When most people think of a flat or rubber roof, they think of a commercial building. A residential flat roof may be used when the building envelope doesn’t require additional roof volume for vertical enclosures such as chimneys and dormer windows. In some cases, when a pitched roof would be excessively costly, a flat roof may be the most economical choice.
Residential flat roofs are a type of roofing system that has a horizontal or nearly horizontal surface. The term “flat” is somewhat misleading, as flat roofs are actually slightly pitched in order to allow for proper drainage. The slope of a flat roof is typically between 10 and 15 degrees. This specific design feature goes against the traditional sloped roofs found on most homes, making flat roofs a rather unique and interesting choice for residential buildings.
Rubber roofing installation is a much easier and quicker process than asphalt or slate roofing installation. A seamless roll is generally the most cost effective and energy efficient form of rubber roofing. It is very unlikely to leak or crack because there are no seams for water to flow underneath.
EPDM: Also called, ethylene propylene diene monomer, flat roofs are just a fancy way to say that these roofs are made from a synthetic blend of rubber. Most often used for large office spaces, it’s a durable and affordable option for flat roofing. EPDM flat roofs are easy to install, but they’re also prone to leakages.
EPDM is primarily available in black and white and is commonly used for flat roofs because it has the added benefit of being UV-resistant which means less chance of cracking due to sun damage.
The most common complaint about EPDM rubber roofing is that it can be quite slippery when wet—but this isn’t a major concern when appropriately installed on structures with little foot traffic.