Things to consider when choosing your flat roof

Things to consider when choosing your flat roof

Once you have decided that a flat roof is the way to go, there are still things to consider, such as the type of flat roof you want, materials and the roof coverings. So what are the essentials that you need to know? There are varying types of flat roof systems that are commonly used in the UK. So it would be a good idea to get a detailed understanding of these types of roofs, and which would be the best fit for your project.

Single ply
Single ply roofing membranes are increasingly popular in UK construction projects, both for new build and refurbishment. Single ply roofs are popular for projects where cost is a big factor, as they have a low capital cost and cost in use, are lightweight, flexible and swift to install. Single ply roof systems provide strength, flexibility, and long-lasting durability. Single ply roofs are also an ideal surface for PC systems and green roofs.

How to specify

Hot melt roofing
Many prestigious buildings in the UK have used a hot melt system, utilising its numerous benefits which include excellent life expectancy, extreme high performance and competitive installed costs. On a hot melt roof the waterproof membrane is applied as a hot liquid directly to a prepared structural deck. This creates a completely seamless monolithic layer that is extremely difficult to damage and has a very long life expectancy. One important point to make about this system is that the installation involves potentially dangerous hot works, so health and safety issues need to be taken into account.

How to specify

Liquid roofs
Occasionally, complex roof shapes require something a little different and paint-on solutions can be used effectively where other methods struggle. Cold liquids are especially popular on refurbishment or repair projects as the liquid can usually be applied directly to the existing roof makeup, making it very cost effective. Due to its flexibility, liquid roofs are being specified frequently on new build projects, with their ability to easily be installed in restricted spaces.

How to specify

Asphalt roof
Asphalt can be laid on most rigid structures such as concrete, timber and metal and can be worked around all sorts of details like curves, upstands, slopes and roof lights. Asphalt is applied hot, usually in two coats onto a felt membrane which isolates it from the roof. It is finished with small white chips to reduce solar radiation which can soften the asphalt. Asphalt has been around for a fair old time but todays asphalt contains modern polymer formulations making it even better. Polymer-modified mastic asphalts, usually containing styrene butadiene styrene block copolymers, provide enhanced flexibility and a reduced susceptibility to the effects of temperature.

How to specify

Whichever method you choose, it is important you think about what is most important to you, whether that be cost, time or aesthetics.

For more Flat Roof resources check out our Flat Roof hub!

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