Flat roofing systems are notoriously vulnerable to leaks, which is why it’s important to choose a roofing membrane that’s durable enough to handle the amount of rainfall your area receives. Two of the most popular flat roofing materials are built-up roofing (BUR) and single-ply roofing membranes. Which is better?
Single-ply roofing membranes are made of rubber that can be chemically attached to your roof’s insulation or installed by being ballasted. There are two types: thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM). TPO is great at withstanding hailstorms (hailstones usually bounce off EPDM’s synthetic rubber surface), while EPDM is best suited to sunny areas (TPO roofing’s white surface reflects heat from the sun). EPDM roofing systems usually last 25 to 30 years, while TPO roofing membranes have a slightly shorter lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
What are the other advantages of installing single-ply roofing?
- Excellent track record– When in doubt, it’s best to stick to tried-and-tested solutions. EPDM roofing has been used in the commercial roofing industry for more than 60 years and has a proven track record. TPO has only been used for about 20 years, but thanks to its resistance to UV damage, it has been gaining traction in the market.
- Class A fire rating – Roofing materials with a Class A fire rating, the highest possible rating, are effective against severe fire exposure. TPO membranes and EPDM roofs with this rating contain fire retardant chemicals that can delay the spread of fire.
BUR roofing, also known as tar and gravel roofing, is composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforced fabric and come in three-, four- or five-ply varieties. The last roofing layer is made from rock or stone and protects the underlayment from UV rays, extreme temperatures and wind damage. One advantage of BUR roofing is its lack of seams, the weak point of conventional roofing systems. Can’t decide between the two? Consult an experienced roofing contractor.
Looking for experienced roofers in your area? ABM Services & Renovations, a company with a decade of experience, offers a wide range of professional roofing services, including commercial roof installation services. To get a free quote, call us at (770) 288-2368 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Locust Grove and Sandy Springs, GA, as well as the surrounding communities.