Living in the Washington DC area we are all familiar with the fact that there are a wide variety of flat roofs throughout the DC area. Now homeowners can now choose between 4 different kinds of flat roofs.
Pros: Gravel is an excellent fire retardant. Attractive for windows and decks that overlook the roof. It's the cheapest of the four roof varieties.
Cons: Very heavy. Joists sometimes have to be strengthened. Smelly and messy to install. Installation's not recommended for occupied homes. It's not a DIY installation job, and it is hard to find the source of leaks. Gravel can clog gutters and scuppers.
A single-ply rolled roof similar to ice-and-water shield, but impregnated with a mineral-based wear surface. Torch-down systems involve heating the adhesive as the material is unrolled. Newer peel-and-stick systems are safer and easier.
Pros: Peel-and-stick material can be installed by homeowners. Its light-colored mineral surface reflects heat and cuts energy bills. Its price is in the middle of the pack.
Cons: Torch-down application is a fire hazard, and not recommended for occupied buildings. It's not as scuff- or tear-resistant as rubber-membrane roofs (see the next item).
EPDM (short for ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a true rubber. The durable material resembles an inner tube, but it's engineered to resist damage from sunlight. EPDM can be mechanically anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone, or glued.
Pros: Homeowner-friendly installation. The material's relatively light yet highly resistant to scuffs and tears. Leaks are easy to patch.
Cons: The standard black material absorbs heat, and light-colored coatings (recommended in warm climates) add 30% or more to the cost. Even the black version, though, costs more than BUR or modified bitumen. It's also more vulnerable to punctures than other choices.
Contact Boyd Construction Co Inc, the Washington DC area flat roof specialist, any time for a free estimate and to discuss your flat roof options.
Boyd Construction Co
Family owned and operated in the greater Washington DC area since 1932.