Flat and low-slope roof systems are a popular option for many Floridians, as you may have noticed. A low-slope roof has a pitch of 3 1/2 inches or less. A flat roof is level with the rest of the home or building. There are several types of low slope roof systems, and each come with their own benefits. Let’s look a bit closer at which option is ideal for your low-slope roof.
Types of Low Slope Roof Systems
Low slope roofs are not all the same. There are typically three types you will find in the South Florida region. Each comes with its benefits. By reviewing each class, we can educate you enough to make an informed decision on your home’s roof.
A built-up roof is a roof with several layers. The layers consist of asphalt, ply sheets, and other materials that sit upon a roof deck. The benefit of these layers is to protect the home from rain and other types of weather. Folks with a built-up roof will also find that it’s perfect for temperature regulation in the house and saves the homeowner money in heating and cooling.
Modified bitumen is very much like a built-up roof. It is a multi-layered asphalt-based roof that is ideal for flat roofs. The primary benefit of this roof is that it can take heavy foot traffic when necessary.
Single-ply roofing is desirable because fewer tools are required for installation and can come in pre-fabricated accessories. Benefits include the availability of reflective or retentive properties and lightweight. In addition, being lightweight allows contractors to install the roofing on unusual structural designs.
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As with all roofing systems, there are concerns when utilizing a low-slope roof. Let’s take a look at each one so you can be prepared.
Water Pooling and Moisture Problems
Since flat roofs are…well…flat, you have to consider rain pooling on top. If you have a single-ply roof, you may find it is more likely to experience leaks and roof damage. However, water pooling on multi-layered roofs can still suffer if you do not remove the pooling in a timely fashion.
With hurricanes being annual visitors each year in South Florida, we know that our homes and roofs need to stand up to high winds. While low-slope roofs meet necessary requirements according to building codes, they are still at a higher risk of uplift than a traditional steep-slope.
Speaking of hurricanes, the impact from debris can be more damaging to a flat roof. Considering that debris is moving at a significant rate of speed to a stationary structure, this is often a part of what to expect. Of course, what the debris is and its size affects the likelihood of damage.
The best way to understand your roof is to call one of our experienced team members to take a look. We have been in the roofing business for 30 years and have top-rate expertise. The administrative staff will walk through your questions regarding roofing and the services offered. Our estimators will look for cost-efficient solutions for your roof, and the installation crew will give you a professional job well done.
The best roofing material for a low pitch roof is one that is not only aesthetically designed but one that can withstand the hard elements of weather. When you choose a roofing material, you need to first understand the type of roof you need so that you can make the right choice materials. One of the choices you’ll encounter is a low-pitch roof. This roof, also known as a low slope roof, is an almost flat roof.
Of course, this roof is not completely flat, but the low slope roof has a slight pitch or is slightly raised to give the impression. However, water does not drain easily, which can cause damage and leaks to the roof. Plants like algae can also grow on the deck of your roof.
What is a Low-Slope / Flat Roof System?
A low-slope roof system has roof material designs specifically designed for it. The roofing system is made up of materials that will enhance roofing efficiency and withstand weather conditions like rain and even the UV rays from the sun. Qualified roofers will install this specially designed system for you and also guide you on some of the best materials that you can use. By the end of the day, you want a contractor that’s able to use different roofing materials to make your project successful Here are some of the roofing materials for a low-slope roof.
1. Built-up System or Roofing
Built-up roofing is used for low-sloped roofs because it offers watertight functionality. It comprises multiple layers and uses asphalt to make it functional for this type of a roof. This material is also known for its strength and high performance. You can reach out to Tornado Roofing for the best pricing when it comes to build-up system installations. We dare say that we have the best roofers who will install and offer professional advice on roofing systems.
2. Rubber Membrane
Just like its name suggests, this roofing solution uses rubber components. The rubber is professionally installed by expert roofers who use strong metal anchors or special roofing glue to put it in place. As you might tell, this product requires expert hands to make sure it doesn’t leak and works to its best ability.
3. Modified Bitumen
This system is known for its high performance and reliability. Our devoted team of experts will not only install it for you but also furnish you with relevant information on the material to keep in good shape. This is a durable waterproof system that makes it perfect for a flat roof. If you intend to reinforce it further, you can insulate it.
4. Single Ply
Single-ply is an excellent material for low-pitch roofs. It is produced in the factory set up and comes in white color. This is a perfect way to reflect the UV rays of the sun and offer protection to the material. It is made up of thermoplastic, which is gaining popularity with low-slope roofs in America. We pride ourselves on our reliability and experience in the installation and repairs of such roofing systems.
5. Roll Roofing
Roll roofing material is mixed with asphalt and granules and is installed on your roof deck as one of the roofing solutions. However, it does not offer high performance, and it is not among the best roofing material for a low pitch roof. So unless it’s the last resort for your roof, don’t go with it.
