Once you decide that you will install a flat roof in your commercial building, identifying the ideal material can be a complex process. You must consider factors such as the cost, aesthetics, support the structure requires as well as its lifespan. Your roofing contractor will advise you to consider the design, performance, and cost of the roofing material which will also affect this decision. We’ll look at 4 types of flat roof systems that are quite popular today, each with its advantages and disadvantages. This will help you determine what material is best for your unique project.

Built-up roofing (BUR)

This is probably the most common type of roofing material used today in commercial facilities. It is not only cost-effective but also very versatile and can be used in a range of applications. This roofing is made using multiple layers of reinforced bituminous membranes. Unlike the single ply membrane roofing, BUR is more robust and can be used in an area that experiences heavy traffic occasionally. If during construction, the roof needs to be used for on-site storage, this roofing material would be an ideal option.

Flat-roof-material

EPDM flat roofing

EPDM flat roofing, better known as (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roof, is a type of rubber roofing that is often used in residential buildings. It is a low cost and lightweight roofing material that is easy to install. Most EPDM roofs are black, but you can also choose one that has a white coating for better reflection and to lower energy costs. The greatest advantage of the EPDM roof is that it eliminates the need for seams further enhancing the waterproofing properties of this material. The material is also fire resistant and can impede a fire. With minimal maintenance, an EPDM roof can last 50 years or more.

PVC single-ply membrane systems

This roofing system is designed to provide exceptional waterproofing by using just one sheet of roofing material. It’s a low-cost roofing system that’s also lightweight, flexible and easy to install. Single ply membrane systems are safe and very versatile. You’ll find them in so many different colours and that’s why they are quite common in both new roof constructions and refurbishment projects. The main drawback of single membrane roofs is that they could easily get damaged. This is not the kind of roof you’d want to install in a heavy traffic area. The roof shouldn’t be used to store heavy equipment or construction items. However, it’s a durable flat roof material that will serve you for years if properly installed.

Get expert advice

There are so many factors to consider when choosing a roofing material for your commercial building. Don’t just settle for a product because of its low cost. An expert roofer can help you identify the material that best suits your commercial building’s needs. Whether it’s the low cost, ability to withstand heavy traffic or versatility, you’ll be given lots of options to choose from that align with your goals.

Flat roofing systems are known to have a very long lifespan if well maintained. The lifespan of the flat roof will also depend on the type of materials used during installation. For instance, if the flat roof is made of asphalt or felt, it won’t last compared to one that is made of slate or EPDM. This means that you must select your roofing material very carefully during installation or a replacement if you’re looking for a durable system.

What is splitting and is your roof affected?

If your roof is made from materials such as felts, it is prone to splitting. Splitting occurs due to several reasons. It could be because of poor workmanship, stress or pressure on the roof or extremely cold weather that causes freeze-thawing. Splitting can also occur if the surface is walked on and gets damaged or due to poorly maintained reflective paint or stones. To avoid this, make sure you get a professional to install the felts and ensure that regular maintenance is done especially on other roofing components like the stones and reflective paint.

Have you noticed ponds of water on the roof?

Ponding is a common occurrence in flat roofing systems. It happens when the water doesn’t drain, and you’ll notice pools of water on the rooftop even in dry conditions. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is by installing hoppers which will collect the excess water. Your roofing specialist may also advise you to use an automatic pump to remove the water on affected areas in the middle of the roof. To prevent the issue from recurring, check the drains to ensure they’re not blocked. Your roofer may also recommend building up the lower areas of the flat roof to stop ponding issues.

Ensure maintenance is properly done

With time, debris, leaves, and dirt will accumulate on the flat roof system and need to be removed especially when they get to the gutters and drains. Hire a roofing specialist to remove all these unwanted elements safely from your rooftop. Sometimes standing on the roof is not recommended because it can cause further damage unless the roof is designed to be used as an outdoor area. Your roofer may recommend using a leaf blower to get rid of unwanted dirt on the surface.

Cut back overhanging tree limbs

When there’s a tree so close to your roofing system, it could bring issues. The leaves and branches could fall off and block the drainage system which ultimately leads to internal leakage. During roof inspection, any overhanging tree limbs need to be cut off to avoid these issues. Also, ensure you check the roof after a heavy storm. Snowfall shouldn’t be left on the flat roof for long because it can cause significant damage. Don’t forget to check internally for signs of roofing repair issues such as stains on the ceiling which could be an indication of water damage or leaking.

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    Our customers say...

