For many years in Utah’s history homes with flat roofs were the standard. Decades ago the only choice for a flat roof was BUR (built up roofing ) or more commonly know as “tar and gravel.”
Residential Flat Roofs
Over the past 20 to 30 years the industry has changed and now home owners can choose between multiple types of flat roof systems the most prevalent of which are the “single ply membranes.”
Single Ply versus Tar and Gravel
Some people would argue that Tar and Gravel is a better system; after all, some of the old Tar and Gravel roofs lasted 25-30 years. However, 20-40 years ago the Tar and Gravel roofs were 6 ply roofs, meaning that they had 6 layers of tar paper and tar. The new Tar and Gravel roofs are only 3 ply in most cases-HALF AS THICK! Also, petroleum, which is a main component in Tar and Gravel roofs, is more expensive these days. Consequently, less is used and current Tar and Gravel roofs are therefore more brittle. In addition, most Tar and Gravel systems will only have a 5 year warranty from the roofing contractor; whereas, Singly Ply systems range in warranty from 15 years to lifetime and are honored by the manufacturer.
Single Ply Systems
Assuming that you have decided a Single Ply system is the way to go you now need to determine which system is best for you. The following is a list of Single Ply systems which WeatherGuard Roofing, LLC installs.
• TPO-This is a white thermoplastic membrane ranging in warranty from 15 years to LIMITED LIFETIME. Typical thicknesses are 45 and 60 mil The seams are heat welded and the the typical roll is 10’ wide. The benefits of TPO are thermal reflectivity and head welded seams. TPO has been used in the roofing industry for approximately 20 years
• EPDM-This is a black rubber membrane ranging in warranty form 15 years to LIMITED LIFETIME. Typical thicknesses are 45 and 60 mil. The benefits of EPDM are its proven track record of more than 40 years in the industry and its larger roll widths (up to 50’), thus requiring fewer seams.
• PVC-There are a few membranes that fall into this category. WeatherGuard Roofing, LLC can install all of these membranes. They are similar to TPO but have a little more complicated history. There is no perceivable benefit to PCV over the other membranes. In addition, the PVC’s that have a comparable warranty to the other single ply membranes cost more; for this reason, we typically recommend one of the other membranes.
As a business owner you understand the principles of long-term value and investment. WeatherGuard Roofing, LLC has one full time commercial roof crew and multiple high-end options for you to choose from.
Single ply membranes have been the roof of choice for some time now. Among single ply membranes one stands out for not only an incredibly proven track record but also an available 30 year material and labor warranty to back it up. The 60 mil Hypalon by Burke Industries is the most popular choice for our commercial roofing customers. The key factor that makes Hypalon such an incredible roof is that unlike other membrane roofs Hypalon actually gets stronger as it cures! In addition, on any 30 year Hypalon system a thorough inspection will be performed by one the manufacturer’s inspectors prior to completion of the project.
Occasionally, the budget is a bigger priority than the warranty. In these cases a TPO (Thermo Plastic PolyOlyfin) or EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber) will typically meet our customer’s needs. These two membranes range in thickness from 45 mil to 60 mil and warranties from 15 years to lifetime (material only).
Whatever system you choose you can rest assured that we will have an experienced crew on the job with enough installers to complete the project on time and on budget. The foreman of our flat roof crew has over 15 years experience and installs only flat roof systems. In addition, we use an automatic welder often referred to as a “walker” to seal all the major seams. Once the project is completed the foreman uses a testing tool to “probe” all of the seams in attempt to find any voids that may develop into a problem years down the road. The voids, if any are found, are then marked and resealed. One the foreman signs off on the job one of the area supervisors re-probes the roof. Once both the crew foreman and the area supervisor sign off on the job the manufacturer’s representative will inspect the roof (when applicable) and finally we will inform you, the customer, that we are finished so you can inspect the roof as well.