A leaky roof is like a flat tire; you do not think about either until you have one. Residential flat roofs especially are out of sight, out of mind. That is, until something goes wrong and you need a repair or a replacement. There are few things worse for a homeowner than when a would-be roof repair turns into a total roof replacement.
Spokane Roofing Company® educates our customers and urges them to educate themselves, about the right types of roofing system for their homes, garages and outbuildings. Quite simply, the optimal type of roofing system comes down to the roof’s pitch.
We get lots of questions from our customers about what type of roof they need. Yes, geography and climate are factors, but the slope of the roof is what matters the most. Steep slope roof systems are designed to shed water, not hold water; roofing shingles are fine with a 4:12 slope (four foot rise over twelve feet horizontally) or greater. But there is a whole generation of residential flat roofs with shingles that leak. As a result, we see low slope, shingled roofs, sold as 30-50 year roofs, that get only about half that life.
Right Roofing System For A Residential Flat Roof
So, what is the right system for a low slope or residential flat roof? There is no question that it’s a 60-mil TPO membrane roofing system. Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofs have heat-welded seams, require less maintenance and have an extended life. The price range of a TPO membrane roof typically is $5 to $10 per square foot, and the superior systems are well worth the cost.
One problem for homeowners is that most residential roofing contractors lack the equipment necessary to install a TPO membrane roofing system properly. So, these roofing contractors do what they can and install asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, many smaller roof contractors are not well-established and go out of business. When that shingled flat roof starts to leak, the homeowner has nowhere to turn for financial assistance. The roofing contractor often is out of business, any manufacturer’s warranty is voided, and homeowners insurance does not cover the cost of replacing a mismatched roof.
There are other options to TPO, of course, but hot-mop and built-up roofs (BUR) are a dying breed. We install EPDM rubber roofing systems, but only when architects specify them. Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofs have glued seams that are weaker than welded seams. Glued seams require maintenance every two years to re-glue them, which adds to the cost of ownership. Metal roofing systems are another option for residential roofs, when local building covenants allow metal. The most esthetic residential metal roofs mimic the appearance of shingles, without leaking in a low slope environment.
Right Roofing System For Your Home?
Talk with the residential flat roofing experts at Spokane Roofing Company whenever you have questions about your home’s roof. Our team of experienced, factory-certified roofers and estimators are knowledgeable and trustworthy. We will help you to get the right roofing system for your home, every time. Call (509) 838-8633 today!
- Flat Roof Inspection & Maintenance Service
- Residential Roofing Services
- TPO Roofing Systems Guide
- Metal Roofing Systems Guide
- Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.
Last Modified: March 1, 2020