Flat Roof Replacement
Flat Roof is not necessarily immediately associated with a traditional Edinburgh roof and the reputation of flat roof systems have, in the past, not been that good.
However, with roof technologies constantly evolving, flat roofs have become more favoured with designers and architects as the expected lifespans of flat roofs increase, installation and maintenance costs reduce and resistance to Scottish weather improves. They are no longer the preserves of garage roofs, extensions and sheds.

Three main flat roof systems
 Felt Roof
  • Sometimes referred to as a “torch on” or three layer system.
  • Layers are “Melt Welded” with a large blowlamp or torch.
  • System usually comprises a breathable membrane, a layer of reinforced felt and a thicker layer called a cap sheet that comes in a variety of finishes and will have solar reflective properties.
  • The advantages over other flat roof systems are:
    • Cost, usually cheaper than other flat roof systems
    • Easily repaired and so you shouldn’t struggle to find a suitable roofer to repair it.
    • The down side is that it is less damage resistant than other flat roof options and so may be less suitable for anywhere where their might be significant traffic.
  • The down side is that it is less damage resistant than other flat roof options and so may be less suitable for anywhere where their might be significant traffic.
  • Lifespan: - Most installers and manufacturers will offer at least a 10 year guarantee though a properly installed and maintained roof could last 30 to 40 years.
  • Make sure any roofing contractor carries the suitable insurance to work with hot flame on your property.

Rubber Roof

  • Sometimes referred to as EPDM or Firestone
  • Relatively new system becoming increasingly popular
  • Single layer and often a single sheet with no joins
  • It has advantages over Felt Roof:
    • Longer life span with some manufacturers / installers offering 50 year guarantees (though I wouldn’t be certain an installer would still be operating in 50 years)
    • It is very damage resistant though care should still be taken
    • It is promoted as easy to install, though we’d still advise using only roofers approved by the manufacturers of the system being used.
  • Costs wise it will cost around 20% to 30% more than a Felt roof, more if the timber decking needs replacing before the rubber is laid.
  • The downsides are primarily related to the aesthetics of a plain black roof and repairs, although straight forward can be unsightly.
  • Always ensure the contractor you use is suitably trained by the manufacturer of the system being installed. Because of the relative ease of installation this type of roof has attracted it’s share of cowboys acting as installers.

Fiber Glass

  • Also referred to as Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP).
  • Been around for 20 to 25 years.
  • Usually installed as a one or two layer joint-less system with factory made finish & trim.
  • The most expensive flat roof system but also the most resilient to damage.
  • The breathability of a fiberglass roof is not great so not really suitable for a building where condensation may be an issue.
  • Also the expansion capabilities (as the roof expands and contracts in heat and cold are relatively poor so it is not ideally suited to large roof areas. 

Other things to consider

  • We recommend speaking to roofers with a broad range of skills rather than only one who is a specialist in one particular system or promotes one particular manufacture. The “right” roof and roof system will vary from situation to situation. As technology has evolved what was right 15 or 20 years ago may not be right now.
  • Good ventilation is essential to prevent moisture and condensation build up, your roof covering plays and important part in allowing damp air to escape.
  • Although referred to as a flat roof water should still run off it into gutters . Look-out for ponding water on flat roofs.
  • Ensure that the roof deck (the foundation of the roof) is sufficiently strong to support both the roofing system to be used and anything (such as solar panels) that is to go on the roof.
  • If replacing an existing flat roof a roofer may be unable to advise you if roof decks (or joists) are damaged until they have stripped the existing covering.

To arrange for a qualified, reliable, thoroughly vetted and continually appraised roofer to visit you call 0131 315 0000 or email us on info@homeforcegroup.co.uk