What are the Different Flat Roofing Materials

Homeowners commonly prefer a flat roof. It is a horizontal type of roof. Flat roofing materials are generally made as such to let water fall off from a slight leaning. These das, there are a variety of flat roofing materials available in the market. House owners can make their choices, depending upon the various decisive factors.

Traditional flat roofs made use of surfaces that are either based on tar or gravel. Such surfaces are fine to deal with, as long as there is no standing water. Unfortunately, tar-based and gravel-based surfaces are found to be inefficient during cold weather when there are chances of ice-dam formation. Also, such traditional surfaces are sensitive to wilting of a roof.

Owing to the several shortcomings of the traditional flat roofing materials, modern flat roofing materials have made their inception in the market. These days, flat roofing materials like continuous membrane are used to withstand water pool. Such flat roofing materials can be applied as continuous sheet.

Some of the most prominent flat roofing materials are discussed as follows:

Asphalt – Mainly, there are four asphalt flat roofing materials available in the market. Type I is meant for dead level surfaces. Type II allows application on flat roof planes up to ¼ in 12 slopes. Type II is meant for steep slopes and Type IV is meant for special steep slopes. Asphalt flat roofing materials provide excellent sustainability through restoration of lifecycle. The recoating and repairing processes of asphalt flat roofs are economical.

EPDM roofing – The full form of EPDM is Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. It is a type of synthetic rubber. It is one of the most popularly used flat roofing materials. It is easily available. EPDM roofing has seen significant advancements in the recent times. The problems that were faced previously with EPDM roofing are now largely removed. With addition of factory-applied tape, the process of seaming has become easier than before. Of all types of roofing materials that are available in the market for flat roofs, EPDM deserves special mention.

Modified Bitumen roofing – Both asphalt and coal tar pitch products are termed with Modified Bitumen. Such products were first manufactured in Europe as early as in the 1970s. Asphalt flat roofing materials had some shortcomings. Plasticizers were replaced with suitable modifiers with the help integrated distillation processes.

SBS, Styrene Butadiene Styrene, and APP, Attactic Polypropylene are the two most popularly used modifiers. SBS helps in improving the quality of mediocre asphalt by providing a significant amount of flexibility to it. APP can improve aging features of asphalt. A relatively newer modifier is SEBS, Styrene Ethylene Butadiene Styrene. Modified bitumen roofing is another popular choice amongst homeowners.

It must be ensured that professionals execute installation of flat roofing materials. There can be a number of issues otherwise. The common reasons behind flat roof leaks are:

  • Defective installation procedure of roofing material
  • Faulty water drainage system
  • Absence of a water-proofing layer
  • Incorrect sloping of the roof
  • Inferior roofing material

A homeowner must be cautious while installing new flat roofing materials. This can help in avoiding problems in future. Lowe’s is a well-known name in the world of superior-quality home improvement materials.

What Are Green Roofs?

Green roofs are the ones that have green vegetation that survive on a growing medium. The growing medium is installed over a waterproofing membrane. At times, green roofs may also contain extra layers that enhance the processes of irrigation and water drainage. It is important to gather the proper green roofing materials before proceeding with a green roof.

With the rising awareness of environmentalism, a roof that supports vegetation is termed as a ‘green’ roof. Such a roof can serve plenty of purposes, like, providing insulation to a building, absorbing rainwater, contributing in lowering temperature levels of air and producing a habitat that supports wildlife.

Basically, there are two types of green roofs. One is the intensive roof that is thick and is capable of supporting a significant amount of plant varieties. Such a roof would naturally require good maintenance. Another type of green roofs is extensive roof. It is comparatively lighter than the previous type.

A properly designed green roof must be equipped with the following subsystems:

Support for plant nourishment – The growing medium that is installed over the waterproofing base must be equipped with the accurate requirements of void ratio, retention of moisture, distribution of grains, and other green roofing materials.

Water drainage system – The drainage system must have all the necessary green roofing materials to ensure growth of vegetation during medium rainfall as well as during heavy rainfall. It must be designed to withstand damages due to erosion and standing water.

Security of waterproofing system – This is an important aspect of maintaining green roof systems. Green roofing materials must be capable enough to protect the underlying waterproofing system from any kind of external impact.

In order to make sure that the green roofing materials are functioning properly, a series of functions can be executed. For an example, the drainage layers of a green roof may encompass plastic sheets, granular mineral sheets or synthetic sheets.

In a similar way, the growing media that is being used amongst other green roofing materials may vary in composition, depending on the climate, requirements of engineering and plant community. Recycled roofing materials may be used as green roofing materials. Eco shake shingles can also be installed to enhance the beauty of a green roof.

There are a number of significant benefits of maintaining a green roof with the help of appropriate green roofing materials. Some of them have been stated as follows:

  • Enhancing quality of water
  • Extending the longevity of green roofing materials
  • Saving energy
  • Decreasing sound transmission and reflection
  • Developing an atmosphere for wildlife habitat
  • Enhancing the aesthetics of a place

These were just a few general advantages of having a green roof. The design of a green roof depends on a number of factors, that includes strength of structure that supports the green roofing system, slope, size and height of a roof, the waterproofing system, drainage system, and obviously, the climate.

There are several green roofing options available these days. One can even consider integrating a green roof with other green roofing options, like, solar roofing options. Such combinations are proved to work well in all aspects.

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