The Different Flat Roofing Materials Available To You Today

Feb 9, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Roofing

When Roofers in Liverpool decide to use materials to make a flat roof they must take into consideration the purpose of the building. The purpose of a flat roof is to provide cover, shelter and protection for a building to make it sustainable, durable and resistant to numerous environmental factors.

Most modern Glasgow Roofers use materials which are long-lasting and allow water to flow freely off the roofs. As flat roofs are horizontal, they need to be capable of letting water run off them without forming pools. So therefore most modern roofs have a structure which is slightly inclined so that the water isn’t absorbed into the flat roof.

The different flat roofing materials have to take into account various issues such as durability, the efficiency of the material and the embodied energy which refers to the total energy involved in producing and manufacturing the materials. Some of the most common types of flat roofing materials include built-up felt, mastic asphalt and its three variations of single ply membrane which are thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), elastomeric membranes (EPDM) and PVC membranes. Each of these materials have their own unique qualities and provide certain benefits which any flat roofer will take into consideration during the planning process of building a flat roof.

Built-up felt is one material which roofers have at their disposal because it can be used on a variety of flat roofs both big and small. Whilst durable, it can also be applied using a variety of methods. Built-up felt is constructed with a few sheets of bitumen which are bonded through an adhesive or alternatively, hot bitumen. Its material is highly waterproof and efficient; however the disadvantage of built-up felt is that it’s not that environmentally friendly or the cleanest of materials. It can also cause pollution when its oil is extracted and refined. Built-up felt is not reusable or recyclable either, so once it has been removed it must be thrown away.

Mastic asphalt is a similar material to built-up felt, except it’s made of a mixture of limestone powder, aggregate and asphalt. It is a long-lasting material, durable, waterproof and can provide a damp-proof floor surface which is why it is often used in paving. However when it settles it can become brittle and even be considered a pollutant, mainly due to the process of its oil being extracted or distilled.

PVC is popular in flat roofing materials mainly because it’s long-lasting, durable, resistant to pollutants and can be recycled, so its damage to the environment is minimal. This kind of single-ply membrane is different to EPDM which is a form of polymerised synthetic rubber. This is derived from the extraction/refining of oil, which is less kind to the environment. However EPDM is recyclable and allows rain water to easily run off flat roof surfaces.

Finally, one of the most durable and sustainable environmental materials is TPO which is UV, ozone and chemical resistant. But this single-ply membrane is not easy to recycle and relatively inflexible when compared to PVC.

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