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How To Install Flat Roofing In 5 Easy Steps

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When you run a business, you have a million things to juggle every day. From paychecks to emails, to meetings, you have a lot on your plate. One thing you definitely don’t have time for?

Building maintenance.

When a problem arises with your commercial building, it can feel overwhelming. And some of the most common problems arise from a damaged and old roof.

When it comes to replacing your commercial flat roof, you might feel a bit out of your depth. Commercial roofing material is vastly different from residential roofing material, and it is likely that you will need professional assistance.

Still, a good property owner will do their research and know what to expect during a flat roof replacement. This may include:

  • The cost
  • The difference in materials
  • The installation process

If you’re looking to educate yourself and learn how to install flat roofing, we’ve got the information you need to make informed decisions. Keep reading to find out more!

man learning how to install flat roofing

Types of Flat Roofing Materials

When it comes to commercial buildings, there are tons of different roofing materials to choose from. If you don’t know what type of flat roof material that your building has, you are not alone. Unless you are a roofing professional, it can be tricky to tell the difference between flat roofs.

Luckily, you’ve got us! Here are some of the most popular flat roofing materials on the market.

TPO Roofing

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin and is a type of single-ply material that comes in rolled-up sheets. Owners often choose it for its energy efficiency and fire resistance. Because it is particularly flexible, it is great for climates with fluctuating temperatures. TPO will not warp or shrink with changing temperatures.

Standard TPO Roofing can last for 15 to 30 years before needing to be replaced.

EPDM Rubber Roofing

EPDM material is another popular choice for flat roof owners. It stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer and is similar to TPO in the sense that it is also a single-ply material and known for its flexibility.

EPDM or rubber roofing material tends to stand out from the crowd aesthetically. Unlike other flat roof materials, EPDM comes in a wide variety of colors to help your building look as seamless and beautiful as it is functional.

A properly maintained EPDM roof is also a great investment in terms of longevity. The standard roof will last around 40 years.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen was invented in the 1960s and quickly took over as a popular form of flat roofing material. It is a particularly durable type of flat roof, that also has the benefit of being low maintenance.

Compared to the more standard BUR roofs, modified bitumen is a really affordable option, which makes many owners gravitate toward it.

roofers completing modified bitumen flat roof replacement

BUR Roofing

When it comes to flat roof options, you won’t find anything more classic than BUR roofing material. Built up roof is a combination of gravel and tar that is placed on your roof and makes an effective shield against water and other environmental damages.

This is one of the oldest forms of flat roofing and has stayed popular for a good reason. It can stand up to a variety of weather conditions and require very little care. That being said, it only lasts for about fifteen years and is particularly susceptible to impact damage from things like hail.

Cost of a New Flat Roof

If you are anything like us, one of your biggest concerns is likely the cost of your new flat roof.

A flat roof replacement cost changes greatly, depending on the size of your roof and the material you choose. Prices typically land somewhere between $3-$10 per square foot.

How to Install a Flat Roof in 5 Steps

Wondering what your roofing contractor’s installation process will be like? Here are the 5 main steps to creating a quality, lasting flat roof.

1) Reach Out to a Roofing Contractor


The first step in the installation process starts before anyone even touches your roof. It’s up to you to do the research and find a qualified roofing contractor in your area. If you have an idea what kind of flat roof you want or have, you can search for someone who specializes in that type of material.

2) Remove Existing Roof

Once you have hired your contractor, they will come to your building and start removing the existing roof surface. This may involve removing things, such as gutters, in order to ensure that all of the old material is gone.

3) Repair Damage

Once your roof is bare, your roofing contractor will assess for damages. Typically this comes in the form of water-damaged areas. This may look like standing water, damp sections, or rotted wood. If they find damaged spots on your roof, they will do repairs and replace the damaged sections.

Be aware, though. Lots of damage could make your overall flat roof cost go up. This is why it is best to contact a contractor as soon as you notice something is wrong with your roof.

4) Install the Flat Roof

Now it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for. Installation time!

The actual installation process will vary, depending on the material that you’ve chosen for your new roof. Luckily, most flat roof installations can be completed in a matter of days.

5) Finishing Touches

For a finishing touch, contractors will reinstall your gutter systems and double-check that your roof is well-sealed against water.

completed epdm flat roof replacement

The Best Way to Handle Your Flat Roof Installation

If you want to get the most out of your flat roof, we highly recommend working with an experience flat roofing expert to get the job done right. Not only will your installation be done correctly, but you will also be covered by quality warranties so you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.

If you’re ready for your flat roof installation and you want a local Chicago flat roofing expert on your side, contact our team at Anchor Point Roofing! We are proud to be a leader in the flat roofing industry and can help you with all of your commercial roofing needs.

Get a free quote when you contact us today!

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