Low-Slope Roofing: How Roof Pitch Affects your Choice of Roof Material
When choosing the best roofing material, you need to consider the type of roof you are interested in. The number of inches a roof is raised determines how flat or how steep a roof is going to be. The low-pitch or flat roofs are slightly raised and almost flat, which disqualifies them for some roofing materials. Slate shingles, for instance, are not suitable for low-pitch because they’ll leak. Wood is also not a good option for low-pitch roofs because they can soak and quickly deteriorate. However, you can use them for the steep-slope roofs because they will be able to drain water. The best materials for low-pitch roofs need to be durable and waterproof.
At Tornado Roofing, We Comply with Florida Building Codes
At Tornado Roofing, we are compliant with all Florida Building codes and offer reliable roofing installation and repair services. We will perform a new roofing installation, depending on your needs, at affordable costs, and offer expert advice on all your roofing needs. Contact us and get your roofing solution.
A low pitch roof requires materials with special functionalities, including “cooling roofing,” to make it more effective. Low pitch roofs are susceptible to water clogging and leaking, which can lead to constant repair and frustration. Installing a new low-slope system from the start with the help of experts guarantees quality results and gives you peace of mind. Feel free to share your roofing needs with us.
Roofing systems fall under either low slope or steep slope roofing category. When you purchase shingles, a professional dealer will ask whether your sloped roof is a low or steep slope. Low slope roofing includes slopes ranging between 2:12 and 4:12 of the run.
Low slope roofs drain water at a slower pace compared to steep slopes. The materials used in the two categories are different. Please don’t buy asphalt or slate shingles for your slope roof just because their color impressed you. They require mechanical drainage and thus not suitable alternatives when it comes to low slope roofing.
So what are the factors to consider when selecting materials for your low slope roof system? We invite you to read on and learn a thing or two about low slope roofing.
Here are some of the factors to consider when you look to purchase roofing materials for your low slope roof:
Because low-pitch roofs drain water slower, rainwater can form small pools on your roof. Therefore, consider materials that can tolerate water. Membrane materials are good due to their ability to hold stagnant water without getting damaged.
Roofing materials function differently at different slopes. Some modern roofing materials indicate the slope range they function optimally. It is advisable to inquire from your roofing contractor about the finer details of your low slope roof. The information will help the manufacturer to guide you on the suitable material for your roof.
If you live in an environment that experiences snow often, consider the material that can withstand the snow. Thawing impacts low slope roofs.
A good roof should be energy-efficient. The color of the material you choose should be suitable for your environment. Choose light colors that reflect light when you live in arid areas. Dark colors are suitable for cold environments.
Types of Low Slope/Flat Roof Systems
Types of roof systems are determined by the covering used. There are five major types of low slope/flat roof systems, namely:
Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer
Built-up roofing (BUR) membranes are made of bitumen and felts. The membranes are spread on a base sheet attached to the roof. The popularity of BUR low slope roofs is diminishing.
Modified bitumen are sheets made from bitumen that have been improved using a polymer like Styrene-butadiene (SBS) or atactic polypropylene (APP). The polymers add rubber qualities to the bitumen. The modified bitumen sheets are joined using an adhesive and heat.
PVC low slope roofs are common in restaurants. They are used for roofing kitchens and can tolerate different types of chemicals. PVC can also bend and keep your house cool during summer because it is a poor conductor of heat.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin TPO is typically a single-ply membrane. It is lightweight, resistant to chemicals, and has impressive impact resistance. TPO low slope roofing systems are commonly found in the commercial industry. Homeowners love the white color TPO membranes for their ability to reflect heat and keep the interior of the house cool.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)
EPDM rubber roofs adhere to an insulation board, and they are mostly black, although there’s white color. The rubber covering can also be held down using ballast or boulders. This type of roof can tolerate both hot and cold weather. The rubber can withstand different chemicals.
Low Slope Roofing: Lessons Learned
We’ve picked lessons from the 20 plus years we’ve been providing roofing solutions to our Southwest Florida clients. It’s a continuous learning curve as technology continues to evolve.
Many clients have come to us with complaints about their low slope roofs. There are many cases where clients hired contractors to install new roofs or replace steep slope roofs with a low slope. And they ended up with flat roofs full of drainage issues. Low slope roofs are likely to gather lots of dry leaves resulting in clogged drainage. If the slope is 0” it becomes a mess.
Another common problem is the use of the right material in the wrong environment. It is important to know the material to use if you need an energy-efficient roof. Not all contractors know that. Using black membranes in a place that is ever hot adds to the heat in the interior of your house. You’ll incur huge power bills trying to keep your air conditioner on most of the time.
Tornado roofing is a major player in the roofing industry in Southwest Florida. We’ve been providing cutting-edge roofing solutions to both commercial and residential landholders in this region for the last 20 years. Contact us whenever you need to repair your roof or overhaul the entire roof. Our team of highly gifted roofing professionals is eager to serve you.
