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Most Common Types Of Materials Used For Flat Roofs

Most Common Types Of Materials Used For Flat Roofs. Regardless of whether your flat roof installation and repair needs are for a commercial or residential building, there will be various factors to consider regarding the type of roofing material used, as well as its associated costs at the time of installation and during its period of use. There are material choices for your flat roof beyond the generic ones that will increase the roof’s reliability. Let’s look at the most common types of flat roofing materials available today.


Modified Bitumen or Peel-and-Stick Format


Erisa-Most Common Types Of Materials Used For Flat Roofs-Modified asphalt

Modified bitumen, oftentimes called peel-and-stick formula, is an asphalt-based flat roofing material improved with special polymers to increase flexibility and performance. You can find them in rolls with a smooth or grainy surface finish and they can be hot, cold, or self-adhesive applied. Peel-and-stick systems, sometimes also known as mod-bit systems, are generally more expensive than other commercial flat roofing materials and can last 16 to 22 years. You can install these ceilings using several techniques determined by specific project requirements and specified materials. These installation methods include:


  • Hot applied.
  • Applied torch.
  • Cold applied.
  • Self-adhesive.


The polymer used in the top layer provides improved elasticity and flexibility at lower temperatures. They are also tough and energy-efficient roofing solutions, able to endure extreme temperature changes, reducing heat flow to roof surfaces. The key fault of a bitumen roof is its comparatively shorter lifespan. It can also be problematic to identify the cause of a leak with this specific roofing material.


Built-Up Roofs


Erisa-Most Common Types Of Materials Used For Flat Roofs-Integrated ceilings

Built-up roofs, simply called “BUR,” get installed using several layers of a special type of roofing material that has been saturated with asphalt and implanted in bitumen applied with a hot wipe/mop. Roofing specialists apply this roofing with a warm wipe/mop. The mixture generates a monolithic and glossy roof membrane.


The roofing felt/bitumen layer gets repeated in superimposed layers until the whole is two to four layers thick. Associated with other flat roof systems, these roofs are costly and take longer to install. They are also more prone to destruction from water and wind. Typically, a protective surface of finely ground stone granules is applied over the top layer of hot tar to protect the constructed roof assembly from UV rays and weathering.


Benefits of BUR:


  • Gravel is an excellent flame retardant.
  • Attractive for roof windows and terraces.
  • It is relatively inexpensive.
  • Provides waterproofing.


EPDM Flat Roof


Erisa-Most Common Types Of Materials Used For Flat Roofs-Flat EPDM roofEPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is a synthetic rubber composite used on flat roofs. Commonly referred to as rubber flat roofs, EPDM has earned a reputation as a multipurpose and effective roofing solution. EPDM is black but it can also be white, gray, or beige. 


The sturdy single-layer material resists damage from direct sunlight. EPDM can be mechanically anchored with fasteners, stone prejudiced, or glued.


The EPDM flat roof has suitable durability of over 32 years and is generally less expensive than other types of single-layer membranes.


Advantages of EPDM:


  • User-friendly installation for the owner.
  • EPDM flat roofing materials are compliant, lightweight, and durable.
  • The material is relatively light but very resistant to scratches and tears.
  • Leaks are easy to repair.
  • Waterproof.
  • Less expensive.


The Cons


  • Standard black material absorbs heat.
  • It is also more prone to punctures than the other options.


PVC Flat Roof


Erisa-PVC flat roofPVC (or polyvinyl chloride) is a durable roofing material with a useful life of approximately 31 years. It is water and fire-resistant and is also designed to withstand high winds.


PVC roofing is a little more expensive than other single-layer flat roof materials, but it offers a wide range of benefits for the price. The extra-strong membrane makes PVC roofs resistant to impact, water, and cracks, which generally shorten the lives of other single-ply roofs. 




  • PVC is very resilient to most chemicals. 
  • PVC roofs deliver long-lasting amenities in severe atmospheres. 
  • PVC roofs are generally planned to be extremely reflective, keep buildings cooler, decrease energy consumption, and help lessen urban heat effects.


TPO Roofs (thermoplastic polyolefin)


Erisa-TPO ceilingsTPO maintains many of the positive features of PVC roofing. It is usually white and made from polypropylene and ethyl propylene rubbers. This very popular type of roofing is also among the best flat roofing materials to install. Not only is a TPO roof an inexpensive choice, but it also has a good 12-24 year lifespan. Moreover, these roofs have the same energy-saving qualities as PVC roofs.




  • It requires less maintenance since the joints are heat-sealed to prevent leaks.
  • Relatively light material and easy to install.
  • Tear and scratch-resistant.
  • Enhanced waterproofing.
  • Able to withstand extreme weather conditions.



Before making a final decision, it would be much better if you consult any reputable flat roofing company to clarify ambiguities. Furthermore, it is very important to have all the tidbits about roofing to make the best decision. We believe that research and consultation play a vital role when deciding whether you should go for an entire roof replacement or simply a minor repair.


Author bio for this guest post: 


Erisa-Autor-Richard WhiteThe author is a goal-oriented writer with years of successful experience writing for multiple brands and startups.


His writing style is unique and niche-focused. His main topics are solar panels, roofing, exterior ideas, etc.


Let us know if you want to write for us.

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