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Can Flat Roofs Be Waterproof?

For thousands of years, shelter has been one of the most adapted structures known to humankind. Homes once started out as caves or tents that could provide protection from unpredictable weather conditions. They’ve come a long way since then as people have now built many homes with their own styles and designs to continue performing a similar job. Specifically, there are ones that utilize pitched and flat roofs for waterproofing. While pitched roofs have shingles to keep the water out, flat roofs also have their own various options.

What is a Flat Roof?

A flat roof is actually a roof with a low slope. They’re not entirely flat as they still need to shed water to a drainage system of some kind. Residentially, you can often find one above a porch, rear addition, or trough. Some homes and many multi-family buildings are often built with flat roof structures for the whole building.

Modified Bitumen

One alternative to shingles is modified bitumen, an asphalt-based solution that is rolled on the roof when applied. This allows for fewer seams and is a better surface to handle slow water shedding. Its durability beats all other types of rolled asphalt roofing and comes in multiple colors to match the rest of the home.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

Another option for flat roofs, that is also an economic one, is TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin). This is a single-ply roofing system that comes in a variety of widths and thicknesses. Instead of being rolled on, TPO is installed through full adherence or mechanical attachment. That means it can even be placed over an existing roof (if it meets the right conditions). What’s key here is the strong seams that are created from heat welds.

How Does Water Get Through a Roof?

Each of the roofing solutions mentioned above deal with eliminating roof seams. If you know nothing about roofs but a little bit about sewing, then you know that seams are the lines where fabric is brought together by your needle. Seams can also form on a roof when asphalt, metal, or any other material is installed. Those “lines” are where water can potentially slip through and cause a leak to occur – thanks to improper installation or a recent storm’s heavy winds getting underneath a seam.

Hire a Professional for Flat Roof Repair or Replacement

If you’re in need of a new flat roof or yours has been damaged, call Ferguson Roofing to see if your home would benefit from modified bitumen or TPO. Our specialists have the knowledge and hands-on experience, along with access to quality products, making us the best in the business. To learn more, call (314) 521-6917 in Missouri or (618) 212-1912 in Illinois.