Flat roofs are common on commercial buildings, so it's easy to find a flat roof contractor to install and repair a flat roof. If you've never owned a building or house with a flat roof, you might not know much about membrane or foam roofing. Here's information about the types of flat roofing, how they're installed, and how flat roofing is maintained.
Popular Types Of Flat Roofing
Spray foam roofing is sometimes preferred since it doubles as insulation and a water barrier. It also has an attractive white color that reflects the sun to keep the building cool. However, membrane roofs are popular for commercial buildings too. The membranes are made from rubber or plastic and go down over insulation boards to keep the roof dry.
A potential problem with membrane roofing is when the seams come apart. Regular checks are important so loose seams can be repaired if they ever develop. Metal is used for flat roofing too as long as the roof has a slight slope that allows for rain drainage.
Another flat roofing option is built-up roofing that also goes down in sheets, but these have a layer of hot or cold asphalt between the sheets to cause them to stick together. Built-up roofing is often topped with gravel.
How Flat Roofs Are Installed
One of the first things a flat roof contractor does is check underneath the old roofing for water damage. Flat roofs usually have cover boards or insulation boards between the deck and roofing material. If the boards or deck have water damage, the water damage has to be repaired first.
Next, the roofer decides if the new roof can go over the old one. This is often possible with flat roofing since the roofing is thin and light. If the old roofing has to come off, the flat roof contractor strips off the membranes and insulation boards so the deck of the roof is exposed. A flat roof deck might be plywood or metal, and the roofer wants to make sure the deck is in good shape before new roofing is applied.
When it's time for the new roof, insulation or cover boards are put on and the membranes are added to the surface. Membranes are attached to each other with adhesive or heat welding. They're attached to the roof with fasteners, adhesives, or rocks. Metal panel roofing is screwed to the roof and foam roofing is sprayed on.
How Flat Roofs Are Maintained
A flat roof contractor should check your roof once or twice a year to look for areas that need repairs. Membranes may need puncture holes patched and loose seams closed. A metal roof could need rusty areas removed and missing screws replaced.
Foam roofs may need to be patched too if they're punctured. Foam roofs also need to have a new coating put on after several years. Foam roofs need coatings to protect the foam from UV damage.
For more information, contact a flat roof contractor near you.