3 Popular Commercial Roofing Options For Your Building With A Flat Roof

Posted on: 14 February 2023


Commercial buildings often have flat roofs for multiple reasons. For one, the flat space provides an area to install HVAC equipment so the equipment is out of the way and safe from harm. A large building may need multiple HAVC units, and having a place to store the equipment outdoors is a nice benefit of having a flat roof.

Plus, flat roofing materials are often more affordable, and they're easier and safer to install. This helps your costs stay lower for maintaining the building. Here are three popular types of commercial roofing that could work well on your flat roof.

1. BUR or Built-Up Roofing

BUR roofing has been popular on flat roofs for a long time. These are built up on the roof by alternating layers of bitumen, fabric, and hot tar. They're generally topped with gravel. A drawback to this type of roofing is the use of hot tar that gives off a strong odor and strong chemicals.

Modified built-up roofing can be used instead. While it's built the same way, it can use cold tar or self-adhering membranes so the odor and release of fumes are eliminated. These roofs are attractive when viewed from above, and they do an excellent job of protecting against leaks due to the multiple layers of materials used.

2. Foam Roofing System

Foam roofing is sometimes a suitable choice for a flat roof. An advantage of a foam roof is that the foam is sprayed on so it doesn't have to be seamed together. With no seams, the foam offers superior protection against leaks. The foam can even be sprayed around vents to create its own flashing.

A foam roof system consists of hard foam roofing and a top coating of silicone that protects the foam. This creates a durable roof that reflects the sun and is easy to repair. Punctures can be filled with caulk to keep rain from seeping down through the foam.

3. Single-Ply Membranes

Membrane roofing is a popular choice for flat roofs because of the ease of installation and repairs. The membranes are spread out on the roof and bonded together with adhesives or heat to create a watertight blanket for your building. If a membrane is punctured or ripped, it can be repaired with a patch.

Commercial roofing membranes last for many years, and when the membrane is old, it can be topped with a coating or new membrane to extend the life of your roof.

These popular types of commercial roofing stand up well to foot traffic and roof equipment. They might be damaged by birds, hail, and standing water, so it's good to have your roof inspected regularly so repairs can be made before rain leaks under the roofing and gets the deck, cover boards, or insulation boards wet.