Everyone who has a basic idea of roofing will know that the materials that are employed in the construction of a flat roof are markedly different to those that are used when building a pitched roof. The most obvious difference between these two types of roof is in the coverings. The type of slate or tile covering that you see on a pitched roof is not normally considered to be appropriate to a flat roof and in this article we look at the materials that are used to keep a flat roof insulated and waterproofed.
Flat Roof Materials
As we all know, the single greatest problem with a flat roof is that, because it does not have a slope, surface water has a problem draining away. As a result, it is essential that the materials that are employed in the construction of a flat roof are as water resistant and water proof as is possible. Only if the correct materials are utilised will the possibility of leakages and the consequential damage that these will cause to the property and its contents be avoided. There are many new types of flat roofing materials appearing in the marketplace all the time, although it is often the case that these are more costly than the conventional flat roofing materials that roofers have been employing for many years. These conventional flat roofing materials are as follows:
Built Up RoofingBuilt up flat roofing is exactly how it sounds!. A number of different layers of tar and waterproof materials are laid on the roof and then covered over with a scattering of gravel. The advantages of this method are the relative cheapness and the fact that the gravel can represent a quite attractive finish to a roof. The major disadvantage is the weight that it adds to the flat roof, which may sometimes even require the joists to be fortified. Loose gravel can also block the gutters, thus creating, rather than removing water-sourced problems.
Another type of roofing material which, along with built up roofing, is one of the most commonly employed roofing techniques in flat roof building is modified bitumen. Historically, it was common to adhere the bitumen to the roof by torching, where the roll of bitumen was literally burnt onto the surface of the roof. Fortunately, it is now possible to access bitumen that has adhesive backing, making the roofing process cleaner, quicker, cheaper and safer! Although there are those within the D-I-Y fraternity who are willing to try their hands at fitting a modified bitumen flat roof, we would suggest that the safest option would be to stick with your local professional roofers. Not only will they have had many years of experience in fitting lat roofs, they will also have all the required insurance credentials in the event that something goes wrong.
Rubber membrane is the final material that we will discuss in this article and, once again, it is a widely used method of covering a flat roof. In comparison to other flat roofing materials, a rubber membrane is generally considered to be durable and well capable of resisting long term wear and tear. It is also reasonable easy to fit, making the process cheaper and quicker, causing less disruption to the household during the installation process. It is also relatively easy to identify and repair any leaks that may occur.
Although many people, when buying a house, refuse to countenance having a flat roof, there are many others who either do not mind the idea or have no choice. So long as a flat roof is properly covered and, thereafter, maintained and inspected on a regular basis, it is likely to be a solid and secure in protecting your home than any other type of roofing material.