At first glance, many low slope roof installations look the same. They’re flat, top commercial buildings, and are either dark or very white. But in reality, there are several common types of low slope roofs used today, all made with very different materials that have their own unique properties and repair qualities. One of the most critical decisions a business can make about the roof is the type of material to use. We’re going to help out by talking about several popular roofing system options.
EPDM is a popular elastomeric compound, a synthetic rubber (sometimes also called thermoset) that’s been used for decades and is quite affordable. It’s also very resistant to sun damage and weather. These properties and its easy installation mean EPDM has been a very common option for commercial buildings for a long time. EPDM is typically installed in sheets of varying thicknesses, they come in black or white. The seams between the sheets must be carefully glued together during installation. EPDM is still used on many rooftops but is losing ground to newer materials.
You’re probably already familiar with PVC from common plastic materials around your house or yard. PVC is famous for its durability in all kinds of conditions, and is highly resistant to UV light, tearing, chemicals, moisture, and mildew. It’s a common choice for those who want some of the best protection for their rooftop. Other thermoplastics are similar but may have particular strengths of their own.
Think of these commercial rooftops as distant cousins to shingles. They use a combination of roof fabrics applied with layers of bitumen, and are typically installed in a two-play system. These rooftops are particularly good at resisting impact and providing tensile strength. They are most often used on buildings where people are frequently walking on the roof. That type of wear and tear needs to be managed effectively.
Built-up roofing or BUR is a traditional rooftop made with tar, plus a layer of gravel on top. It's installed in multiple layers, and the number of layers can depend on the climate, the purpose of the roof, and other considerations, which makes this option quite versatile. Built-up roofing is also an old technique, which has another hidden benefit – it’s very low cost. This roofing system is advantageous for businesses that want to save as much money as possible.
Acrylic coatings are especially easy to apply, usually involving a primer, base coat, fabric, base coat, and top coat, all of which can be installed speedily, without the problems associated with seams or cracks. Their UV resistance is strong, making them a good choice for older buildings that need a roof upgrade to prevent severe roofing problems. They are not always the best choice in very wet environments, though.
Do you have any more specific questions? Would you like to get a quote for a roofing project of your own? Let us know at MG Roofing, Inc. to schedule your consultation, and we can create a plan that’s right for your building!