view of modern house with flat roof at night

A flat roof design is becoming a common choice among residential properties.

“What are possible flat roof coverings to use for my new roof?” If this is your first time to undergo a roofing project in Brantford, you’d probably ask this question. The truth is, you have plenty of options to choose from. There’s an abundance of flat roof systems in the market. Most people make a final pick based on their need for the following:

  • Durability
  • A specific flat roof color
  • Affordability
  • Energy savings
  • Opportunity to install a garden

Here at Straight Arrow Roofing, we want to help you decide, which is why we prepared this guide on flat roof coverings. In a while, you’ll discover five materials. But before that, let’s explore the benefits of having a flat roof on your home instead of a sloped one.

Benefits of Flat Roof Coverings: Why choose a Flat Roof?

1. Additional space for various purposes

Because people can walk on the surface of a flat roof (versus a sloped roof), they can use the extra space for anything. You’ll be able to put your equipment on the roof instead of the ground to prevent vandalism. If you’re considering solar panels, yes, a flat roof welcomes those as well. How about a garden on a flat roof? That’s another possibility.

2. Cost-effective in terms of installation

view of empty white house

Flat roofs are easier to build which is why they’re affordable.

Want to save on installation costs? Cost-effectiveness is another reason to choose a flat roof design. Basically, roofing contractors need not work with a lot of materials. The time it takes to complete a flat roof installation is shorter than an asphalt shingle installation on a pitched roof.

3. Ideal for residential and commercial applications

A flat roof structure is versatile in that it is accepted in both residential and commercial roofing industries. In fact, more homes are adopting a modern architecture with flat roofs. Flat roofs are commonly seen among houses built in the 2000s. If you want your house to have a modern appeal, a flat roof is the right one for you.

5 Types of Flat Roof Coverings to Choose

1. PVC

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It’s a common single ply flat roof membrane that’s known to be lightweight. Even if it’s installed in a harsh climate, you can be sure that PVC will last. Its useful service life lasts anywhere from 15-30 years.

Another benefit to note is that PVC is a naturally fire-resistant roofing material. This is because it contains more than 50% of chlorine.


black surface of epdm roofing

Black EPDM roofs are durable and long-lasting.

Rubber roofing is worth considering if your goal is to maximize roofing lifespan. As you can see, EPDM roofs are characterized by their black color. This blackness is indicative of its composition which is carbon black.

Take note that carbon black reinforces rubber which increases its strength. In fact, carbon black is also used in tires to reduce damage from heat. If you want to boost the energy-efficiency of EPDM, you can apply white elastomeric roof coatings that reflect solar heat.

3. Green Roof (“Living Roof”)

What is a green roof system? Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about this roof. Well, a green roof isn’t really a roofing material. Rather, it entails the installation of plants on a rooftop.

People consider it one of the best solutions for flat roofs because it helps manage stormwater, maintain cooler indoor temperatures, and boost the overall appeal and value of a home. Experts also claim that with a green roof in place, flat roof coverings beneath the plants last longer. We’ve also noted that a green roof is one of the top energy-efficient roofing options.

When planning a green roof, you should think about whether to choose the intensive or extensive type. The kind of plants will vary based on your choice. This will also affect installation costs and maintenance.

4. TPO

Here’s another popular single-ply membrane: TPO. TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. Although this is a newer flat roof membrane compared to others, it’s specifically designed to effectively reflect heat. Also, TPO roofing is considered cheaper.

A lot of people are delighted with the fact that TPO comes in various colors. White is the most common color but there are others like light grey, tan, and even red. Note that the availability of colors depends on the roofing manufacturer. Ask your roofing contractor if the TPO roofing color you desire is available.

5. Built-up roofing

Among the flat roof coverings mentioned in this list, built-up roofs have stood the test of time. For more than 100 years, built-up roofs have helped waterproof facilities. If you choose this flat roof structure, you’ll be glad to know that it requires minimal maintenance.

Construction of a built-up roof may require the application of heat or cold. Most people use ballasted asphalt for its fire retardant benefits. In terms of cost, a built-up roof is way pricier than a single-ply roofing membrane.

Considerations When Planning a Flat Roof Installation

view of wooden home on a sunny day

Plan a flat roof carefully with a professional roofing contractor.

Just because you’ve heard about the advantages of a flat roof design doesn’t mean you can start the installation work immediately. Careful planning is the key to a successful roofing project. Here are some points to think about:

Wind uplift calculations – Your flat roof should be able to withstand high winds. A roofing contractor should make sure that the material used is designed to face bad weather and that it is installed correctly.

To tear-off or not – Maybe you’ve been told about a roof overlay and how cheaper it is compared to a tear-off and complete replacement. Tear-offs are generally the best option because they allow roofers to inspect the deck and ensure that it is clean and dry.

The right roofing contractor – Last but definitely not the least is your choice of a roofer. Hire certified Brantford roofing professionals to make sure that your flat roof project goes according to plan.

Thinking of a Flat Roofing Project?

Finally, you reached the end of this guide. Again, let’s recall that a flat roofing design presents advantages in terms of affordability, space, and versatility. If you plan on an installation work, Straight Arrow Roofing is here to help.

We specialize in flat roofing systems. We consider your end goals and design preferences. Let us help you pick the right material if you haven’t decided yet. Call us today at 289-203-3708.