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3 Flat Roofing Solutions and their Positives and Negatives

Built-up roofs, modified bitumen and single-ply roofs are the three types of flat roof systems available. Each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to performance and reliability. To make sure you are getting the best option for your home, here are the pros and cons of these three systems.

Built-up roof


  • They say classics never die and, in this case, they may be right. For over 100 years, roofers have used this system with immense success.
  • Built-up roofs give very thick coverage. If the outer layers become damaged, it does not open up the rest of your home to further harm.
  • This roof system is incredibly strong and very low maintenance. It has been shown to hold up well over the years with very little repair needed.


  • Built-up roofing have shown issues in holding up against cold temperatures. If you live in a cold environment and are considering a quality roofing replacement, remember that 40% of heat loss in a home is the heat that goes through an attic.
  • There has also been some minor issue of built-up roofs not doing well in wide expanses.

Modified Bitumen


  • Because of the nature of which they are manufactured, bitumen shingles are at a consistent thickness. This allows for a strong uniformity in the roof, overall.
  • Bitumen roofing is much better at withstanding extreme temperatures than built-up roofs can.



  • In order to apply bitumen tiles, extreme heat is required. If a quality roofing company is hired, this won’t be an issue. However, if you are doing roof replacement yourself, this could pose a danger.
  • If done improperly, the heat from installing the roof could lead to a fire in the home.

Single-ply Roofs


  • Single-ply roofs are incredibly easy to install and are a lot cleaner than built-in roofs.
  • Single-ply roofs are the most environmentally friendly of all of the three flat-roof choices.
  • The single-ply material is incredibly lightweight and flexible, which go well with more modern home designs.


  • As its name implies, these roofs only have one layer. Therefore, if the roof is damaged, the structure underneath has the potential to become damaged as well.
  • Because it is so lightweight, there’s a potential for these roofs to not hold up as strongly as the other two roofs previously mentioned.

All three types of flat roofs have good and bad things about them. Which is best for you largely depends on where you live and what you hope to get out of your roofing service. We hope you found this list helpful when it comes to choosing your next roofing replacement.

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