What are the options when replacing a flat roof?

Flat roofs are often a source of concern for property owners, but if they are properly installed and maintained they shouldn’t present major problems. Of course, when it comes to maintaining or replacing a flat roof, it’s essential that you make the correct choices.

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It’s important to note that if you’re replacing a flat roof, you must also ensure that it is insulated to the current standards. Check with your local council’s building control officer for advice.

Traditional solutions

The traditional way of making a flat roof was using bitumen impregnated felt, covered with a layer of gravel to help drainage and prevent water from pooling. It’s a tried and trusted method and still popular, however, it’s likely to need replacing every 10 to 15 years as the felt breaks down due to the effects of heat and cold and it will start to leak.

It is possible to repair a bitumen felt roof, but the repair will be visible, so if you are able to look down on the roof from your windows, you may find it unsightly.

A more durable variation on this is built-up roofing (BUR), made of layers of bitumen, again finished with a gravel layer. This is a durable solution, but it does add weight, so the underlying roof structure may need reinforcement.

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Alternative solutions

If you’re looking for flat roofing in Gloucester or elsewhere, a specialist such as http://premiertradespeople.co.uk/trade-services-gloucester/gloucester-roofing/ can provide some other options. One of the most popular is a PVC membrane. The seams are welded using a heat process to create a waterproof finish, and a strong durable roof. PVC can be used as a base for terraces and roof gardens to turn a flat roof into an attractive feature. It isn’t a cheap option but it has the added benefit of energy efficiency.

Another alternative is a rubber membrane (sometimes called EDPM). Cheaper than PVC, it’s light and hard wearing, usually coming with a 25 year guarantee. It lacks the advantage of PVC’s welded seams, however.

Finally, there’s fibreglass. This is laid in two layers to ensure a finish with no joints, it also comes in a wide range of colours so you can turn your roof into an attractive feature. It’s weatherproof and resistant to damage. Like rubber, it typically has a 25 year guarantee.

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