Understanding the Different Types of Flat Roofing

July 2, 2022

Flat roofing is a popular choice for commercial and residential buildings due to its practicality, cost-effectiveness, and a variety of options available. Despite the name, flat roofs aren’t entirely flat: they have a slight pitch to ensure proper drainage. Understanding the different types of flat roofing is essential when deciding which type is best suited for your needs. In this article, we’ll explore the most common types of flat roofs and their unique features.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a traditional flat roof option that has been in use for over 100 years. It consists of multiple layers of roofing felt alternated with layers of asphalt and is finished with a layer of gravel or crushed stone. BUR is durable, long-lasting, and can withstand intense weather conditions. It’s also fire-resistant and offers excellent insulation, making it a popular choice for commercial buildings.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a type of membrane roofing made from reinforced asphalt. It’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making it a popular choice for places that experience extreme temperature fluctuations. Modified bitumen also offers excellent UV protection and is easy to install, making it a cost-effective option for both commercial and residential buildings.

Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing is a flexible membrane roofing system that comes in various materials, including TPO, PVC, and EPDM. These materials provide excellent UV protection, superior insulation, and are resistant to punctures and tears. Single-ply roofing is easy to install; it’s also lightweight and requires minimal maintenance. It’s one of the most popular flat roofing options for commercial and residential properties due to its durability and cost-effectiveness.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a flat roofing option that offers unmatched durability and longevity. Metal roofs are made from various materials, including aluminum, copper, and steel. These roofs are lightweight and offer superior resistance to harsh weather conditions, including hail, snow, and strong winds. Metal roofs come in a range of styles and colors and are an excellent option for commercial and residential properties.

Green Roofing

Green roofing systems, also known as living roofs, are becoming increasingly popular due to their eco-friendly properties. These roofs include vegetation on top of a waterproof membrane, which helps to keep the building cool, reduces stormwater runoff, and promotes biodiversity. A green roof also provides insulation, Flat roofing which can reduce energy costs.


Choosing the right flat roofing system for your commercial or residential property depends on your individual needs and budget. The different types of flat roofing options offer unique features and benefits. Built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen roofing are popular choices for commercial establishments due to their durability, fire-resistance, and excellent insulation properties. Single-ply roofing is known for its cost-effectiveness, lightweight, and minimal maintenance. Metal roofing provides unmatched durability and longevity, making it a popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings. Finally, green roofing offers eco-friendly properties like promoting biodiversity, reducing stormwater runoff, and providing natural insulation. Ultimately, understanding these roofing options can help property owners make a sound decision that meets their needs and budget.