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Flat Roof Advantages and Disadvantages in Massachusetts
The Benefits of Flat Roofs
A flat roofing system is preferred by many individuals over a shingle roof, tile roofing systems, or other pitched roofs. Here are some of the advantages of having a flat roofing system on your Worcester-area house.
Flat roofs are simple to construct, so you won’t have to worry about Douglas contractors running into problems during the job.
Flat Roofs Are Long-Lasting
If long-term durability is vital to you, a flat roof is the best option. You won’t have to worry about water damage because a flat roof is water resistant. When you have a flat concrete roof, you have a roofing structure that can withstand strong winds. When you choose a flat roof for your home, the likelihood of a fallout is reduced.
Repairs Are Easy
If a problem arises, the flat rooftop is just as simple to repair as it is to install. In comparison to other roofing systems, the expense of repairing or re-coating flat roof material is low. You can fix your flat roof without breaking the bank or putting yourself under a lot of stress.
Cleaning Is Simple
A flat roof is easier to reach and will tolerate foot traffic more than most systems, making maintenance simple. To keep debris from accumulating on your roof, you should remove algae, mold, and stains on a regular basis. The best approach to clean your flat roof without harming it is to use pressure washing, especially if you have a flat concrete flat roof system.
Flat Roofing Negatives
With the good comes the bad, and it’s critical to understand the disadvantages of different roof types before deciding if it’s ideal for your home. Here are some of the drawbacks of having a flat roof on your house.
Lack of drainage is the most significant disadvantage of a flat roof, which is why it is critical to inspect your roof on a regular basis. Your drains may become clogged with snow and water if you do not inspect it on a regular basis. Clean out the drains as needed, and use a waterproof seal on a regular basis to avoid leaks. Remember that there are no slopes down which the water or snow can flow.
Snow and water aren’t the only things that might cause issues on a flat roof. Debris and dirt can accumulate. Leaves, twigs, mud, and other debris can plug the drain, causing snow and water to back up and overflow. Regularly examining and cleaning the dirt and debris off your roof might help you avoid a clogged drain.
Limited Roof Material Options TPO, EPDM, rubber, and bitumen are the most common rolled roofing materials used on residential and commercial flat roofs. The materials are cheap, but they only endure ten to fifteen years. There are alternatives, such as rolled rubber roofing with rubber shingles, but they are more expensive and the materials’ longevity is unknown. Flat cool roofs help with heat gain but the lighter materials don’t appear on as many flat roofs as the darker colored ones.
What is a Flat Roof?
A flat roof, as the name suggests, is a building roof with a flat design rather than one that is built at an angle or has a peak. There is usually a slight slope, from 1/4″ to 1/2″ per foot, to allow for roof drainage on lowslope roofs.
There are five main types of flat roofs to choose from within the category of flat roofs.
Five Kinds of Flat Roofing
Flat Rubber Membrane Roof
A rubber membrane flat roof covered in ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, has a highly smooth rubber tire-like surface. It is uniquely built to withstand severe, direct sunlight. EPDM can be attached to a roof using glue, various types of fasteners, or stone ballast.
Flat TPO Roof
TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is a heat-weldable TPO membrane that may be unrolled. They achieve a four-times stronger bond for flat roof construction than EPDM roofs by doing so.
This single-ply rolled roof resembles what is known as an ice and water barrier. They used to be applied with an adhesive that was heated with a torch while the material was being unfolded on the roof. Peel-and-stick modified bitumen membranes are a newer type of modified bitumen that is easier to apply and safer.
Built Up Roof
The typical flat roof, often known as a roofing BUR, is made of hot tar and gravel. When three or more layers are utilized, tar paper was traditionally used, but more durable fiberglass membranes are now used when new structures are created. Experts frequently propose that these roofs be replaced with a more robust rubber roof.
Metal Flat Roof
One of the most preferred materials for flat roof replacement is metal. Metal, particularly aluminum, is recognized for its toughness. In optimal conditions, flat metal roofs can endure about 35 years. It also has the added benefit as it will reflect heat from the sun, lowering energy expenditures. Metal roofing is normally sold in big sheets, although smaller sizes can be ordered to fit around distinctive features or irregular roof extensions, rear extensions or additions, such as small patios, a porch, a shed or covered stairwells.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Flat Roofs
Each of the aforementioned roof kinds has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. These are outlined below so that you may make an educated decision.
