How Many Layers Does Your Flat Roof Have?

Seattle Flat Roof by EDCA Roofing

How many times has your flat roof been replaced or patched? When it comes to roofing repair or replacement, this can change the cost quite a bit. Many homeowners and building owners are often tempted to perform their own flat roof repairs. You’ve maybe even asked your handyman to help over the years.

Knowing how to take core samples to determine the roof’s layers is best left to a professional. Most flat roofs have two to four layers excluding a reflective coating. Be wary of self-repairs. Repairing a leaky spot is more involved than would meet the untrained eye. So let’s talk about built-up roofs, drainage, and roof systems.

What is a Built-Up Roof?

Flat roof systems can also be referred to as built-up roofs or BUR. Not all flat roofs are BUR. BUR stands for “built-up roof” and refers to the layering of membranes and asphalt. They may also consist of PVC, TPO, EPDM, as well as modified bitumen and bitumen, and torch-down. As you can see, there are a lot of flat roofing systems. This is why we’d love to have a conversation about what flat roof is best for your building.

Does My Flat Roof Have Good Drainage?

Are you wondering how your flat roof works? It’s a system consisting of the membrane, asphalt of some kind, and typically a coating. None of those layers should affect the drainage of your roof. The truth is,  a flat roof is not always completely flat.

Though it isn’t visually sloped with the typical pitch, it’s a system that has engineered waterways for drainage. All flat roofs should have scuppers and/or roof drains, depending upon the square footage of the roof and what works best for your building. If required, a tapered roof insulation system can also be installed to reduce or eliminate the amount of ponding/standing water on the membrane when the roof deck does not provide adequate slope.

Why Do Layers Matter in a Flat Roof System?

A flat roof system refers to the engineering of your building’s flat roof. It starts with the plywood or OSB sheathing that is attached to the roofing support. Flat roofs with fewer layers are attached directly to the plywood. In many cases, this can mean in a re-roof, plywood sheathing will need to be replaced. If the structural integrity allows, we may be able to install another layer of roofing. That eliminates the tear-off process which saves time and money.

In either case, no matter how many layers your roof currently has or how many you want to have, EDCA Roofing can give you an estimate that will break down the whole process. And, we’ll be with you every step of the way.  Contact us today!