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Flat Roof Installations
January 10, 2022
Let's talk about your flat roof...
Philadelphia is notorious for its beautifully designed and planned streets and their attached row homes. The roofs were designed with a slight pitch so that water will gently flow in the direction of one corner (usually the rear corner) of the roof.
In the corner of the roof where all the water drains there is a point at which the top structure of the roof has a cutout with a sturdy metal box fastened in the collection point called an eave box, or a gutter. Water can flow into this box and down the downspout and either into an open space away from your foundation or into an exterior drain.
Flat roofing has so many benefits. They are easy to maintain, easy for roofing contractors to access and safely walk on, easy to install and easy to replace!
Let's walk through the flat roof install process!
Flat Roof General Procedure
During the install every 3 foot roll of rubber must be torched down onto the decking below, and also torched to create a welded seam to the roll next to it. This process continues across the roof, so that the entire surface becomes one solid welded together system, where rain cannot penetrate.
Umbrella Roof installers are real master installers, every square inch of rubber material, every seam, every penetration and all edges will be tightly welded together for a permanent bonded system,
Lesser roofing companies may be inpatient or inexperienced with torching the rubber down, as it does take time and patience to properly apply the material. This will lead to small gaps or opening in the rubber seams, edges or penetrations not tightly flashed and/or cemented - and other common erroneous roof applications. This is unacceptable.
but there's a catch! They require routine maintenance such as coatings and applying new roof cement and fabric to edges and penetrations. Additionally, homeowners with flat roofs must ensure their gutters and downspouts stay free from debris!
Flat Roof Benefits
Flat roofs have tons of benefits! If you are living in a home with a flat roof, you almost never have to worry about HUGE roofing repair and replacement costs as you might with steep slope roofs like shingles. But you will need some maintenance! Read on to see how Umbrella Roof is the solution for long term and confidence in your home's roof.
Simply put, the absolute best thing about flat roofs are they they are FAR CHEAPER than shingle roofs. They also are not prone to as much wind damage as a steep slope roof would be, as the catch less wind due to their secured flat surface. Materials are relatively inexpensive, including the rolls of modified bitumen rubber (which will be torched down), roof cement, roof tape and some other basic supplies and tools. It is VERY important however that the rubber and roof system as a whole be applied properly by experts.
Flat Roof Drawbacks
The downside to flat roofs is they need maintenance. Flat roofs require routine maintenance like aluminum silver coating, and cementing cracked edges and penetrations. Additionally gutters and downspouts must be kept clean at all times or ponding can occur. Furthermore, if you have roof pitch issues that are not addressed, you can experience ponding anywhere on your roof. A flat roof must pitch to one direction to allow water to flow gently into the collection gutter box (eaves box), down the downspout and away from the house. It is an extra chore for the homeowner.
BUT, when you have a NEW FLAT ROOF INSTALLED BY UMBRELLA ROOF - we handle all the maintenance for you with our Umbrella Coverage option. Including 3 maintenance visits over the course of your 10 year warranty.
Flat Roof Cost
Flat roof cost will depend on a few things. First the size of the area needing new roofing. Second, will this be a "re-roof" in which your contractor will install your new roof material on your existing material. A total roof replacement will require ripping the old roof off down to the decking and starting with all new underlayment from there. Clearly this translates to a much larger installation cost, and may require structural repair of the framing or decking.
Generally, unless you have damaged or soft or deteriorated decking or framing, your contractor can go over one layer of existing material. But cannot go more than two layers. So talk to your contractor! Make sure you're getting the proper installation for your scenario.
Other than the size of the roof, and condition of the structure, Things like eaves boxes, skylights, flashing, soffit, mansard roofs etc. can make the cost of your estimate fluctuate. All these things will come into account for estimating your job,
Generally speaking, a basic flat roof install will run between $1600 for a very small and simple roof - and up to $3,000 for larger roof requiring much more labor and material. Our average flat roof install final cost in 2021 was $2350. Hopefully that will help you shed some light on the process, what to expect and what it costs!
If you live in a home with a flat roof and are looking for an estimate you can refer to our Homeowner's Guide To Selecting a Great Roofer manual - but if you are reading this you already know that Umbrella Roof, if the company for the job!