Flat roof covering with roofing feltDifferent materials are used for flat roofs 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 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 install.

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Today, this kind of roof is obsolete.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 we recommend a torch-on roof if the roof needs replacement.

Torch-On Roof

The Torch-On, also known as the Torch-Down method of roofing, uses a product made from either a polyester or fibreglass base and then coated with asphalt modified with a rubber additive.

Flexibility of a Torch-on Roof

The rubber gives the roof strength and flexibility and makes it easy to work with at low temperatures. The Torch-on installer shows up with some rolls, a propane tank and a torch and is now installing a new flat roof system. It is more compact, easier to get up to the roof, and less messy overall.

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

Where to Use the Torch-On Roof Method

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

A Torch-On roof includes layers of fibreglass and polyester with bitumen. The two layers of sheets are melted together with torches so that vulcanization (welding) occurs. It’s called modified bitumen because it mixes 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 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. It is glued at its edge and seams and rolls out to form a “pool liner” on the roof. EPDM is an excellent roof system; it 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, EPDM is often used on residential roofs 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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