National Coatings Blog

What are “Flat Roofing Systems”?

Posted by Nicole Gale on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 12:30 PM
021There are two types of roofs: low slope, (which is often referred to as a “flat roof”) and steep slope roofing. Low-slope roofs are less than or equal to 3:12 or 14 degrees in slope and steep slope exceeds 3:12 or more than 14 degrees in slope.

Flat roofing systems that can be installed on a low-slope rooftop include: 

  • Asphalt Membranes – Including Built-Up (BUR), Mod Bit and Cap Sheet
  • Metal Systems
  • Roof Coatings
  • Single-Ply Membranes – Including EPDM, Hypalon, PVC and TPO
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Systems 

Like all roof materials, these flat roofing systems provide weatherproofing, reinforcement and surface protection. Low-sloped roofs have an asphalt, metal, single-ply or SPF roofing system initially installed on top of it. A roof coating system is often added on top one of those systems for an increased roof lifespan, energy savings, protection, maintenance and/or restoration.  

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT: What's The Difference  Between "Cool Roof"  Versus A "Normal" Roof? Roof coatings can be added during the construction phase to increase reflectivity, provide additional protection and decrease energy consumption. Coating an asphalt roof covers the black surface of the roof and creates a white rooftop, which allows the building to remain a cooler temperature without the extra use of air conditioning. (Check out our graphic showing how a “Cool Roof” saves a substantial amount of money versus a “Normal” aka black roof.) Coatings are also added during the construction phase onto SPF systems to protect the foam from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The UV rays would cause premature degradation to the foam, if the foam wasn’t covered and protected by the coating. This is a necessary step to applying a spray polyurethane foam system to any rooftop. 

Roof coatings are also applied onto these flat roofing systems when initial signs of degradation and failures occur. The coating systems are able to restore and renew these flat roofs to new without a costly tear-off, without business closures or disruptions and for a very competitive cost. The roof coatings extend the lifespan of the roof up to 20 years and can be re-coated every 10 or so years to restore your existing roof indefinitely. This can save you thousands of dollars by avoiding a traditional roof replacement. Read our article: Life Cycle Cost Analysis Using Roof Coatings for a detailed cost analyses.

If you are interested in more information on roof coatings for flat roofing systems, download our Free Product and Application Brochure, or our Considering Coatings – a Free Guide to Roof Coatings.

Commercial Roofing Contractors

For information on coating a specific substrate:

Tags: Flat Roof Materials, low slope roof