    Mark, Wes, and the entire Coverall team did an excellent job on our complex roof. They had to work flat roofs, steep angles, skylights, and shaped windows and did very high quality work at a very competitive price. The entire coverall crew was polite, professional and they did a great job cleaning up the job site. I have already recommended them to our friends.
    Mark Maybank
    Mark Maybank
    Not only do I not have any complaints, I have nothing but praise. Coverall did my house and three of my neighbors at the same time. The work was professional, the crew worked well together, they worked safely and were friendly. The price was lower than other quotes received. They took care to protect all figures on the property, and the site was kept clean at the end of each day. Literally not a single nail was found on the ground after the fact. Of, by the way, the roofs look great!
    Bob Lopinski
    Bob Lopinski
    Flat roof update in prep for solar panels. Mark and crew did a great job. Timely, professional and worked with my Solar contractor to make solution even better. Have already recommended them to two friends.
    Jane Fitzwilliam
    Jane Fitzwilliam
    Great job! The coverall team worked quickly and efficiently. The job, a complete re-roofing, while substantial, took them only 2 days, and was done to a very high degree of quality. The clean-up on both days was really well done, conscientious and meticulous.
    peter elligner
    peter elligner
    Great service! A day after I left a request for a roof inspection on their website, I got a call from Mark who came out within the hour. He took a look and explained his observations and plan for future follow-up. I was left feeling satisfied and reassured that my roof was going to keep my family dry and comfortable for years to come. Highly recommended!
    Ivan
    Ivan
    Mark and his team were well organized and did a great job on our roof. They showed up on time and on budget. They left the property clean each day after working. Would highly recommend these guys!
    Nicholas Badder
    Nicholas Badder
    Very impressed with George and his company. High quality work at a fair price. It was easy to arrange for a quote and George was happy to answer all of the questions I had from comparing quotes (with no pressure). His plan and answers made a lot of sense and so we went ahead and it looks great.
    John Rubinstein
    John Rubinstein
    Mark was a pleasure to deal with, in advance he clearly explained the work that would be completed and was honest with his assessment. The price was very reasonable given the scope of the work for both sections of roof, peaked with shingles, and the flat roof at the back. The crew did a fantastic job, they were very quick and professional, and their work was stellar. Afterwards they cleaned everything up, and my neighbours were very impressed. I would highly recommend Coverall roofing to anyone, my roof looks great and they were a pleasure to deal with.
    Caleb Krahn
    Caleb Krahn
    I normally don't give reviews unless its a 5 star service. Mark and his team totally met all my expectations. I look forward in working with such a detailed team.
    Carlos Fuerte
    Carlos Fuerte
    Mark, Wes, and team did an amazing job. The work looks top notch and the guys were super professional. Job completed on schedule and clear communications from Mark along the way. Definitely recommend and would use them again (although I’ll bet the waterproofing job they did will last forever, so not sure when I’ll need to do this again :-)
    Joel So
    Joel So
    Mark showed up within 24 hours to do an assessment. The crew completed the job in a little over a day. The work was great and they left the job site tidier than they found it. We were very pleased with their work
    Matt Schmidt
    Matt Schmidt
    Coverall has now re-done a roof on our old house and helped us with issues with the new house we moved into this summer. They're straight-forward, helpful and honest and do great work. Would recommend them to anyone.
    Michael Jones
    Michael Jones
    I contacted Coverall Roofing for help with a very small leak in a fairly new roof installed by the previous owner of our house. Mark came by quickly and got up on the roof to investigate. He determined the problem was likely due one of two possibilities: one was a small issue around a vent pipe and the other was a possible issue with the design of the venting. Mark fixed the first thing on the spot and let me know what to look for in case it was the latter and the issue recurred. Mark seemed very knowledgeable about rooves and provided good service. Recommended.
    Neil Padgett
    Neil Padgett
    We moved into an older home in Riverside and needed to have our flat roof replaced. I called Mark at Coverall Roofing and he got back to me with a quote that was lower than his competitors. I needed to schedule for a specific date and Mark accommodated me. Which was amazing! Mark's crew arrived on time and completed the job in 1 and a half days. They did an excellent clean up and we could barely tell they had been here...except we have a new roof. I would highly recommend Mark and his brother Joe, they even fixed some extras without charging me. Kind, courteous and clean, they were awesome!
    Karen Avery
    Karen Avery
    What: Flat roof Soprema, Railing Remove and Re-install, Metal CappingPrice: GREATQuality: TECHNICAL INSTALLATIONCoverall was highly recommended by a friend who saw my flat roof terrace and commented how terrible it was. He said that he had had a leak and had a terrific company and guy to recommend. When I called Mark he got back super quick and came by to take a look in 2-3 days. He was honest saying that if my roof wasn't leaking then I might just wait as it could last 2years or even 6 years.I still asked him for a quote anyway which he provided about 2 days later. It was for a good price and my wife said to do it for peace of mind. When the day came, his workers were fantastic. So many roofers don't follow procedures for installation of a waterproofing system.They stripped the flat roof bare to the plywood noting that the old membrane had been melted right on to the plywood - wrong.1) They removed the aluminium railing and metal capping 2)They installed protection board nailed down3) Torch down Soprema base layer up and over the parapet wall and 12" up the side of the house (siding and J channel removed)4) Torched down top layer Soprema system. Can see seems perfectly melted and joined5) Matching Gray metal parapet capping custom made and installed6) Fence re-installed perfectly with caulking put in all openings.
