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Flat Roof Options from Your Denver Roofing Experts

April 27, 2016

Flat roofing is commonly used on commercial buildings. Modern flat roofs use specific types of materials that are designed to get rainwater off the roof without pooling. These membranes are applied on top of the roof as a continuous sheet using sealants and adhesives. At Big Creek Roofing and Restoration, we have lived in Colorado all our lives, and from our many years of experience with Denver roof repair, not only can we recommend premier materials for your commercial roofing needs, we can also provide a free estimate, installation, and complete clean up afterwards.

Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofing is generally horizontal – although not perfectly. Flat roofing uses a small inclined angle to move debris and water off the roof. The slope/angle is usually undetectable to the naked eye.

Asphalt Built Up Roof
The built up roof (BUR) system is one of the oldest and least expensive flat roofing options. Layers of hot asphalt are mopped onto the surface of the roof, separated by fiberglass felt. BUR systems are typically protected from UV radiation with a cap sheet or a layer of gravel.

There are some drawbacks to the BUR system. If the asphalt is not applied at the perfect temperature it can negatively impact the lifespan of the roofing system. The chief drawback that comes with using asphalt for your flat roofing material is that it can become extremely brittle with extended exposure to sunlight.

Modified Membranes
In order to address the problem of brittleness found in the BUR system, a modified membrane roofing system, where polymer modifiers are added to the asphalt when the materials are manufactured, adds flexibility to the materials.

PVC Roofing Systems
PVC stands for "polyvinyl chloride." In the PVC system, plasticizers are infused within the roofing material to create a more flexible material. While these products have advanced to become quite stable, there is still a chance that the roofing system will lose its plasticizers gradually over a long time. When this happens, the roof will become brittle.

TPO Roofing Systems
TPO refers to thermoplastic roofing. When using a TPO roofing system, it is important to use materials that include UV and fire resistance additives. PVC is also a form of thermoplastic roof. The difference between PVC and TPO is that TPO systems do not contain plasticizers. So while a TPO is more flexible than a BUR system, because it lacks plasticizers, it is slightly less flexible than the PVC materials.

EPDM Rubber Roofing
EPDM roofs are rubber roofs that are resistant to chemicals. They have become increasingly popular in the last few years. EPDM roofs are susceptible to minor shrinkage, but as long as they are adhered properly, this is not typically a problem.

Still not sure what materials to use on your Denver roof? No worries, we serve all of Colorado, offering inspections and warranties on all of our services. Call
Big Creek Roofing and Restoration today at (303) 877-8369 to discuss the specifics of your project. We offer free estimates, and we're happy to discuss specific materials for your Denver commercial roofing needs.