The 3 Kinds of Flat Roofs

The types of roofs and materials used to create those roofs has changed quite a bit over the last few decades. Today, homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to the kind of roof that they would like to have installed atop their home.

The purpose of this short article is to provide you with a deeper look into the four kinds of flat roofs that are most common in today’s world. In addition to getting a better understanding of the roof types, the goal is that you will also become more educated about the pros and cons associated with each flat roof type.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the three kinds of flat roofs most commonly found today.

BUR or the Built-Up Roof

The built-up roof is a traditional option that has been around for quite some time. This is a hot tar and gravel roof that is built from several plies of waterproof material. While they were once made of nothing more than tar paper, the BUR has received significant advances in the material used and many now feature fiberglass membranes.

The major advantage of the BUR is that it is fire retardant. It is also a fairly visually appealing option in combination with window and decks that may overlook your roof. In addition, it is the cheapest of the three options on this list.

The biggest disadvantage with the built-up roof is that they are very heavy compared to other options. This can make them difficult to install and can sometimes require joists to ensure the strength of the roof.

Modified Bitumen

The modified bitumen is a single-ply rolled roof that looks and feels similar to an ice and water shield. It has a mineral based wear surface and is installed by heating the adhesive during the material unrolling process.

The major advantage of the modified bitumen is that it is easy to install. Another advantage is that its light coloring enables it to deflect heat and therefore help to save on utility bills. The biggest issue with the modified bitumen is that it a fire hazard and not recommended as an option for regularly occupied buildings.

Rubber Membrane

The rubber membrane roof uses a durable material that looks and feels like an inner tube. Unlike an inner tube, however, it is much better at resisting damage from sunlight.

The biggest pro when it comes to the rubber membrane roof is that it is easy to install as it can be anchored with fasteners, glue, or can even be ballasted with stone. The biggest problems with this option are that it is fairly expensive and is vulnerable to being punctured from natural hazards.

The Final Word

While these are just three of the many different types of flat roofs, they are most commonly used and installed by contractors. As you can see, each has their own unique characteristics that allow property owners to choose based on their needs.


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