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Types of Flat Roof Systems (Low Sloped):

The roofing business has come a long way from the old days of “hot tar and gravel”.  Since 1992 Mainland Roofing Company has been installing all types of low slope roofing systems. We understand not only the advantages of each type of system, but also their limitations. Some companies install only one type of roof system. We install the best system for your specific requirements. When we recommend a particular roof system for your property, you can be assured that it’s the system that best fits your needs.
 
BUR (Built Up Roof) & Modified Bitumen Roofs

The concept with these types of roofs is that they are "built up" with multiple layers of roofing membrane usually with hot asphalt or adhesives.  Since they have multiple layers fused together with a water-resistant material, they are very resilient and provide excellent waterproofing properties.  The top layer usually has ceramic granules embedded into membrane that protects it from the elements which is a light gray color or could be white.  These systems may include insulation for thermal and/or drainage properties.

The difference between a BUR & Modified Bitumen membrane is that the latter is reinforced with a SBS polymer which makes it flexible, more tear resistant and much more resilient.
Single Ply Roofs

These types of roofs are just as the name implies, they are only one ply of roofing membrane that are installed with adhesive or fasteners.  The seams are heat welded together. They come in 45 - 80 mills thickness. To put into perspective, a modified bitumen membrane hot mopped with a cap sheets is approximately 380 mills thick which doesn't come close to these systems.  Since they have only one layer, they are more vulnerable to leaks from tears, punctures and faulty seams.  They are mainly made of plastics known as TPO, PVC or EPDM and can perform under ponding water conditions and are usually white.  A modified bitumen is sometimes used as a single ply but is not a "Single Ply System". These systems may include insulation for thermal and/or drainage properties.  These systems have had problems in the past with manufacturer formulas, installation defects and condensation on underside of insulation.  It is said that in intense heat climates like South Florida, these membranes my loose up to 2 mills a year of material.   We only recommend these systems on roofs with minimal traffic, penetrations, roof top equipment or where tapering to remove ponding water is not feasible.
Liquid Applied Coating with Reinforced Fabric

Coal Tar Pitch

Spray Foam with Coating (SPF)

Primer
Foundation Coat
Polyester Fabric
Saturation Coat
Finish Coat
This type of roofing system can be applied as a new roof or over an existing roof.  The concept is to install a monolithic coat of a polyester fabric adhered to the deck with an elastomeric finish coat which is usually white.  Solvent based materials are used for ponding water conditions and latex based for low sloped roofs.  Different combinations of this system may be used to renew or maintain roofs and waterproof decks and walls.
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing consists of an application of foam covered with an elastomeric coating to protect the foam from ultraviolet rays. Specialized equipment mixes two liquid components into a spray gun that applies the foam to a prepared substrate. The foam expands from its original volume in a matter of seconds, forming a rigid foam that chemically bonds to the surface to which it is sprayed.   It provides insulation, is water resistant and has excellent adhesion. It must, however, be protected by an elastomeric coating to prevent ultraviolet surface degradation, enhance the aesthetics of the system, increase the impact and abrasion resistance of the foam and achieving fire code requirements.  This system is only as good as the coating which has to be regularly maintained and will blister over a concrete deck.  The larger blisters need to be repaired as they will rupture with foot traffic.
Coal Tar & Gravel
Plies
Substrate
The coal tar pitch system is a built up roof that is manufactured on site with layers of felts adhered to the roof using hot-applied coal tar pitch. It is the coal tar that protects the roof from the elements, while the felts act as reinforcement. Coal tar's molecular structure provides the benefit of actually healing itself with natural degradation.  Specifically, any cracks that might be formed by impact or rapid drops in temperature, reseal when surface temperatures rise and the coal tar softens, it's always in a fluid state. These self-healing properties provide a long-term roofing solution that will require less maintenance than most roofing systems.  Unfortunately, coal tar has been proven to be a carcinogen and is very harmful for the installers.  Most manufacturers have stopped producing it.  Some contractors still install it, but it could be a future mitigation nightmare for owners like asbestos is today.
SPF Blisters
SPF Blister
Click image to see blisters on SPF roof
Structural Metal Panels

A structural metal panel roof doesn't have a roofing system on top of it.  The metal panels are both the roof deck and roofing system.  This type of roof can be found in industrial type buildings and is becoming more popular in modern architecture applications.  Since this type of roof is structural, we don't install them but can repair, restore and coat them.