Rubber Membrane Flat Roof Pluses: These roofs are simple to DIY install for the typical Worcester-area homeowner, and they are simple to repair if and when a leak occurs.
Minuses: Because the material is usually black, it does not reflect heat on days of direct sunshine and throughout the summer months, even if it is supposed to be UV-resistant. Expect to pay roughly 30% more for it if you want it to be constructed out of lighter flat roof materials. This flat roof is particularly susceptible to punctures.
TPO Flat Roof Pluses: TPO is commonly regarded as the industry’s strongest bonded roof, four times stronger than EPDM. This implies that if it’s put correctly, it’ll be far less likely to leak, and it’ll be difficult to puncture.
Minuses: TPO flat roofs are more expensive than other choices.
Modified Bitumen Pluses: Because most modified bitumen is peel and stick, it’s simple to install. It’s inexpensive and features a bright-colored surface that reflects light and saves you money on your utility bills.
Minuses: The traditional torch-down installation approach is extremely hazardous to both you and the house. It’s also not as durable as roofs with rubber membranes.
Built-Up Roof Pluses: Builtup roofing is quite affordable, and the gravel helps to prevent fires. It also blends very well with the majority of homes.
Minuses: Its weight, it is difficult to install, and smells horrible while doing so. Due to the design, when leaks do occur, they can be extremely difficult to locate.
Metal Roof Minuses: Metal roofs, like most things, have some disadvantages. When it comes to replacing a metal roof, it is usually necessary to totally tear it out. Roofers are unable to put a new steel or other metal roof on top of an existing one. Roofs made of metal are similarly prone to corrosion. Your metal roof will need to be replaced if this happens.
Flat Roof Replacement in Douglas
Flat roofs may appear unusual, but they’re common on homes in regions where there isn’t a lot of rainfall. Because of the drier climate in these areas, architects don’t have to be concerned about water stagnation which causes roof damage. Flat roofs, on the other hand, are more likely to leak because water doesn’t flow off like it does on pitched roofs; instead, it pools until it evaporates. When this happens, the water has more time to uncover flaws in the roof’s surface. If you’ve never had a leaky roof before, here are some indicators that you do:
- Stains and water damage on your ceiling and walls.
- Paint bubbles up
- Water dripping
- Ceiling mildew or exterior wall mildew
Douglas Flat Roof Replacement Cost
If you have an older home or detect signs of a leak, it may be time to repair your flat roof—here are your options and how much they’ll cost.
Metal: Between $7 and $9 per square foot
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer): Between $4 and $8 per square foot.
Built up (BUR): Between $5 and $7 per square foot installed
Modified bitumen: Between $3 and $6 per square foot.
Spray-applied coatings: Depending on the material you choose (polyurethane foam or silicon), the cost ranges between $3 and $10 per square foot.
New Flat Roof Installation Cost
The initial cost of a standing seam or aluminum metal roofing system can be rather high, ranging from $9.00 to $12.00 per square foot. However, given the numerous benefits, metal roofing may be a wise investment.
In general, the cost of a flat roof is expressed in a measuring unit known as a “square.” One hundred square feet is equivalent to one “square.” In most circumstances, the cost per square foot of a new flat roof, including labor, is between $350 and $1200. This implies that a square foot of a new flat top roof, fully built, might cost anywhere from $3.50 and $12.00. These are simply estimates based on industry standards; a true estimate provided by a qualified professional roofer is a more accurate technique of evaluating expenses.
Costs and Other Flat Roofing Factors to Consider in Massachusetts
- Ventilation will be required on flat roofs.
- Roof drainage and ventilation could add additional $200 to $300 to the cost of the project for roof drains or vent installed.
- The plywood on the roof will need to be replaced if it is damaged.
- The cost of flat roof installation will be increased by the expense of tearing off and removing material from an old roof.
More Information About Douglas
Douglas is a town in Southern Worcester County, Massachusetts. The population was 8,983 at the 2020 census. It includes the sizable Douglas State Forest, managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation..
Map of Douglas, Massachusetts
Things to Do in Douglas, MA