It goes without saying that flat roofs are both pragmatic and aesthetic, which is why they’re popular in both residential and commercial construction. However, in order to be waterproof and efficient in keeping rainwater away from the interior of the home, they need to have a membrane made from an adequate material. This membrane is used to move water off the roof and could be made from a number of different materials. Here are several that are the most common.

  1. Self-adhesive membrane

The first thing you need to keep in mind when considering the installation of the membrane is the process of setting it up, to begin with. The biggest benefit of self-adhesive membranes, in this regard, is the fact that you don’t really have to set them up with an open flame. All you do is turn the self-adhesive side to the surface that you with to apply it to and flatten it with a 70 lbs. weight in order to seal them. There are two notable downsides to this solution. First, it requires you to install it in the warm temperature (in some climates this is incredibly inconvenient) and second, it tends to be quite expensive.

  1. Modified bitumen

Another method that you need to use is a modified bitumen, also known as roll roofing. One advantage of this method is the fact that, due to the fact that it’s usually light in color, it keeps the sun out, as well. Keep in mind that during summer, this could reduce your power bill by making it easier to keep the place cool. It’s also low maintenance and all the roofing materials used can be recycled. In other words, it’s definitely an eco-friendly solution. The downside is the fact that it’s quite difficult to install properly and not every contractor that claims that they can do it can actually do it.

  1. Flat roof gutters

Just because you have a flat roof and a quality membrane, this doesn’t mean that you don’t actually need gutters. Still, seeing as how you’re already customizing your roofing system, you might as well pay some more consideration to this aspect. The first question is the one of the guttering and downspout material. Most commonly, this will be the choice between aluminum and PVC. The latter is both eco-friendlier and easier for maintenance. This last part is particularly important, seeing as how adequate gutter cleaning may decide the efficiency of the entire system.

  1. Tar and gravel

It just wouldn’t be fair not to mention one of the methods that were commonly used in the past and that’s the so-called tar and gravel roof solution. The way in which it was used is to lay down a layer of roofing felt and nail it to the surface of the roof. Then, the roof is to be covered in gravel for two important reasons. The first one is the fact that it looks better this way (even though this tends to be quite subjective). The second reason is the fact that it provides a protection from UV rays. This method, however, seems to be quite outdated nowadays.

In conclusion

As you can see, each of the above-listed methods has its own set of advantages and downsides. The only similarity is their purpose – the protection of your property from rainwater and melting snow. Keep in mind, though that no solution that you opt for tends to last indefinite. This is why durability, maintenance and additional support (guttering system) are more than necessary, regardless of the membrane that you choose. Keeping your property safe (both its exterior and interior) is what this is all about.

-This is a guest post not written by the sits owner.

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