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A Guide to 4 Types of Flat Roofing for Minnesota Buildings
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A Guide to 4 Types of Flat Roofing for Minnesota Buildings

It’s time for your commercial property to get a new roof, but what kind? You can choose from multiple types of commercial flat roofs, all with their pros and cons. 

Check out this guide to flat roofing from Apple Exteriors and decide which type is right for you!

1. Built-Up Roof (BUR)

If you’re looking for a traditional replacement, a built-up roof (BUR) is the way to go. Waterproof materials and hot tar are alternatingly layered to create a fortified, moisture-wicking surface. 

Once the tar and other materials are installed, a layer of smooth river rocks will be ballasted to help with drainage. The gravel will also help protect the roof surface from harmful UV rays or falling objects. It can also help make the roof safer to walk on for roof or equipment inspections. The gravel is an exceptional fire retardant and one of the most affordable methods. 

A BUR roof serves as a great traditional method of commercial roof replacement. However, it’s quite a cumbersome task, so it’s best to call on a qualified roofing professional if you use this method.

2. EPDM Roofing

EPDM is short for “ethylene propylene diene monomer.” The two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene, are derived from natural gas and oil. 

EPDM is a rubber material installed on flat roofs – a durable and synthetic rubber formed into a roofing membrane. EPDM roofing is a great option, whether it's a commercial or a low-sloped residential property. It comes in various thicknesses, depending on what your roof needs. 

Installing an EPDM roof is more straightforward than other flat roof options while being highly resistant to scuffs and tears. While you can get light-colored coatings, the traditional black material absorbs a significant amount of heat, which can raise your property's temperature in the warm months. Benefits of EPDM roofing include durability and long lifespans. It is also less expensive to install and less expensive to repair. 

3. TPO & PVC Roofing

Closely related, TPO and PVC roofing are great for resistance to chemicals, oils, grease, and punctures. Here’s a quick look at some of the main differences between the materials: 

  • A TPO single-ply membrane is made of ethylene-propylene rubber, while a PVC membrane is made of polymerizing vinyl. TPO sheets are reinforced with a polyester mat and contain UV light inhibitors, pigments, flame retarders, and biocides. 
  • PVC is stronger and more resistant to puncturing, while TPO is made of recyclable material. PVC is made of two layers of PVC with a polyester reinforcement. The top layer is UV resistant, while the bottom layer is darker and contains plasticizers to increase flexibility. 
  • TPO is affordable, while PVC is less laborious to install.
  • The average lifespan of both kinds of roofing is around 17 years when properly installed and maintained.

Both options are great for low-sloped roofs, but you need to consider the climate and usage before making a decision. A professional roofing contractor can help you make that decision. 

4. Garden “Green” Roofing

A relatively new type of roofing, Garden “green” roofing is just what you expect: growing flora on the top of your property. This is the most environmentally friendly roof replacement you can conduct, with the drawback of being non-flame resistant. 

Green roofs can reduce the flow of stormwater from a roof by around 65%, which helps prevent runoff damage. They also reduce building energy use by cooling roofs and providing shading and insulation. Green roofs are also expected to last longer than traditional roofs and provide beauty and value to buildings. 

Why Choose Apple Exteriors for Your MN Roofing Project?

Apple Exteriors is a company that was built with a passion for excellent roofing craftsmanship. We only bring on the most talented roofing professionals and reliable contractors. We have a list of credentials that we’re very proud of, including GAF Master Elite Certified. Only 2% of roofing contractors in North America have this certification, so you know you’re getting the best when you choose us. 

In addition, we offer on-site project management and feature an A+ rating with the BBB. But we can do more than replace your roof. We are also experts at ice dam removal and storm damage repairs. We offer financing options and insurance assistance as well to make the process of building a new roof less stressful. When you choose Apple Exteriors, you are choosing the best roofing experts in the Twin Cities. 

Call on Apple Exteriors for all Flat Roofing Options

No matter what type of flat roof you go with, Apple Exteriors has you covered. Schedule a free inspection online or give us a call at 651-36-APPLE (651-362-7753) today!

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