Often for commercial use, flat roofs are a different animal in comparison to residential roofs. Choosing the best flat roofing material for your business is a big decision.
We’re talking about something that endures for many decades. So, what material is used for flat roofs? In this article, we’ll share which materials are best and what exactly makes them the best.
What’s the Best Flat Roof?
Few roofs are best at everything. For instance, if you want to know what the most popular roofing material is, that’s modified bitumen. Simply, the material has enjoyed fairly low prices and provides a lot of insulation. However, its price has risen in the wake of the pandemic such that it’s not much cheaper than other options anymore.
Still, if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest option without compromising quality, you might benefit from a BTM-and-ballast roofing system. Prioritizing quality over price, you may favor the following best materials, instead:
The ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) is a synthetic, black membrane that’s strong enough to protect and insulate medical facilities and department stores. In fact, its insulating capabilities are so powerful that roofers discourage people from having it above bedrooms, as it can make rooms so hot. But it keeps large areas temperate!
As EPDM roofs are among the most durable ones available, you can get up to 30 years out of them. That thick layer of rubber is practically bulletproof. Also, a black roof won’t look as dirty as a white one.
A standing seam metal roof system owes its hefty price tag to its material, but it’s exceedingly effective in many cases. It’s nothing beyond a set of metal panels that interlock at periodic seams. These panels are loose enough to expand and contract as the weather changes.
With more color options for better aesthetic value, an extremely durable metal roof may be favorable over more conventional membrane roofing.
With help from excellent roofers and adequate ventilation in the attic, a metal roof can last for up to 50 years. Easily, it’s the longest lasting flat roof material. It costs more money, but for many, metal roofs are worth the cost.
Another contender involving the best flat roof sealant is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing, which is a simple, white membrane that covers commercial and residential properties, alike. Highly flexible, it’s been a good choice for flat or low-slope roofs for many years. As long as roofers install your PVC roof properly, it can endure for 25 years.
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing is another potent, long-lasting option. In fact, it’s our favorite, involving the best elastomeric roof coating, lasting longer and offering greater defense from the elements than other rubber roofs.
It involves an extremely thick, white membrane with which to reflect light instead of absorbing all that heat. Often used in commercial as well as residential scenarios, it can cover a bedroom without burning up inhabitants.
The only caveat is that dirt and debris upon the roof will appear much more visible. You wouldn’t want a nearby window to overlook it.
As long as professional roofers install and maintain a TPO roof, its welded seams and reflective material allow it to endure for several decades.
How Much Does a Flat Roof Cost?
If you’re looking to establish your budget as you read this, most flat roofs cost about $15 per square foot. Depending on the quality of the vendor, membrane roofs can cost as low as $12 per square foot, while metal roofs can cost as much as $17 per square foot.
Surface area aside, the ultimate price will also depend on preexisting damage, the amount of insulation and whichever roofing contractor you choose.
If you have any concern about cost, we recommend a membrane roof. Across all different types of membrane roofs, each is consistently dependable and durable. If you’re willing to shell out some more cash, a metal roof is likely to last longer.
Going with a membrane roof, just note what’s under that roof! You don’t want a black roof above a living room or bedroom. Keep those rooms cool with a TPO or PVC roof.
Aesthetics might also be on your radar, but with conventional rubber roofing, you’re basically choosing between black and white. Again, many prefer black for its ability to hide dirt, dust and debris. But many others prefer white for its ability to reflect heat. Furthermore, all the heat a black roof traps can cause it to crack and shrink away from the edges.
Interested in a Flat Roof for Your Chicagoland Business?
Whichever roof suits your needs best, the real key to a great roof is a professional team that conducts meticulous installations and comprehensive maintenance at least twice a year. Every flat roof endures wear and tear. As these roofs provide the comfort of the indoors across a large surface area, sustaining damage is in the job description.
Whether you need repairs for a current roof or you’re ready for a total replacement, we have the expertise to communicate closely with you over the whole process. Renowned Building Solutions takes pride in being among the most trustworthy roofing companies in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Please call us or email us to learn more about our flat roofing services.