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What are the best materials for flat roofing?

  • 15.09.2020-
  • Max Bishop
Roofing pic

When considering installing flat roofing onto any building there are a few key factors to take into consideration. Firstly, there’s the crucial need for a strong, flat surface, however product life, maintenance costs and ease of installation all factor in. Based on these factors we’ve established four applications that you should consider.

PVC Roofing

PVC roofing, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the leading flat roof materials on the market. While it often costs more than single-ply roofing materials, its durability means it is built to last: around 20-30 years. The reinforced membrane that makes up the material means it is resistant to impact and cracking, two factors that often shorten the product life of single-ply alternatives.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing, or typically aluminium roofing, offers the longest product life due to its sheer durability; around 25-35 years. Its reflective nature also means that it reflects heat, increasing the energy efficiency of the building. This increased lifespan and energy rating does come at a cost though, as materials and installation are the costliest of all the material options. In addition to this, unless sealed properly, metal roofing has been known to be susceptible to leaks around seams and edges.

Modified Bitumen Roof

Modified Bitumen roofs are often considered the most cost-effective method when waterproofing a flat roof. Despite its similarities to EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) modified bitumen is its own product completely: EPDM is made from recycled rubber, while modified bitumen is made from asphalt. This roofing types uses an asphalt membrane as the base of the roof itself. The surface of the membrane is more susceptible to cracking and blistering than the other options, limiting its lifespan to around 10 to 15 years.

What lies beneath

For any of these roofing options to perform at a high level they must be installed on a smooth, flat surface with little to no inconsistencies. The less joins in the material choice underneath, will also increase the performance and lifespan of the roof itself.

Timber panel manufacturer MEDITE SMARTPLY has recently launched the ideal solution for flat roofing applications, SMARTPLY ULTIMA OSB4.

SMARTPLY ULTIMA OSB4 is manufactured using state of the art ContiRoll® technology consisting of moisture resistant and formaldehyde-free bonding of wood strands, precision strand orientation and continuous pressing to produce large panels up to 2.8m wide by 7.5m long and to a maximum thickness of 40mm.

Crucially, all MEDITE SMARTPLY roofing products are made with FSC® certified timber from sustainably managed forests—as is standard across all products manufactured by the company.

As part of the SMARTPLY range, the panels also boast a manufacturing formula with no added formaldehyde, increasing safety credentials and protecting those that will work with the products. This, as well as their sustainability credentials are positive factors that can contribute toward environmental building standard credits such as BREEAM, LEED and The WELL Standard, for any project.