The roofing industry is made up of two sub-categories of roofing: steep slope and low slope (usually known as flat roofing). The two overlap, but the distinctions between them are significant enough that roofing companies and manufacturers are often dedicated to just one or have distinct operations for each.
Our roofers’ are experts at both. We create reliable solutions for both styles of homes.. Flat roofs have several unique characteristics:
- Homes with flat roofs require continuous membranes, rather than shingles. On steep slope homes, rain travels downward swiftly off shingles. But on flat roofs, movement is much slower, posing the issue of water seeping through seams. The solution is to install large roofing membranes to the roof deck and adhering them to each other. This creates one cohesive membrane across the entire flat roof that withstands the slow movement of water.
- Thermal and vapor resistance are required to help ward off condensation damage. Steep slope homes help solve this problem by attic space ventilating out conditioned air. But flat roofs don’t have the luxury of an attic space. We’ll discuss this very important yet often not addressed issue much more below.
As a flat roofing contractor since 2002, we have the experience and dedication to ensure you’re thrilled with your new roof. Most residential roofing contractors don’t install flat roofs, and most flat roofing contractors only do commercial. This leaves homeowners with flat roofs sometimes not able to find a quality local roofing contractor. Fortunately, we’re always working hard to ensure that homeowners with flat roofs can find us!
Our flat and low slope roof installations have many fantastic advantages:
- Labor, material, and workmanship manufacturer warranties up to 20 years
- A complete roofing system that includes vapor and thermal resistance
- Convenient financing options
- Repair, replace, overlay, or recover every style of roofing
- 100% free estimates — in home, professional, and we work around your schedule
- Long term solutions
Flat Roof Repair
Apart from poor workmanship during the roofing system installation, lack of a waterproof membrane is a key cause for premature roof failure. Call on us, the area’s premier roofing system installer in the Kent area to apply a waterproof membrane on your roof. At our roofing company, we appreciate the importance of having an efficient, no-nonsense waterproofing solution to secure the roof from damage by the harsh natural elements.
Many of the different types of flat roofing material can’t be mixed with each other. Flat roof repair can be an involved process that requires a specific set of skills for the specific type of flat roof being repaired.
Leaks or damage on flat roofs can originate from completely different locations than they first appear. It takes a trained eye that can differentiate between all the various potential causes of leaks and moisture damage in flat roofs. You could have ten different roofers examine a leak and they may give you ten different opinions on the cause. We value depth of experience and know-how with our roofers so that we correctly identify the causes of leaks to save you time and money.
Our roofers have extensive experience with each style of flat roofing, including:
- Single ply TPO, PVC, and EPDM
- Modified bitumen (torchdown)
- Liquid silicone roofing systems and other liquid applied on membranes (also known as coatings)
- Built up roofing, tar and gravel
- Deck waterproofing and walkable roofing
We conduct full re-roofs or overlays with TPO or modified bitumen (torchdown) to create a new roofing system with long life or to significantly boost the life of the current roof.
Liquid silicone roofing systems applied over existing roofs create a cohesive membrane that can extend a roof’s life for decades. These low cost options are becoming quite popular in the Pacific Northwest.
Balconies, decks, patios, and walkways are often roofs as well as decks. They require the waterproofing of cohesive roofing membranes along with the walkability of normal decking.
Flat Roof Replacement
Proper installation of low slope membranes is key to their optimal performance. Even the finest waterproof membrane product will fail if it has not been installed professionally. That is why it is imperative that you go to a competent and reliable roofing contractor like us when you decide to have a rubber membrane installed in your Kent property.We put highly knowledgeable, well-trained, seasoned technicians on the rubber membrane installation job.
As discussed above, condensation is one of the most important issues to address in flat roofing. Typically, once a roof is installed, condensation related repairs are not that feasible. But when conducting a full flat roof replacement, condensation issues must be addressed. Otherwise, what appears to be a functional and lasting roof can rot from the inside out and need premature replacement. And no manufacturer warranties cover condensation.
What causes condensation and how you can avoid it
Condensation occurs when temperature declines enough that water vapor in the air condenses on a surface. Given the typical large difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, there is usually a dew point (condensation point) between the inside and outside. In a poorly constructed roofing system, this can lead to mold and rot on plywood and other essential components.
Homes with attics help avoid this issue by venting the attic space so that it removes the conditioned air. But homes with flat roofs don’t have that luxury (unless you want to always be venting your living space to match outdoor temperatures).
Vapor travels through roofs two ways: (1) with upward traveling air, and (2) via vapor diffusion from warm to cold through solid materials.
The strategy to help ward off both of these causes of condensation for flat roof replacement is to create a system with vapor resistance and thermal resistance. This means installing rigid insulation boards with high r-value and enveloping them on top and bottom with vapor barriers (or vapor retarders). This system composes of these elements:
- A vapor barrier over the roof deck. This should be a breathable barrier, meaning that it doesn’t prevent travel of 100% of vapor, but close to it. Because vapor always enters roofing systems at some point in time, it’s best to allow the vapor to exit as well.
- 2 layers of rigid insulation on top of the vapor barrier. This results in the bulk of thermal resistance in the flat roofing system. The greater the amount of insulation, the more effective it resists heat transfer. This helps keep warm air inside your home and reduces the amount of vapor diffusion through the roof. 2 layers are necessary to offset seams to help keep the thermal resistance uniform. All insulation shrinks over time, so if seams are not offset, a roofing system can have sections with very little thermal resistance.
- A cover board to give:
- a solid surface over the insulation
- fire resistance
- Wind uplift performance
- additional thermal resistance
- The roofing membrane over top acts as both leak barrier and vapor barrier. It should be gray at the lightest color because that allows the membrane to heat up enough to evaporate moisture that has gotten into the system. Even darker membranes can more positively impact this process. Ironically, the rise in popularity of white roofing membranes (to reflect sunlight) has led to a significant amount of condensation damage in roofs.
Please call us at (253) 445-8950 to schedule your free roofing estimate.