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What Flat Roof Material Should I Use?

If you’ve been considering installing a flat roof on your property or repairing an old one, you may well have heard of various material options and be confused about what is the best option.

In this Britelite blog, we’re going to try to help you come to a conclusion. There isn’t necessarily one ‘best’ material; each has its pros and cons. But with our experience fitting flat roofs, we’re confident to be able to tell you what would work best for your project.

Below are the most common types of flat roof and their main positives and negatives.

Felt

This is a classic material used for flat roofs and has a bit of a bad name due to some old-fashioned felt flat roofs wearing, tearing and leaking over time.

That’s no longer quite the case anymore. Modern felt installations are far better, with much better internal reinforcing. These days it’s a low-cost option that can be used for almost any size of flat roof and is relatively tough. It isn’t, however, particularly suitable for walking on regularly and isn’t easy to repair yourself.

EPDM Rubber

It’s only relatively recently that rubber roofs have begun to be used much in the UK, after years of success across the pond. It’s a lightweight, flexible material that can often be installed without the need for joins.

The rubber is exceptionally tough and flexible and is purported to last for up to have a century. Rubber roofs work well when being used for green roofs, but aren’t recommended if the roof shape is complicated – there will then be a need for lots of joins.

Cost-wise, it’s more expensive than a felt roof but not prohibitively so. The biggest drawback with rubber roofs is the appearance – there aren’t many ways to make them look pretty.

Asphalt

Asphalt has been used for flat roofing for decades and has improved over time.

A primary benefit of Asphalt is that it is relatively easy to install in odd or complex shapes, coping well with curves and elevations. It’s very tough and resistant to damage, which makes it perfect for roofs that will be walked on regularly. It’s also very easy and cheap to repair asphalt if it does get damaged and has an unobtrusive (if not particularly inspiring) look.

It is more expensive than felt roofs, however, and it’s a very heavy material so can’t be installed on top of light constructions.

GRP (Fibreglass)

Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) roofs have been seen a fast increase in popularity in the UK in recent years. At Britelite, they’re our preferred material for installing flat roofs.

GRP roofs are jointless and are guaranteed for 30 years when correctly installed. They’re exceptional when used for green roofs, and are lightweight so can be installed on all kinds of constructions. They’re also good looking and tough, so can be used for roofs that will be walked on regularly. If damaged they can be repaired fairly easily by a professional.

 

So there you have it – a quick round-up of the most common types of flat roof. We hope it’s been helpful. If you’d like to look at what flat roofs we offer at Britelite, view our GRP Flat Roofs here or call us on 0800 50 50 70 for a design consultation.

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