Low Slope Roofs often referred to as flat roofs are roofs with a pitch of less than 3 inches for every 12 inches in length. Even roofs that look flat typically have a pitch, as low at 1/8 inch per 12 inches. The common categories of roof systems on low slope roofs are Built Up Roofing, Single Ply Roofing, and Fluid Applied Systems (coatings).
Built up roofing, also referred to as BUR is the typical roofing system installed on low slope (flat ) roofs. It often consists of interweaving multiple layers of fiberglass sheathing adhered together with asphalt. The asphalt or bitumen is heated to a liquid state and used as the adhesive that glues the layers together. This system is completed with a top layer of ceramic granules or other material to provide UV protection for the roofing materials. Built up roofing is reliable and cost effective. The redundancy of multiple layers of waterproofing prevents water intrusion even when one or more layers are damaged or aged. If needed, insulation boards can be installed between the roof deck and roofing system to provide energy efficiency for the structure. This insulation board can also be ordered tapered to create a pitch to prevent water from ponding on the roof. Within built up roofing there are several categories of materials including SBS modified, APP modified, and standard organic base sheets. Chase Roofing can recommend the most appropriate system for your particular requirements.
Single-Ply Roofing has become the most commonly used system on commercial buildings in the United States over the past 20 years. Single-ply comes in 10 foot wide sheets that are welded together. Single-ply roofing provides far fewer seams than traditional built up roofs. It installs quickly without the need for open flame torches or hot asphalt kettles. Single-ply systems manufacturers provide pre-fabricated accessories for roof details such as inside corners, pipe boots, pitch pans, etc. Single-ply roofing is tough material and is virtually impervious to ponding water.
White Single-ply is highly reflective and can help reduce air conditioning costs. There are three types of single-ply material including TPO, EPDM, and PVC. TPO is by far the most common but each system has some advantages over another. For example, PVC systems are ideal for restaurants as PVC is highly resistant to damage from grease traps. EPDM or rubber roofs are common in northern climates. The material is black and absorbs heat to prevent snow build up.