If you live in the Southwest United States or any other arid region, you probably have noticed a variety of flat roofs. Even though flat roofs may seem untraditional, they are common in drier weather areas because the lack of water means you do not need to worry about stagnated water or roof damage.
However, it is typically for a flat roof to leak more often than a pitched roof because water does not roll off the flat roof as easily as a pitched one. When it rains on a flat roof, the water stays until it can evaporate.
During this process, the water has more time to find the weak areas of the roof. If you notice your flat roof needs replacing, you have a variety of options. Some of these options include metal, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, built-up, modified bitumen, and spray-applied coatings.
One of the most popular replacement materials for flat roofs is metal. Typically, a metal roof is made from aluminum, which is incredibly durable. Metal flat roofs are known to last for at least 35 years. With a flat metal roof, you may experience lower energy costs due to the material reflecting heat from the sun.
Metal roofing can be ordered in large sheets or smaller ones to accommodate for unique features or irregular extensions of a roof. This fact is especially helpful when you have a small patio or a covered stairwell.
While metal flat roofs have a wide array of advantages, they also have disadvantages. One major drawback associated with a metal roof is when the roof needs to be replaced, you cannot install a new roof on top of it. Another disadvantage is a metal roof can be prone to rust.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
EPDM is a synthetic rubber that is created from recycled materials. This option is easy to install, durable, and more affordable for flat roofs than some of the other choices. Another excellent benefit of using EPDM is it has a longer lifespan than a metal roof.
When installing EPDM, seaming is required. This requirement means that when these seams pull away from the roof, water has a better chance of causing damage to your home. If you want to use EPDM to replace your flat roof, it might be a good idea to spray apply it because this application reduces the chance of seams pulling away.
When using modified bitumen, an installer will roll it out onto your roof and then use a blowtorch to secure it into place. This process increases the dangers, so if you decide you want to use modified bitumen, use an experienced roof installer.
A variety of safer ways to install this type of material have been developed over the years. So, an experienced contractor may have other ideas about different methods of installation. Even with these dangers, modified bitumen for a flat roof is easy and fast to install.