We all know how important it is to have a roof over our heads. It gives us a sense of security and value for our existence. When something goes wrong with the roof system, and the weather directly affects us, it doesn’t feel like home anymore. But the good news is that there’s something we can do about it – watch the signs and respond appropriately.
There are many signs you can expect from roofs that tell you, “I’m exhausted, I’ll only serve a few months, or you must replace me now!” If you dare ignore these signs, you open room for additional damage, you potentially spend more money on the repairs and replacement, and probably lose your property. To avoid this, here are signs to watch out for:
Your shingles could start curling in two ways. First, the shingle edges turn upwards in a process called cupping. And second, the middle section lifts in a process known as weathering. Severe cupping and weathering lead to leaks and are obvious signs that your roof has served its time and needs a roof replacement.
That means that the initial stages of these conditions is a sign to start saving for a new roof system. Experts say cupping and weathering could still last for about four years before you can replace the roof.
Roofs like anything else have their expiry dates. An Asphalt shingle, for instance, can handle a maximum of 30 years of use. That means that the 25th anniversary is a sign to prepare for a new roofing system in the next five years. Any roof that’s older than thirty-five years is already in bad condition that needs replacement even if it looks good from far.
If you live in a neighborhood that has similar houses as yours, you might start seeing your neighbors replacing their roofs. That’s a good sign that you also need to do the same.
If you’ve not been kin with your roof, you might one-day notice water dripping in the house through the ceiling on a rainy day. It all starts with a small drip and later builds up into a big downpour. Sometimes, it’s staining on the ceiling and walls. But regardless of how you find the water, that is a sign that your roof is damaging and needs attention.
To catch leaking issues early, schedule regular roof inspections with local roofing experts. Your contractor should inspect skylight windows, chimneys, and the shingles to find the origins of the leaks. Investigating if the attic has water after windy rains can help you successfully repair the water access areas.
Cracked or breaking shingles shows that they are bowing to weather elements. If it’s just the sections of the roof that are affected, then you’ll need to replace the shingles. But if the situation is widely spread, then that’s a sign you need a new roof. With continuous maintenance, your roof can still last for five years – enough time to save and invest in a new roof.
Critter Infestation in the Roof
Critter roof infestation happens all the time for various reasons. Animals like squirrels and raccoons enjoy accessing damaged roofs and even start families there. But movements in the roof do not always mean you need to replace it. Instead, check around the house and determine where these creatures are coming from. A roof inspection will come in handy to understand the extent of the damage these creatures have caused. You might also want to bring in a fumigator if there’s a significant insect infestation.
Another signal that you need to watch out for and take immediate action is missing shingles. Just like in the case of broken shingles, you should replace the shingles that are missing. But understand that getting quality shingles that match your roof is not going to be easy. The granule colors often vary with every production, and if your roof is an old school version, you can tell how significant the change has been. Even if you had saved shingles during your installation, you should still expect color differences due to weathering.
Granules in the Gutter
If your roof has been in place for a long time and you start noticing granules in the gutter, then that’s a sign you should start thinking about replacing the roof. It’s the work of the granules to keep the sun away from the asphalt shingles. So when they fall off like this, they expose your roofing system to sunshine, and it will end up deteriorating fast. The fall of granules indicates that your roof has served half its lifespan, and you should be preparing to install another one soon.
Moss and Algae Growing on the Shingles
Moss and algae developing on your roof is no reason to panic but can influence its aesthetics. You don’t want this, particularly on a commercial roofing system. Most people tend to scrub and wash away all this dirt but, we advise against this because it will only clear the granules, which will reduce the lifespan of your shingles.
The best solution to moss and algae on a roof is to use a mix of one part water and one part bleach to clear them. Or install zinc strips at the top parts of the roof to slowly eliminate the problem. The other solution is to replace the roof system with algae-resistant tiles.
Seeing Through the Roof
Seeing through the roof from your artic is a clear sign that you need to repair or replace your roof system. Sometimes you’ll notice a thin ray of light penetrating through the holes or small drips of water on a rainy day. If you leave the holes unattended, that allows wind, water, and snow to penetrate through making the problem bigger.
The solution to this is often to patch the small holes or replace the entire roof if the reason behind them is old age and structural damage.
If you notice your roof sagging, this should immediately tell you that there’s a structural problem you must attend. Often, it’s an issue with the attic decking, or worse, the foundational supports of the roof.
Any roofing problem that comes as a result of poor roof structure should be addressed as soon as possible. If you let the problem persist, it could expose the occupants to imminent danger. Doing this early is also a lot easier, as well as cost-effective.
Don’t Panic: Contact Roofing Repair and Replacement Services
Noticing the signs we’ve mentioned above is a good thing and shouldn’t be a reason to panic. What you need to do is to reach out to a roofing repair and replacement expert to help. They’ll come on board and investigate the extent of the damage, advise you accordingly, and offer solutions depending on the underlying problem. Just remember that if you wait too long, the damage increases and could lead to severe destruction and additional expenses.