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Flat Roof Options

Updated on January 20, 2012

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are often used on extensions, garages and dormers as well as some mobile homes and other outbuildings. Although the name implies it, they are not always flat, most have at least some pitch to allow rain water to run off into the guttering system.

There have been several improvements in the quality of flat roof coverings in the last few years that a write up was needed to explain the 3 most popular coverings:

Torch On Felt System

Designed as an improvement to the traditional "pour and roll" system that was in use for many decades, this product is a felt roll where the product is adhered to bitumen. As the product is unrolled it is heated with a gas powered torch to partially melt and bond the felt. No more heating up tar in a "hot pot". This product has proved to be very popular, especially in the United Kingdom. Product life expectancy is 15+ years, if used on a partially sloped roof where alll water is allowed to run off then expect a lifespan of 20+ years,

Fibre Glass

Fibre Glass has long been used to create boat hulls and canoes, it's waterproof properties make it perfect for roof coverings. The product is a little difficult to apply as it requires matting and layers of wet fibred glass and is known to suffer small cracks over time. Best applied by a professional. Very suitable for smaller flat roofs such as porches. For larger areas consider using rubber or torch on felts.

Rubber Sheets

Specialist heat resistant rubber roof covering sheets can be laid directly to the roof decking on any flat roof. Cut to size sheets are available but chemically bonded rolls are the most popular. No heat (gas) source is required to install this product, making it a safe option for domestic and commercial installers. The product does expand and contract with the temperature changes throughout the year, this can leave a "creased" affect in the material, but is designed to remain watertight.


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    • Francesca27 profile image

      Francesca27 6 years ago from Hub Page

      I have to let my husband see this. Thanks. We have a flat roof over the house extention that was built back in the 70's.