What Should I Know About Residential Flat Roofs?

Are you wondering “What should I know about residential flat roofs?” Sugar Land Premier Roofing is here to help you. A flat roof may give your home a sleek, contemporary appearance. They may not be the most aesthetic option, depending on your opinion. But there is no denying the benefits they provide. 


Are you considering a flat roof for your house? Great! Continue reading to see a complete guide to the flat roofs available.

  1. BUR, or Built-Up Roofing

Despite their widespread use on commercial buildings, BURs are being phased out slowly from the residential market in favor of newer, more attractive flat roof options.

This roofing method involves applying hot asphalt over a layer of roofing felt. There are typically between three and five levels in a BUR. 

We can increase the roof’s longevity by many years for each additional layer. Multi-layer BUR shields buildings from harmful sun rays and increases thermal efficiency. Besides, they significantly improve the efficiency of a home’s energy consumption.

  • Pricing per square foot is between $ 2,50 and $ 4.
  • It is up to you how many layers your BUR has, but it will last a long time.
  • The highest layer shields the house from the sun’s rays and helps keep the below layers safe.
  • These roofs keep homes at a comfortable temperature and reduce energy costs.

BURs have several drawbacks, including that they require a lot of time and effort to install, and the installation process releases toxic fumes.

  1. MBR, or Modified Bitumen Roof

When it comes to MBR, there is just one layer involved. Bitumen is polymer-modified asphalt further strengthened with substances such as fiberglass or polyester.

Any experienced roofer can install MBR with little effort. You could even perform it on your own! However, you will need torches to melt material to create a seal in some MBR models.

  • Prices per square foot are between $4 and $8. Employing a contractor is cheaper ($3-$7).
  • When compared to traditional roofing materials, MBR requires less effort during installation and even offers adhesive choices.
  • These roofs come in a variety of colors and have high reflectivity.

Short lifespans are one of the main drawbacks. But, with proper maintenance, an MBR may serve you well for ten to twenty years. Such roofs can deteriorate rapidly due to windborne debris, foot traffic, and the elements.

  1. Single-Ply Membrane (SPM)

SPM roofs, or single-ply membrane roofs, consist of a single sheet of material installed on a base (you must consider it if you choose this roofing option). These roofs last far longer and perform much better than their predecessors. 

When it comes to SPM roofing, you can choose between PVC, EPDM, and TPO, depending on the material used.

  1. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

  • PVC roofing may run you anything from $8 to $12 per square foot.
  • PVC roofs last far longer than other types of roofing and require very little upkeep during their lifetime.
  • There is a wide range of colors to choose from. Choose the patterned fashion look end if you like!
  • PVC roofing is highly reflective of the sun’s rays.

On the negative side, PVC’s plastic nature means it might shrink over time, perhaps leading to leaks or corner artifacts. PVC roofs, especially older ones, are prone to cracking and damage when exposed to freezing temperatures.

  1. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

  • The price per square foot for a TPOP roof is $5.50 to $6.00
  • This material’s flexibility makes it ideal for roofs with unusual shapes and cuts or to use over or around obstacles.
  • These recyclable roofs also have low costs and superior reflectivity.
  • TPO roofs are impervious to the growth of fungi, algae, dirt, rust, and mildew.

As a drawback, extreme heat can weaken or break down a TPO roof. Likewise, they have a short lifespan that can endure anywhere between ten to twenty years.

  1. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

  • Typically, prices for EPDM roofing range from $6 to $13 per square foot.
  • You can use EPDM roofs to replace BUR roofs. You have your pick of either a black or white version, with or without reinforcement.
  • This material is highly reflective and impervious to UV rays.
  • An EPDM roof is simple to install.
  • EPDM resists flames, impacts, high temperatures, high winds, or temperature changes.

Some chemicals and oils can cause swelling in EPDM roofing. Besides, water can delaminate EPDM-reinforced sheets.

Wrapping Up

Are you sure you have made the best possible choice for your flat roof?

If you are not, get the help of a reputable, local roofing company. These professionals can assess your situation. Likewise, they will offer you a detailed proposal for your next home improvement project.

For more information, contact Sugar Land Premier Roofing at 832-621-4770. We service areas in Sugar Land, Katy, and Houston, TX.