials are waterproof, and resist aging well. They are also less expensive than built-up roofing.
Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing Materials
There are not many options for installation so it is more difficult to “shop” companies for a good deal. Rubber roofing is not the strongest of materials which can lead to a large number of repairs.