Your roof is one of the most important structural elements of your home. It protects you from the elements, prevents heating from escaping, and provides various other benefits. However, while protecting against the elements this means that it must also face a combination of weather conditions from ice to rain and snow to sun. Where the typically sloped roof offers natural drainage options for rainwater, the flat roof can offer difficulties in this area.
Choosing Flat Roof Materials
There are a number of options available when it comes to choosing flat roof materials. There are basically three main types of flat roof materials available which are designed to provide the needs of all homeowners and residents – built up materials, bitumen, and rubber roofing materials.
Types of flat roofs
- Built Up Roofing
Built up roofing materials is an attempt to provide a barrier against the water by essentially plugging the roof with as many different layers as possible. Layers of tar and water resistant materials are laid and the whole concoction is finally covered with gravel. This is an old technique of roof covering and it does require regular maintenance – the gravel, especially, will tend to need weeding and replacing to keep your roof looking its best and offering any kind of protection against the weather.
Bitumen is another long serving, time honored solution. Bitumen does offer the advantage that it is fairly easy to install although you should always use a professional installation service to ensure that you get the best possible results as doing it yourself may lead to gaps, holes, or shrinkage over time. Some of the more expensive bitumen materials offer greater UV resistance and are better at preserving heat within the home than the traditional material.
Rubber is the strongest of the flat roof materials. It is extremely strong and difficult to break. Any damage is easily found and quickly rectified while the material is resistant to all weather conditions from sun to rain and snow to ice. While the initial cost is quite high, good rubber roofing systems include 20 year guarantees and the minimal maintenance and repairs required mean that it will typically prove to be the most cost effective solution in the long run.