Types of Flat Roof Systems eHow

Types of Flat Roof Systems eHow

Roll Asphalt

A roll asphalt roof is made of material that is rolled onto the roof over roof felt and nailed down or applied with cold asphalt cement. It is usually covered with a granular mineral surface, which looks like gravel. The base material can be organic felt or fiberglass felt that is saturated in asphalt. This is the cheapest building material, but it usually doesn’t last much beyond 10 years.


Multiple-ply roof systems are also known as built-up roofs (BUR). These are made by overlapping rolls of felt or mats that are alternated with layers of asphalt. This is covered by a granular mineral surface, ballast or tile to protect the layers. These roofs can last 10 to 30 years.

Modified Bitumen

A modified bitumen roof is a multiple-ply roof that is made with modified bituminous membranes, which are made out of a blend of asphalt and a polymer. This allows the asphalt to take on characteristics of the polymer, which is similar to materials used in single-ply roofs. The modified bitumen roof is covered in a mineral or gravel surface, or a liquid coating that provides reflectivity.

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