Flat roofs are an amazing roofing choice for businesses built in milder climates such as those in Plover or Wausau, Wisconsin. They provide great shelter, a gorgeous look, and the ability to easily add on a second or third story to the business.

However, if you’re planning to build this type of covering for your business, it’s important to know what the best flat roof material types are and how they work.

To help you out, we’ve put together a handy guide to flat roof materials. Let’s jump in and learn about what each type is like!

Single Layer Membrane Roof

The first type of flat roof material is a single-layer membrane roof. A membrane roof is one of the latest types of material and tends to be the go-to for commercial roofing companies in Marshfield or Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Materials

Single-layer membrane roofs are known as either plastomeric or elastomeric. Their exact name will depend on the material that they are made out of. A few varieties of these roofs include:

  • PVC
  • EPDM
  • Chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets
  • Chlorinated polyethylene sheets
  • Neoprene
  • Polymer-modified bitumens

Each of these materials is used in roofing, but EPDM tends to be the most popular. The reason for this is that it’s made of a synthetic rubber material that can be applied to both commercial applications.

Installation

Installing single-layer membrane roofing is a fairly straightforward process. To start, thin sheets of material are placed on the top of the roof in a single layer.

The sheet materials are typical 0.03 – 0.06 inches thick. Despite their thinness, they’re able to hold up well against the weather in climates such as those in Oshkosh or Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

From there, the roofs are held down with rock ballast or are adhered to the roof deck. The method used will depend on the structure of the roof as the ballast requires a roof that can support a fair amount of weight.

Seams made out of Neoprene or EPDM are then fastened using an adhesive. PVC roofing seams are welded using either heat or a chemical solvent.

Benefits

Since the material these sheets are made out of is very flexible and elastic, they’re easy to install. They can be easily manipulated into a variety of shapes and positions, making them easy to install.

On top of that, the material can withstand drastic temperature changes. They can also handle high-impact, making them more resistant than built-up-style roofs.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Another common type of flat roofing is called modified bitumen roofing. This roofing system was created as a replacement for built-up roofing systems. The idea was that it would reinforce the roof to prevent wear and tear.

Materials

Modified bitumen roofing is made out of hot plastic that is mixed with rubber and plastic additives. From there, the roofing tiles are layered in between fiberglass or polyester sheets.

The cap sheet contains a polymer that helps provide flexibility and elasticity. This is especially important for roofs that will be used in lower-temperature environments.

The two most common polymers used in modified bitumen roofing are styrene butadiene styrene, or SBS, and tactic polypropylene, or APP. Each type of polymer provides the roofing system with a slightly different look and feel.

Installation

Modified bitumen roofing systems are installed using various techniques. The exact technique used will depend on the roofing project’s specific materials and requirements.

The installation methods used for installing modified bitumen roofing are:

  • Hot applied
  • Torch applied
  • Cold applied
  • Self-adhered

Normally, cap sheets made out of SBS are applied using hot or cold adhesives SBS caps are rarely applied using the self-adhered or torch-applied method.

In contrast, APP sheets are installed with the torch applied method. The method used helps the roof to maintain its structure and provide stability and protection from the elements.

Know Your Flat Roof Material Types

This guide to flat roof material types makes it easy to choose the right flat roof materials for your business. No matter which of these types you choose, you’re bound to wind up with a gorgeous roof that gets the job done.

Are you wanting to get started working on your roof? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you with every aspect of flat roof repair, maintenance, and building!