Flat Roof Styles

There are different materials for flat roofs that are used throughout the Lower Mainland. Flat roofs can be single-ply or multiple layers of SBS material (Torch-on).

At Absolute Roof Solutions, we are more than happy to help homeowners and business owners learn about the many different kinds of flat roofs and help them pick the best one for their needs. We even offer FREE QUOTES for any roof replacements or new roof construction so you know how much your chosen roof style will cost to be installed.

Let's take a look at some of the different flat roof materials here:

Tar and Gravel Flat Roof

Today, this kind of roof is obsolete.  We repair them but if the roof is in need of replacement, we recommend a torch-on roof.

Torch-On Roof

Flat roof covering with roofing feltThe Torch-On, also known as Torch-Down method of roofing, uses a product which is made from either a polyester or fiberglass base and then coated with asphalt that has been modified with a rubber additive.

Flexibility of a Torch-on Roof

The rubber gives the roof strength plus flexibility and makes it easy to work with at low temperatures. The Torch-on installer shows up with some rolls, a propane tank and torch, and is now installing a new flat roof system. It is more compact, easier to get up to the roof, and overall it is not as messy.

The Torch-Down roof now is probably the most common flat roof system, but other systems are making inroads. Before looking at other systems let’s talk about areas where the Torch-On roof system is good.

Where to Use the Torch-On Roof Method

Many patio flat roofs in new home construction and most commercial roofs are being done using Torch-On systems. Many decks on houses may only be 50 to 100 square feet. It is an excellent system to use for small areas or large areas as it is easy to work around details in the roof without difficulty.

A Torch-On roof includes layers of fiberglass and polyester with bitumen. The two layers of sheets are melted together with torches so that vulcanization (welding) occurs. It’s actually called modified bitumen because of the mixing of asphalt with rubber compounds. The top layer of modified bitumen has little rocks called granules added to the topcoat which gives it UV protection and therefore does not need any loose gravel to protect it. It is pre-built into the materials.

A Torch-On roof's lifespan is often 20 years or more. But if applied poorly, it can be less than 10.

If you have any questions about whether a Torch-on roof would be the correct system for your roofing needs, please call us at 604-263-0334.

EPDM Roof Method

EPDM is the acronym for a long chemical name for a special roof covering that is pretty much made up of rubber. It is a thin sheet that comes in a roll and is laid out on a roof deck and glued at its edge and seams and rolls out to form a sort of “pool liner” on the roof. EPDM is an excellent roof system; lasts a very long time and does not require any UV protection as the rubber has been cured with its own protection. It is often used with “ballast” which would be 1" or 2" stones to weigh it down so as not to be lifted in strong winds.

Leaking Gutter Repairs for EPDM

In the Vancouver area on residential roofs, EPDM is often used as a built-in gutter liner. A 24” or 36” wide roll is laid out into the gutter and glued or folded at the ends, corners or seams. Many people we have encountered who own a house with EPDM gutters have cursed them. If a seam or drain releases, it leaks into the soffit area and stains and rots out the wood. EPDM has to be handled and repaired correctly or else it will fail again. That’s why, when a homeowner tries to repair his own EPDM gutters, they last for the summer but then quickly leak again in the Vancouver weather.

Other Flat Roof Systems

There are other flat roof systems, like applied liquids or spray-on liquids. Those are not as common on residential buildings as much as for commercial buildings.

At Absolute Roof Solutions, we have a variety of suppliers of the most up to date, flexible and usable materials, depending on each client’s needs.

Please call us at (604) 263-0334 or fill out the form below if you are thinking about replacing your aging or damaged roof or need a new roof.

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