What is a flat roof? I bet this is a question that none of us really ask ourselves. Of course, the most obvious answer is that its is a way of protecting our property and its contents from the outside elements, but a flat roof has the opportunity to be so much more than this.
When we consider a flat roof for either new construction or a reroof there are many more thing to consider. In todays day and age our demands on a flat roof are more than ever before, we have flat roofs that are used as an extension to the living space, green roofs, blue roofs, roofs that form part of the whole design concept of a building.
Another thing to take into account is lifecycle cost of roofing, how long will a roof last, what will the building be used for and will its use affect the type of roof membrane we use, where will it end up when it has to be replaced, how do we look after our roof once it has been installed and what costs are associated with maintenance. Suddenly it no longer just becomes how to protect our property and belongings.
Installation techniques can also be a deciding factor. If we were proposing to install a new roof on a hospital, library, senior living residences, multi family or building of historic importance should we really be looking at a application that may involve the use of a propane torch and the risk of fire associate with this application.
PVC roof systems should be strongly considered when taking into account all the above-mentioned design criteria. It has proven longevity, can be recycled, has reduced lifecycle cost due to not so stringent maintenance programs being required against other roof systems. Due to its flexibility it can be used on the most complex roof designs, including the use of décor profiles to replicate the metal roofs. Well designed systems can make sure heat stays in the building during colder months, and outside the building during the warmer periods. Choosing lighter coloured membranes can help reduce the urban island heating effect, in fact white membranes can be 10-50 degrees cooler than darker coloured roofs due to there ability to not absorb heat from the sun.
Reading through the above it becomes clear that there is perhaps a reason why the professional roofing contractor is a little more costly than their competitors. A professional roofing contractor will look at all the relevant criteria for roof and put that into your proposal. A professional will also have all the required insurances and will work to only the highest standard, regardless.
But one last thing to be considered is speed of application. On a whole single ply membrane can be installed quicker and more efficiently than multiply systems. This means projects are finished in shorter timeframes, allowing owners to carry on with
things sooner or contractors to continue with inside finishes quicker. More importantly getting a job completed faster means the roofing contractor gets paid earlier!
Robert Oakley TQ
Direct Roofing and Waterproofing LTD