What are Your Options for Flat Roof Structures?

Flat RoofA low-slope roof, or a flat roof, is the most common roof for commercial structures with good reason. Flat roofs are easy to build, requiring fewer materials than sloped roofs. They also provide additional space for your commercial building.

Flat roofs come in different types, namely bitumen roofing, liquid membrane, green roofing, and single ply. Each one provides advantages and drawbacks. Here is a brief look at some popular flat roof systems to help you pick a suitable option for your commercial building.


Polyvinyl chloride is a kind of elastomeric/plastomeric roof membrane, which doesn’t easily crack and tear. It’s durable and it can resist water pooling. This roofing system also doesn’t require heavy labor on-site.

Reputable flat roofing contractors will place the material on buildings in a single layer. Workers combine the PVC sheets at the seams using hot air welding or solvent welding. While less costly than other coatings, PVC is susceptible to UV radiation, coal tar, and petroleum products.


Ethylene propylene diene monomer is a durable synthetic rubber, which contains ethylene and propylene. EDPM delivers optimal energy performance; a ballasted EDPM structure can cool roofs in Zones 4 and above, which are areas with hot and humid conditions. But EDPM is also vulnerable to petroleum products and plastic roofing cement.


Built-up Roofing is made of multiple layers of bitumen surfaces, finished with an aggregate layer (such as gravel or mineral granules), or coating. It’s inexpensive, and it provides suitable insulation. But it’s extremely heavy, and will require additional reinforcement. It’s also susceptible to wind and water damage.

Other materials for flat roof structures are fluid-applied membrane, which is also suitable for dome-shaped buildings, but requires several coatings; and modified bitumen, which is eco-friendly, but not tear resistant.

No roofing material can provide excellent performance and durability without superior installation and regular maintenance. Whatever type of flat roofing you choose, get a reliable roofer.