Best Roofing Options for Low-Slope or Flat Roof

Drive down any street in the suburban areas of Boston and you’ll see asphalt shingles as the classic roof covering. These beautiful and efficient shingles are common for pitched roofs, but for flat roofs or low-slope roofs, you’ll need a different approach. Here are the best roofing options for low-slope or flat roofs.

Rubber roofs are the best option for low-slope or flat roofs.

Low-sloped (less than 10 degrees) or flat roofs are found commonly in commercial and industrial buildings and even on residential porches or garages. Because the angle is low to flat, water (and melted snow and ice) does not flow naturally off the roof, into the gutters, or onto the ground. Without the strong pull of gravity and easy path down, water can stagnate and pool up on the flat roof.  For this reason, you’ll need a watertight roofing material with as few seams as possible.

Rubber roofs are the best for low-slope roofs or flat roofs.

For maximum protection against standing water, you’ll need to eliminate any holes, crevices, or tiny cracks. Golden Group Roofing has found that rubber roofs provide a solid layer of protection across the entire roof and provide the most durability even as the buildings naturally settle and shift over time. 

They require very few seams to reduce risk of leaks.

Any time two separate materials are joined together, the seams must be extremely strong and long-lasting. If the materials begin to separate (even microscopically), this leaves a small entrance for water and pests. Therefore, any roofing system with minimal seams will provide the best protection naturally. Rubber roofs can be completely watertight for anywhere from 20-50 years.

Repairing rubber roofs can be as simple as a professional rubber patch kit.

Another excellent benefit of rubber roofs is the ease of repair. Unlike other roofing materials, which may need to be ripped out in sections, most minor repairs can be done with the appropriate rubber patch kit.

Rubber roof installations for low-slope roofs or flat roofs are quick and easy – even on large buildings.

Because rubber roofing materials come in rolls and sheets, the installation is much faster than nailing down layers of asphalt shingles. This is one of the many reasons why rubber roofs are perfect for larger commercial projects, which tend to be larger than residential homes. 

Streaks, algae, and moss are not a problem.

As a bonus, rubber roofs are not as susceptible to moss and algae growth or those unsightly streaks down the side of asphalt shingles over time.

High winds and fires are no match.

An added bonus to a rubber roof is that its low profile makes it less susceptible to high wind damage than asphalt shingles.  Because traditional asphalt shingles are layered on top of each other, there is a chance that high winds can lift up, bend, or blow off those shingles. Because rubber materials come in large sheets, there is less material for the wind to catch on to and lift off.

Some rubber roofing materials are fire resistant and can slow or impede the spread of a structure fire.

Plenty of rubber roofing materials to choose from

Two of the most popular rubber roofing products are EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin).  

For commercial buildings with heavy snow buildup (and you expect high foot traffic, especially when shoveling off the roof), Golden Group often recommends TPO or PVC materials. TPO, a single-ply membrane, earns its reputation for its strength, energy efficiency, and resistance to UV rays and fungal/bacterial growth.

EPDM, a single-ply roofing material with over 50 years of proven use, offers excellent flexibility for easy installation around various roofing components like pipes and skylights, while also providing energy efficiency and UV resistance.

For residential or low-slope roofs, we often recommend GAF or Liberty low-slope products. Each type of rubber material has its advantages, and choosing the best products really depends on your particular building and budget. Our team has installed countless rubber roofs and can help you select the best option.

Rubber roofing should be serviced every few years

While rubber roofs are extremely durable, you’ll get the best results if you have your rubber roof inspected by a professional every few years.

We’ll look for any unexpected punctures or cracks, usually due to extreme weather like hail or falling debris like tree branches.  Golden Group routinely inspects rubber roofs, especially EPDM and TPO roofs, to ensure the integrity of the watertight seal.

Unlike asphalt shingles, rubber roofing materials generally do not come with good warranties. That’s why it’s critical to have it installed correctly in the first place by a professional roofer and have it periodically inspected to promptly address any issues or repairs.  

When choosing a good roofer, be sure to ask if they have the year-round maintenance staff to perform inspections and timely repairs any time you need them.. 

Call Golden Group Roofing for your low-slope or flat roof replacement

So whether you have a small addition or garage or a large commercial or industrial building with a low slope roof or flat roof, you’ll need the right type of roof. This can be especially important in the Greater Boston area where snow and ice can pile up during the winter months with nowhere to drain off. 

Rubber roofing is an excellent choice to keep your flat or low-slope roof watertight. We’ve installed rubber roofs on top of supermarkets, home improvement stores, schools, and other commercial properties in the Boston area, including the city and the suburbs. 

Curious to see which rubber roofing materials are best for you?

Give us a call at (508) 873-1884, and an experienced team member will walk you through all the options with no obligation. Our full-service department is available to do site evaluations, recommendations, and inspections of your existing commercial or industrial roof.