Roofing Ideas: Coloured Tiles, Rooftop Gardens, Hot Tubs and More

Advice For Choosing a Flat Roof

by Lily Carroll

There are many homes and offices in Australia which have flat roofs. In the main, they tend to be found on more modern structures, such as carports and extensions to existing properties. Of course, there are plenty of different choices you can make when choosing a roofing material for a flat area even though the most common roofing material of them all – tiles – is something that only suits pitched roofs. What are the main options when turning to a roofing material manufacturer for something that will be truly suited to a flat roof?

  • Fibreglass

Although fibreglass is often chosen for making tough objects such as kayaks, it is not often considered to be a material for the construction industry. However, many roofing manufacturers produce made-to-measure flat roofs for smaller projects, such as single-storey domestic extensions, for example. The big advantage of a fibreglass roof is that it usually comes as a single section which can simply be lifted into position by hand. Because it is lightweight, it makes an ideal canopy and you can even include a small pitch to enable water to run off effectively. Fibreglass is not strong enough for you to step on, however, so don't use it in situations where you might need to gain access from time to time to clear gutters or clean windows and so on.

  • EPDM

This is a type of rubbery plastic which is used extensively in the automotive industry as well as by roofing material manufacturers. Essentially, EPDM lies over a pre-constructed substrate to form a watertight barrier. You can use it over the top of an old and leaky roofing material which means it is very convenient to install in an emergency. EPDM comes supplied on rolls which you just unfurl and glue into place. Once the material as been trimmed to size, it will sit in place in rain, wind and sunshine without any issues. In many places, EPDM has been used without any maintenance problems for over twenty years.

  • Bitumen

A distinctive smelling material, bitumen is often used in road and track construction but it also suits flat roofs well. To apply it, you must heat it up so that it forms a very sticky liquid which you pour and then brush into place. Once it cools, bitumen will form a waterproof solid layer that covers your whole flat roof. It is liable to cracking from exposure to too much sunlight so covering it with shingle is a good idea to offer it greater protection from ultraviolet rays. Generally speaking, it does not last as long as EPDM or fibreglass.