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4 Neat Factoids You Need to Know about Your Flat Roof

April 24, 2017

4 Neat Factoids You Need to Know about Your Flat Roof

Is your commercial property topped with flat roofing? If so, here are four interesting facts that can give you a better understanding of how your roof functions to protect the structure and its contents.

Flat Roofs Aren’t Really Flat

Even though it’s hardly noticeable, all properly-engineered “flat” roofs have a slight slope so water to run into the drains. The minimum slope is 0.25 inches per foot, or a ¼:12 pitch. If your commercial roof has an inadequate slope, rain and snow melt won’t drain away properly and instead collect on the roof field. If the issue isn’t noticed and addressed, this ponding water can erode the roof covering, seep into damaged areas or seam separations and gradually ruin the insulation and decking.

Flat Roof Materials Aren’t Interchangeable

Every flat roof is unique because of its particular design, the materials used and how it’s constructed. There are a number of materials commonly used on flat roofs:

  • PVC single-ply membranes, which are single layers of thermoplastic material.
  • EPDM or ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber single-ply membranes.
  • TPO or thermoplastic polyolefin single-ply membranes.
  • Modified bitumen membranes, which are sheets of plastic- or rubber-modified asphalt roofing applied in multiple layers.
  • BUR or built up roofing created with alternately layers of reinforced fabric and bitumen to form a multi-ply membrane.

The correct maintenance and repair techniques needed to keep your commercial flat roof watertight directly relate to the type of material it’s made from and how it’s installed. Even a minor improper repair can cause leaks or shorten the life of your roof.

Giving Your Flat Roof a New “Coat” Can Help It Last Longer

If your roof is inspected and assessed regularly, you may be able to postpone a costly tear-off and replacement by having a preservative coating applied. These specialized liquid coatings are rolled or sprayed on to form a new watertight top layer that helps prevent UV degradation and deterioration.

A Flat Roof Can Be Cool

Some roof membranes are light-colored or white, so they reflect the sun’s energy and help keep heat out. Other types of flat roof coverings are dark-colored so they tend to absorb solar heat, which can increase energy consumption. Today, there are reflective coatings available that can boost the efficiency of most types of commercial roofing.
To learn more facts about the flat roofing on your St. Louis commercial property, contact us today at Jewett Roofing!

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