    Bruce Chin
    Bruce Chin
    Great crew, excellent work and very clean! Very thorough quote, review and follow up with Mark from Coverall. 5 stars!!
    Grant Adam
    Grant Adam
    We had a great experience with Coverall Roofing. Mark answered my first call quickly, took the time to investigate the problem and proposed an affordable fix that we are very happy with. The team of roofers that worked on the house were respectful, pleasant and easy to communicate with. We couldn’t be happier and will definitely be coming back when more roofing work is needed.
    Andrea Wong
    Andrea Wong
    George and his bros. and the rest of Coverall’s crack crew did a fantastic job on our house and garage over a several day stretch last month. It was a comprehensive roof replacement project which included several pitches of shingles, several flat roofs, skylights, soffits, fascia and eaves troughs - the works! The finished product looks great - a quality piece of work all around. They were very responsive in all of our dealings before, during and afterwards, and kept their poise when facing the inevitable challenges encountered on the job. I highly recommend Coverall.
    Jaime Shapiro
    Jaime Shapiro
    We moved into an older home in Riverside and needed to have our flat roof replaced. I called Mark at Coverall Roofing and he got back to me with a quote that was lower than his competitors. I needed to schedule for a specific date and Mark accommodated me. Which was amazing! Mark's crew arrived on time and completed the job in 1 and a half days. They did an excellent clean up and we could barely tell they had been here...except we have a new roof. I would highly recommend Mark and his brother Joe, they even fixed some extras without charging me. Kind, courteous and clean, they were awesome!
    Karen Avery
    Karen Avery
    Our roof was damaged during the wind storms. After receiving a word-of-mouth referral, we reached out to Mark at Coverall Roofing. He responded quickly to our inquiry. The quote was competitive. The work was done on time and professionally. A few weeks before the crew was meant to do the job, we experienced a leak through the roof. With 24 hours notice, Coverall did a repair for us to prevent further leaking until it was time to do the scheduled roofing work. Check out the Homestar and Google reviews for Coverall. They are reliable and professional. Thanks for doing a great job.
    Mark Rosin
    Mark Rosin
    Fantastic service from beginning to end. Mark is super knowledgeable, follows through on his commitments and doesn’t try to up sell you. His crew showed up on time and worked super hard from dawn to dusk, completing 90% of the big job in one day. They came back early the next day to finish off and cleaned up everything - our yard was cleaner when they left than when they started! Reasonable prices too. Highly recommend them!!
    Craig Cameron
    Craig Cameron
    Mark and the Coverall Roofing team were amazing! Very courteous crew and they worked diligently to get the job done in a matter of days. And...they left our property cleaner than before they arrived. My family and I highly recommend Coverall Roofing!...Mike & Family.
    Michael Flux
    Michael Flux
    Nothing but great things to say about Mark and his team at Coverall. They replaced our roof a few years ago after a very balanced assessment of what needed doing and what could be held off on. Mark is very responsive and came back quickly to assess a minor problem that arose a few years after the fact, with a promise to remedy it ASAP. I’ve recommended Coverall to many others and will continue to do so.
    Meaghan Cunningham
    Meaghan Cunningham
    I come from a family of contractors (they're in the States) so when I find a contractor that I consider as good as my family, that I TRUST as much as family, that I consider as reliable as family that is a MONUMENTAL experience. I can truly say that of Mark and Coverall Roofing. They are beyond excellent roofers. They work constantly until the job is done and they are super skilled at the craft of roofing. Yes I said craft. We had four flat and two gabled roofs our job required skill and finesse. They nailed it. And any subsequent questions I had were answered immediately. Mark always returns calls promptly. It feels like once you're a customer you're a part of the Coverall family. I'd give them 100 stars if I could.
    Maggie Cassella
    Maggie Cassella
    I had to have the roof of my 3 bedroom home re-shingled. I got three quotes of which Coverall was the most transparent and comprehensive. George explained exactly what he and his crew were going to do (remove the old shingles, install ice & water membrane, a drip edge, a synthetic underlay, replace vents and add two more, install metal wall and chimney flashing and leave the property clean upon completion) and when they were going to do it. The best part was that they did exactly what they said they were going to do (a bit unusual these days...). They showed up exactly when they said they would and did exactly what they said they would do for exactly the price they quoted. I highly recommend Coverall to anyone who wants reliable and high quality service.
    Neil Spaulding
    Neil Spaulding
    Mark and his team provided great service. It was a 1.5 day job. Mark and his business partner came for inspection and a quote within a couple days of contacting them. He gave us their first available slot for the job. The team showed up about 8 am and worked until 9 pm, closing down when we requested them to respecting our noise constraints and those of our neighbours. When they finished the job the next day their clean up was complete and thorough. On time. On budget (a very reasonable price). And Mark and his team were pleasant throughout. We are happy to recommend them.
    David Phipps
    David Phipps
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