Flat roof buildings have been around since the earliest days of construction. In some ancient civilizations, a flat roof provided additional living space, doubling as a sleeping area during summer months, a well-ventilated “kitchen” or storage area. Some cultures built homes with a flat sod roof for their livestock to protect the animals from predators or theft. Today, many commercial buildings and a growing number of residential developments include a flat roof.
Flat Roof Replacement – A flat roof is easy to construct, cost-effective and offers better space utilization than a roof that slopes dramatically.
Over the years, a number of different roofing systems have been developed for flat roofs. At Alpha Roofing Industries, our experience has indicated that the best of these is a modified bitumen system.
• The integrity of a flat roof requires a proper, long-lasting seal. Modified bitumen has these properties if applied by an experienced roofing contractor.
• Other systems, such as TPO and EFDM, have a problem with shrinkage, meaning they can pull away from the flashing or walls and allow water to penetrate.
• Modified bitumen withstands abuse better. This is especially important if there are lights, HVAC units or other equipment installed on the roof that requires servicing. Maintenance personnel can damage most other types of flat roofing systems just by walking on them.
• Unlike some other roofing systems, a modified bitumen roof can almost always be applied directly over an existing surface without the need for a costly removal.
Modified bitumen roofing first saw widespread use in Europe during the 1960s, arriving in the U.S. the following decade. Initially, an MB roof was expensive, but as more manufacturers began producing the product, prices began to decline significantly. Today, given the lower cost of maintenance and the longer life span of an MB roofing system, the costs can actually be the same as or less than an inferior system.
Manufacturers produce modified bitumen in two basic types — smooth and granulated. Granulated MB is sold in a variety of colors, while the smooth type usually has a white or aluminum coating applied after installation. Either type is an excellent choice for a flat roof.
Proper installation and flat roof replacement is critical for a long-lasting MB roof. If a roofer lacks the training or experience to properly apply the MB, the system can fail. Unfortunately, many roofing contractors have failed to acquire the skills necessary to ensure a good installation.
At Alpha Roofing Industries, our crews are highly trained in all types of flat roof replacement, including modified bitumen. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work, our jobsite safety and our reasonable rates. We provide a full range of roofing services to residential and commercial clients in the Austin metropolitan area and throughout the Texas Hill Country. To learn more, you can call us at 512-777-1086 for more information about flat roof replacement, or ask for a free quotation.