Flat Roof Systems

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There are many different options on the market when it comes to flat roof systems for commercial and industrial purposes. Among them, the three most common are:

  • Single-Ply Membranes – for example, EPDM, TPO or PVC
  • BUR (built-up roofing)
  • Modified bitumen

Every type of roof system has its pros and cons, including these flat roof types, so if you want to know more and find out what the best choices are, keep reading!

Single-Ply Membranes

epdm roof, epdm rubber roofWhen it comes to single-ply membrane systems, there are three most common types that are classified into two membrane categories according to the process of manufacturing: thermoset and thermoplastic. EPDM is a thermoset material, which means that when it is heated, it solidifies irreversibly. TPO and PVC, on the other hand, are thermoplastic materials that can be softened or hardened multiple times after being heated or cooled.
EPDM, a synthetic rubber roofing system, is the most common type of single-ply roofs and it is used on low-slope surfaces. When applied to the roof, the synthetic rubber sheets are glued together with the help of an adhesive. Vulcanized EPDM is the most commonly used type.
PVC and TPO are the most commonly used thermoplastic single-ply membrane roofing systems. During the process of installation, the membranes are joined together by heat welding, which in a way melts them together, and it is a stronger and better way than using glues and adhesives. Some of the main substances of TPOs are flame retardants, colorants and UV absorbers. There are three main ways of making PVC sheets: by extruding, spread coating or calendaring. The additives that make PVCs flexible and cause other desired physical features include plasticizers and stabilizers, among others, and they are usually reinforced with glass-fiber mats, polyester or scrim. PVC sheets can be glued to the substrate, but a more common way is to secure them to the substrate with fasteners.
Considerations: Single-ply membrane is a known durable and efficient roof system, and in comparison with BUR it is cheaper, and the installation process is easier. However, one of its downsides is that during installation water can go underneath, and leaks can be difficult to detect. Apart from that, it includes a lot of seams and weaknesses around protrusions.


bur roof, built up roof, flat roofAt the moment, BUR or built-up roofing is the most common type of flat roof systems used. It is made up of layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics that alternate to create the finished membrane. Here bitumen is usually coal tar, asphalt, or cold-applied adhesive. When it comes to the surfacing used, those are usually aggregate – mineral granules, slag or gravel, glass-fiber or mineral surfaced sheets or hot asphalt spread across the surface. When it comes to BUR flat roof systems, the most common type is asphalt BUR which is made up of alternating layers of asphalt and reinforcing plies.
Considerations: The main concern with BURs is the degradation of asphalt, mostly due to UV rays. They oxidize the asphalt surface which in turn turns brittle and starts breaking, and in the end leaking. BUR roofs are high-maintenance, and they are not sustainable or energy-efficient.

Modified Bitumen

Similarly to the BUR membranes, these modified bitumen roof systems also consist of several layers. They are commonly installed as two-ply systems, and the layers are usually completely adhered. Surfacing in these systems can be aggregate, mineral, metal foil-laminate or liquid applied surfacing.
Considerations: Bitumen roofs, just like EPDM or built-up roofing, are black, which means that they tend to attract heat instead of reflecting it. Apart from that, puddles and water retention can cause damage and premature aging of the roof.

Best Choices for Flat Roofs

Professionals at White Roofing Systems have always preferred the quality of Conklin roof coating systems.
These roof coating systems are created to tackle the common problems of flat roofs, such as constant leaks and the deterioration that the outside elements cause. Whichever kind of flat roof you have, with Conklin’s Roof Restoration Systems – installed by professionals at White Roofing Systems – you will not have to replace your entire roof and spend more money than you have to. Additionally, your commercial roof’s service life may be prolong for up to years with only two applications!
Conklin systems include a very durable seamless membrane, that doesn’t let water go through. Every part, layer and aspect of the membrane is sealed tight with acrylic elastomeric coatings of the highest quality, as well as with fabric reinforcements to protect it additionally. Another significant feature of Conklin’s commercial roof systems is that they are so durable that they can endure strong hurricane and hail winds.
These are some of the benefits of using this premium roofing system:

  • Eco-friendly reduces the amount of waste and emissions that usually come with traditional ways of roof replacement
  • Reduces energy waste and costs by reflecting up to 85% of sunlight
  • Includes almost no disposal costs and cuts labor expenses
  • Resistant protection from water and the outside elements
  • Able to withstand strong hurricane winds

Need a Professional Commercial Roofer?
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  • Wide Knowledge Base
  • Accountability Throughout the Team
  • One Source for Every Project
  • High Service Standards
  • Customer Satisfaction

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Professionals around the United States have put their trust in the premium products offered by Conklin Roof Systems. Its products have consistently performed well in every climate and have excellent warranties that cover the total cost of both the labor and the materials. Conklin is a leading name in the industry, being the first one to use liquid acrylic elastomeric roof coating.

Professionals You Can Always Trust

conklin roofing contractorWhite Roofing Systems team members across the nation are professionally trained to service all types of roofs, our team of experts in the States offer a the best customer satisfaction anywhere!
If you need more information or would like a free inspection or estimate, don’t hesitate to call us today. One of our expert members will gladly speak to you and help you decide what the best commercial roofing option for you is!