At Adept Construction, we’re dedicated to offering our customers the best roofing services we can, including flat roof services. Flat roofs are typically used in arid climates, and they offer the benefit of providing additional living or storage space for the building upon which they’re built. Several types of flat roofs are available, and as for the material used to build them, there’s plenty to choose from depending on which options you need for your property.

A flat roof on top of a building

Types of Flat Roofs and Materials Used

While you have a variety of options to choose from in flat-roof designs, the three most common types of roofing materials are:

  • Built-Up Roof (BUR): Made of hot tar and gravel, these are built from three or more plies of waterproof material, alternated with tar and ballasted by a layer of smooth river stone.
  • Modified Bitumen: These are single-ply, rolled roofs with a mineral-based wear surface. As the material is unrolled, torch-down systems heat the adhesive. Newer flat roof systems, however, are peel-and-stick. Read more about bitumen roofing below.
  • Rubber Membrane: EPDM, or ethylene diene monomer, is a durable material that resembles an inner tube, yet is engineered to resist UV damage.

Green roofs, made of grass or turf, are also possibilities for flat roofs, but they are far less common than other choices. More mainstream flat roof materials used in installations include:

· Asphalt
· Turbo Seal (a gel-like membrane that doesn’t cure — it is installed on top of asphalt and capped with a sheet membrane)
· CSPE, a synthetic rubber, commonly known as Hypalon
· Modified bitumen
· Cold-applied liquid membranes
· PVC membranes
· FTPO (flexible thermo polyolefin)
· TPO, which is being touted as a greener option
· Curon, a cold-curing, glass-reinforced polymer composite
· Coal-tar pitch (often forbidden by building codes and not commonly used)
· GRP roof (fiberglass)

What to Expect When Installing a Flat Roof

Flat roofs have to put up with a lot of abuse from harsh weather, and thankfully, the materials used to build them are capable of doing just that. Despite their name, flat roofs are not actually flat. They have a slight incline, at least one-eighth of an inch per foot of roof. When installed, the frame of the roof membrane will be topped with plywood sheathing, then topped with an underlayment.

Then, your roofers will bevel the corners, dry-fit the roofing and glue down the roofing material (rubber or otherwise). Finally, a roof contractor will finish the edges. How long the project takes will depend on how large the roof is. For more information about flat roof construction and installation or roof repairs, contact Adept Construction today.

What is Modified Bitumen Roofing?

Modified Bitumen (MB) is asphalt that has had modifiers added to it to give it plastic or rubber-like properties. The most common types of modifiers being used are APP (Atactic Polypropylene) and SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene).

Modified bitumen roof systems consist of one, two, or three plies. The type of substrate will often determine the type of system being installed. Modified membranes can also be installed in conjunction with built-up roof materials (such as multiple plies of fiberglass felt) to form a hybrid roof system. Modified roofs have proven performance in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

What Products Adept Construction Uses

Johns Manville has developed formulations that enhance the asphalt’s overall weather-ability by modifying premium-grade asphalts. By combining these modified asphalts with non-woven polyester or glass fiber reinforcements, JM produces waterproofing systems that exhibit tremendous strength, elasticity, and weatherability.

A graphic to schedule your free estimate for a flat roof today.

An APP roof membrane provides superior tensile strength while maintaining critical flexibility — even in the coldest environments. Additionally, with APP roofing membranes (coated with a proprietary blend of asphalt and atactic polypropylene), contractors now have an efficient mode of application by heat welding, making hot mopping unnecessary.

A diagram of an app flat roof membrane

Work with the Best Flat Roofers

Adept Construction can provide you with a top-quality, reliable, flat roof system for nearly any home or business in or around Naperville. We’ll help you select the perfect option for your application and provide installation services with experienced staff who can get the job done to fit your schedule. With us, you’ll be able to get some of the best services and products available in the greater Naperville region. We also offer other types of roofing to meet your needs if flat roofing isn’t ideal. Contact us to get started!