Kent Roofing: Article About Low Slope Roof Material Options
Flat and low slope roof structures pose challenges to traditional roofing methods because shingles cannot be used in these applications. A Kent roofing professional must use membranes or films that cover the entire surface in a cohesive, protective layer. Homeowners should understand some of the nuances involved with membrane types and installation strategies.
Most membranes are self adhering types. Contractors lay membranes down across the roof, aligning all the edges for continuous coverage. A specialized roller is pushed across the membrane to affix it on the decking below. Roofers must use a carefully controlled movement to avoid damaging the membrane during rolling. Ideally, the membrane should have no lumps or low lying areas across the entire surface. Any anomalies contribute to puddling and possible leaks into the structure. Professionals with extensive experience can create a flat surface with one rolling process.
An older membrane installation strategy is torchdown. Specialized membranes are laid across the roof, but installers use blowtorches to warm the material. As the film heats up, it sticks to the roof. Although self adhering membranes are strong, torchdown is still a preferred method for some homeowners and commercial building owners.
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The material is truly permanent against the decking after the heat activation.
Flat and low slope roofs don't require just one membrane layer. There is usually at least two layers. Some installations can have as many as three or four layers. The membrane closest to the roof deck is the base ply. This membrane can have a varying thickness measured in mil increments. The exterior layer or cap sheet is exposed to weathering, making it crucial for it to have thick construction and proper installation. These membranes can last for more than a decade with a strong maintenance schedule.
Homeowners must note that membrane installations are specialized roofing projects. Not all contractors have the background to perform such installations. Interviewing several contractors is necessary to find the right professional. If a torchdown installation is performed by the wrong company, extensive structural damage could result.
With the proper installation technique, membrane coverings can last nearly as long as shingle types. They must be maintained on a regular basis. Contractors must check membranes once or twice a year to verify tears and holes aren't developing. Any small damages can be repaired, but major issues could require replacement of entire sections. Homeowners can avoid major repairs with a strong contractor relationship through the years.