Flat roofing is the most “Problematic” of all roofs. Due to the low slope or in some cases no slope at all. The water is present on the roof for a longer period of time allowing it to find ways to enter. Additionally on most “Asphaltic” based roofs such as hot asphalt and APP membrane (torch down) the exposure to “ultra violet light” shortens the life span. On all asphalt based roofs routine maintenance is required or highly recommended. Roof replacement is costly and time consuming. Scheduled maintenance will avoid roof replacement.
PVC membranes have been around for decades. Primarily used on commercial roofing has now made it into the residential market. Depending on the thickness of the membrane the manufactures limited warranties start at 15 years and go as high as 30 years. In the residential markets some manufactures are offering “Lifetime” limited material warranties.
TPO membranes are the more economical choice for single ply membranes. Again the manufactures limited warranties start at 15 years and increase to 30 years respectively with the thickness of membranes and applications. If a good quality single ply membrane with economics being the primary concern this may be your choice.
EPDM membranes also being around for decades has recently went through some major improvements which include a “White” reflective membrane meeting ‘Cool Roof’ reflectivity and emissivity standards. EPDM requires positive slope due to the taped or glued seam construction.
APP membranes, Also known generically as Torch Down is a commonly used product as a replacement to hot asphalt. With warranties starting 10 years and depending on the system and plies can achieve a 20 year limited warranty. The ease of application with a propane tank and torch is the preferred method of smaller roofing contractors without the expertise and equipment to install single ply membranes. APP membranes if installed correctly can provide a long term roof system, however due to the low investment cost of tools for installation it is also the most improperly installed roof by unqualified roofing installers. If APP membranes are your choice I have been installing APP membranes since the early 1980’s and know the proper installation procedures and protections needed for “Fire” prevention.
Steep Slope Roofing:
There are multiple choices for Steep Slope roofs such as composition shingles, concrete tiles (various configurations), Clay tiles (various configurations) metal roofing and wood roofing such as cedar shakes or shingles. Depending on your local city or county jurisdiction will dictate what you are required to use. In some cases composition shingles are not allowed and if they are they have to meet a certain weight requirement. In some cases only “Mission” style tile is accepted. So before making a decision we would consult with your local jurisdiction to verify compliance.
Composition shingles offer a variety of colors including “Cool Roof” colors to provide a deep rich variation to calm cool colors. Warranties for most designer shingles on residential homes are “Lifetime” limited warranties while HOA and commercial achieve 40 year warranties. We would gladly provide samples of various shingles to assist you in making a choice that meets both your desired color scheme but also your budget.
Tile roofs offer multiple looks from smooth slate, shake texture and mission style colors and configurations. Tile roofs due to their design depend on the “Underlayment” as the final protection from water intrusion. Existing tiles can be re used by removing them and installing them after the underlayment is replaced this is called a “lift and reset”. Or you could discard what is existing and choose new colors and configurations. Regardless of the choice of tile we recommend underlayment that can last the expected life of the roof. We can provide multiple alternatives depending on your budget and long term goals.
Metal Roofs have made their way from mountain lodges to schools, government projects, commercial and residential. As with other steep slope roofs approval from local jurisdiction may be required. Standing seam metal is a long term roof with several colors to choose from could be the last roof you install.
Wood roofs such as Cedar Shingles and Shakes are no longer available in most parts of California due to their inherent fire danger. Any wood roof can be repaired however new roofs cannot be installed due to building codes.