Comparison of Flat Roof Materials

Make Us Partners in Helping to Decide Which is Best for You

There are many types of roofing materials available to the business owner.  Here we examining the benefits and drawbacks of some of the most popular types of flat roofs out there:

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

BUR Roofs are known as “tar” or “tar-paper” roofs and are frequently found on the roofs of older urban buildings. A BUR roof is made of of multiple layers of asphalt felt, with a final covering of coal tar, pitch or liquid asphalt.   Gravel is often added to provide UV protection.

BUR roofs are not installed by Smart Roofing Systems, but can be repaired upon request.  The benefits of modern materials available far outweigh the perceived low costs of this outdated roofing method.

Modified Bitumen (MB)

MB roofs are asphalt roofs which are chemically modified to give them a rubber-like or plastic consistency. The thow most common chemical agents used to modify the asphalt are APP (Atactic Polypropylene) and SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene).

MB roof materials are roled and have a wide variety of surfacing options (i.e. – granules, aluminum, copper, aggregate, etc.)  An MB roof system can be heat or hot mop applied and can be a one-ply, two-ply or three-ply system.  Because MB roof coatings are inferior to modern materials, Smart Roofing Systems does not install MB roofs.  We can, however, repair them upon request.

TPO Roofing (thermoplastic polyolefin)

Thermoplastics are widely used for single ply roofing materials such as CPE, CPA, EPDM, Hypalon, TPO, and PVC.

TPO roofing is fairly new, however, and not all of the facts are in to make a consise judgement about its long-term benefits or drawbacks.  Known benefits of a TPO roof are that:

  • it is highly waterproof
  • it retains in waterproof capabilities throughout its life
  • it is non-flammable
  • it is easy to install and repair
  • it is weldable and remains pliable at low temperatures

Smart Roofing Systems offers installation and repair of TPO Roofing Systems.  Contact us today for a no-obligation quote on your project.

IB Roof Systems CPA/PVC Roofing

By far and away our preferred choice of roofing material for new installations and roof replacements, this single ply membrane roofing material has nearly three decades of continuous performance history without a single material failure. IB feels strongly enough about their choice of materials that they back their roof systems with the strongest and longest warranty in the roofing industry. The flashings, vents, single ply membrane, up to the screws and plates which attach the roof are also protected under this strong warranty.

In addition to the material strength, IB PVC roofs are also highly reflective of sunlight which means that, over time, they have a lower ambient temperature than other flat roof materials.  The heat gain chart below, using the example of an outside temperature of 85 degrees, illustrates just how much of a difference this the choice of material can make on the long-term heat exchange and transfer of your roof:

All of this protection for your business may sound like it comes at a high cost, but the opposite is true.   When you combine installation costs with long-term costs of ownership and maintenance, the bottom-line choice is far and away a CPV/PVC single-ply roof, manufactured by IB and installed by Smart Roofing Systems.  Find out more:


Contact Us Today For More Information or To Begin Your Project.