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Flat Roofing: Commercial & Low-Slope

Flat roof systems work by providing a waterproof membrane over a building. While they do require routine maintenance, flat roofs provide some distinct advantages over the use of a traditional pitched roof:

• Flexibility of design
• Ease of installation
• Cost savings
• Low maintenance
• Opportunities for recreational/decorative finishes

Modified Bitumen
A modified bitumen roofing system uses polymer-modified bitumen (asphalt) reinforced with polyester, fiberglass, or a combination of both. The bitumen determines the membrane's physical characteristics and provides primary waterproofing protection while the reinforcement adds strength, puncture resistance, and overall system integrity. The two most common modifiers are APP (attactic polypropylene) and SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene). APP was added to asphalt to enhance aging characteristics and was applied to polyester, fiberglass, or polyester and fiberglass membranes to form a sheet good, cut in manageable lengths for handling. SBS is used as a modifier for enhancing substandard asphalt and provides a degree of flexibility much like rubber. It also is applied to a myriad of carriers and produced as a sheet-good in rolls that can be easily handled.

EPDM is an elastomeric polymer synthesized from Ethylene, Propylene and a small amount of Diene Monomer. It is the most common flexible roof membrane in use today. One of the most important features a roofing material must possess is the ability to retain its physical characteristics during its service life. EPDM is highly flexible, making it able to accommodate temperature changes and structural expansion/contraction. EPDM roof membranes can be installed fully adhered, mechanically attached (using batten bars), or ballasted. Most EPDM membranes do not receive surfacings. EPDM roofing can be a cleaner, cooler and generally easier product to handle than the built-up roofs (hot tar or asphalt) of yesteryear.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted. It is available in a variety of colors including white, which reflects sunlight and reduces energy bills. TPO roofing is easy to repair. Each TPO membrane is single-ply, flexible, and durable. The seams are weldable with hot air. The membranes have excellent ozone resistance, are algae-resistant, are long-lasting, and environmentally sound. A TPO membrane roof resists tears, punctures, and impact damage. The flexibility also allows for building movement and settling. TPO seam strengths are reported to be three to four times higher than EPDM roofing systems.

Elastomeric Roofing
Elastomeric roof coating is an acrylic latex spray-on product that has several different uses in roofing systems. It is typically white, which reduces heat buildup and energy costs. It can last up to 20 to 50 years if properly applied. Elastomeric coatings applied to metal roofing systems significantly reduces their surface temperature. The coating can reflect 80 percent of heat and ultraviolet rays from the sun. It also has the added benefit of extending the roof's lifespan due to its ability to reduce the heat stress on the roof structure. Elastomeric coating remains flexible below freezing, resists hail damage, is flame retardant, and has excellent adhesion to different roofing products.

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