A Look At The Best Flat Roof Materials
Broadly there are three kinds of materials suitable for flat roofing: Roofing felt, Figreglass GRP and EPDM ('rubber roofing').
Roofing felt is available in two broad types: The first type is known as ‘Tack down’, often called ‘Pour And Roll’, which as the name implies is nailed onto the roof. The second type is ‘Torch On Felt’ which is heated with a blow torch so that it bonds to the roof, with successive layers being bonded onto the layers below creating a single, thick layer of felt.
Traditional bituminous roofing felt is nailed onto the flat roof, usually in two layers. Easy and quick to lay, this type of roofing felt remains enduringly popular, and is easily laid by those with little experience of construction methods.
Torch on roofing felt is popular with both contractors and property owners as it offers a long lasting roof covering, that to an experienced and skilled contractor, can be laid quickly.
This versatile product is available in different grades, at different price points, offering varying guarantees as to the lifespan of the felt. As you would expect, the longer lasting felts are the most expensive, however even a budget torch on felt should last for at least 15 years, with a premium quality felt lasting around 30 years.
These felts are laid typically in a three layer system, with each layer heated using a blow torch so that it fuses with the layer below, sealing joints and creating a thick, durable roof covering.
Also known as ‘fibreglass roofing’, this popular system is laid in two layers and gives a seamless, long lasting roof that has a modern contemporary look.
GRP roofing is easy to lay, even by those with little skill in DIY, although it is imperative that the manufacturer’s installation instructions are followed to the letter.
In recent years GRP roofing has attracted an undeserved reputation for failing (eg leaking), however in our experience issues with GRP roofs are solely caused by poor installation and workmanship rather than issues with the product.
Laid correctly, GRP roofing has a long service life of at least 40 years – although roofs of 50+ years have been reported. With it’s contemporary looks, seamless finish, and durability GRP is an extremely popular choice of flat roof covering.
GRP roofing needs to be laid in dry conditions, above 0 degrees c, using a number of components such as pre-formed edge trims for ease of installation.
Also known as ‘rubber roofing’. This is a specialist roof covering, usually applied by specially trained contractors on commercial and industrial roofs.