What Type of Roof Do You Have?


Your roof is a workhorse. It’s one of the most important ways you insulate, protect, ensure proper drainage, and even harness green energy for your building, making it one of the most vital investments you can make.

Far from a one-size-fits-all product, roofs come in numerous forms, developed over centuries of science. Understanding what type of roof your building utilizes is the key to maximizing its functionality. Incredible corresponding technologies exist that can enhance your roof’s performance, keep structures and people safer, and increase your roof’s longevity. And it all starts with knowing what kind of roofing foundation you have to work with.

Here at Roof Monitor, we turn low-sloped, single-ply roofs into smart roofs.

What is a low-sloped roof, anyway?
Low-sloped roofs––also called flat roofs or low-pitched roofs––have existed for thousands of years, and are commonly found in the ancient architecture of Egypt, Persia, and other old civilizations. Your roof’s pitch is the angle at which it increases, and as the name suggests, low-sloped roofs rely on a low incline, often barely discernable to the naked eye.

Today, low-sloped roofs are used for commercial structures due to the relative ease and safety with which they can be walked on, and the cost effectiveness and maintainability of the materials used to build them. A low-sloped roof also allows key components of commercial structures, such as heating and cooling units, to be kept on top of the building.

Low-sloped types
Single-ply membranes are the most popular type of low-sloped roof, so chances are, if you have a low-pitched roof, it’s working through a single-ply system. Single-ply means that one layer is used for both waterproofing and weather protection. You’ll hear roofers throw around terms such as TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin), EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)––all methods of single-ply roofing.

Roof Monitor was designed to work beautifully with single-ply systems. In fact, when Roof Sensor™ is installed, its wireless sensors never permeate the membrane, thus ensuring your roof’s effectiveness isn’t hampered (and your warranties aren’t voided).

Other low-sloped roofs include built-up roofs, which use materials such as tar, asphalt, and gravel, to create multiple layers on the roof’s surface. Built-up roofs are rarely used for commercial structures.

From properly maintaining and selecting the best contractor for your roof, to understanding the myriad ways in which your roof can work more efficiently for you, knowing the type of roof on your building is invaluable.

Have questions? Don’t ever hesitate to give us a call. All of us at Roof Monitor are standing by, ready to help.

The Redbridge tube station in London features a flat roof, first constructed in the 1930s.

Photo by George Rex, via Flickr with Creative Commons License

Posted on: September 6, 2015