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Charleston Roofing: Article About Types Of Flat Roofs

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Homeowners who have flat roofs may not know that there are three different types of materials that can be used to protect a home's inhabitants from the outside world. These roofs include built up roofs, modified bitumen roofs and rubber membrane roofs. Each type of material has different advantages and disadvantages, though it is expected for these materials to last for at least 10 years at the very minimum. If they are properly installed, they can last up to 25 years.

Built up roofs, also known as BURs, are made from layers of a waterproof material and hot tar. The top layer may consist of gravel or smooth river stone. Some of these roofing materials may include fiberglass membranes or tar paper. The gravel makes this material fire retardant and is considered the most inexpensive type of material. The downside, however, is that this particular roof can have a noxious odor during the installation. It is also highly recommended that a Charleston roofing contractor be called in to install this material due to the mess.

Modified bitumen roofs are made of a single ply material that has a mineral based material applied to the surface that protects against the weather. This type of material usually has a light colored surface, which may reduce energy use during the summer.

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While a homeowner may potentially be able to apply the roof layer, a contractor can ensure that there are no leaks or weak spots during the installation. However, this material can be a fire hazard and is generally not recommended for homes or buildings with occupants.

Finally, rubber membrane roofs, or EPDM roofs, are made out of a durable rubber material. This material can be anchored to the roof structure with either fasteners or glue. This material, which resembles the inside of a tire or inner tube, is highly resistant to tears and sun damage. Additionally, leaks that develop over time may be easily patched using a sealant. A sealant can also be applied every few years to bolster the roof's integrity. The major downside is that this material usually comes in a dark color. Lighter colors are more expensive, though they may keep electricity costs down during the summer.

Because there are factors that can affect a roof material's performance, homeowners should consult with their local contractors to determine if any of these materials are right for that structure. Additionally, they can discuss the full advantages and disadvantages that these different materials offer.

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