Flat Roofing Ideas: Find 5 Different Spectacular Types of Flat Roofing

If we asked you to draw a house in 3 seconds, chances are you’d draw a box with a triangle on top (plus a door and windows, of course). This is the standard image that our mind has associated with the word “house” since we were in kindergarten.

The point is, flat roofing is not what comes to mind when most people think of a house. It’s just so… different.

But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Commercial buildings have used them for generations. And why would they do that?

Because flat roofs are superior in many ways to other types of roofs. And they’re not just for commercial buildings, either. Houses can also benefit from flat roofing.

To illustrate this, we’ve written you this guide. It lists 5 spectacular types of flat roofing for homes or commercial buildings.

Read on to learn the awesome benefits of flat residential or commercial roofing in Boise, Idaho.

Flat Roofing Types

Although flat roofing is more well-known as a type of commercial roofing, the following flat roof types can benefit your home, too. Here are 5 types of tried-and-true flat roofs that work great on any building.

1. Built-Up Roofing Membrane (BUR)

The built-up roofing membrane or, BUR roof, is a lot like the asphalt shingles you typically see on homes. They consist of a mixture of tar and gravel laid out much like a single asphalt shingle that covers the whole roof.

Although, this layer is referred to as a “pile,” not a shingle. Next, two or more of these piles are layered onto the original before the roof is finished. The end result is a flexible, low maintenance roof that provides multiple layers of protection.


One of the best things about BUR roofing is that it’s extremely fire retardant. Plus, it’s not bad to look at if any windows have a view of the roof.

And it’s heavy-duty, not only as protection against the elements but as a floor for social activity. Lastly, it’s very affordable.


Heavy-duty means heavy. It will need lots of reinforcement to keep it up, which may add to the up-front cost.

It’s also a mess to install, a lot like road construction. Installation is loud and smelly and requires professionals. It may also shed debris that can clog gutters.

2. Thermoplastic Roof Membrane (TPO)

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is quite different than BUR roofing. It’s made of a lightweight, artificial material and consists only of a single-layer roofing membrane. But it’s still powerfully resistant to harmful elements.


As we said, it’s light, so it won’t require much reinforcement. And it’s extremely resilient against weather and UV rays. It’s also resistant to many harmful chemicals and bacteria growth.

Restaurants prefer TPO because it protects the roof against grease and fat that can leak onto the roof from the ventilation system. The TPO resists damage from this grease, and from the bacteria that would otherwise thrive in it.

It’s also completely recyclable.


More of an uncertainty than a disadvantage, TPO hasn’t been around for very long. It’s uncertain at this time how long, on average, these roofs will last.

3. Thermoset Roof Membrane (EPDM)

Thermoset ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a rubber-based roofing membrane with many awesome advantages.


First, it’s lightweight. And it has only one layer, which makes it even lighter compared to other types of flat roofing.

Second, we’re all aware that rubber is an excellent insulator. It will help keep the building cool and reduce heating costs. And it’s powerfully resistant to UV rays and wear-and-tear.

While other roofing loses it’s flexibility in winter, EPDM roofing does not. It’s also easy to install.


Unfortunately, it doesn’t do as well in hot weather. The heat can cause the EPDM material to stretch and tear.

Also, the adhesives that attach the EPDM to the roof can degrade over time. This may allow moisture under the roofing material, leading to moisture damage.

4. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Bitumen is a petroleum-based material very similar to tar. Thus, modified bitumen roofing is similar to BUR roofing. In fact, it’s an upgrade of the same technology as BUR.


This 2-ply roofing system is very protective, flexible, and durable. You can even use it as a floor for outdoor activity. And, like EPDM roofing, it retains its elasticity in very cold temperatures.

Also, they’re very easy to install. In fact, it’s one of the few roofing options that many homeowners are able to install themselves.

That said, it’s still always best to leave roofing to the professionals. Roofing installation errors will quickly get worse. Professional installation reduces the chance of errors and is often guaranteed.


If you do use your modified bitumen roof for outdoor activity, be gentle. This type of roofing is not immune to scuffing and tearing.

Also, there are multiple installation methods, not all of which are safe for occupied buildings. Specifically, the torch-down installation method has been known to be a fire hazard.

5. Green Roofing

Green roofs are very different from the other flat roofs on our list. They don’t consist of artificial elements and stone/petroleum-based components. A green roof is essentially a garden of living plants that grow and thrive on a waterproof membrane.

For those who love gardening, and have easy access to their roof, a green roof is the clear choice for their home. But even commercial buildings find this type of roofing beneficial, for the following reasons.


Green roofs are well known for improving energy efficiency. Plus, they reduce water runoff and insulate better than any other roof there is. They’re also the most recyclable roof there is, and long-lasting, too.


Natural living things are notorious for not respecting man-made things. As such, your plants’ roots may try to poke through your roof into your home. They may require additional protective measures like a root barrier to prevent this.

Also, they can be a bit pricey to install. (Although, the economic benefits of green roofs outweigh the high installation price.)

Contact Us For Residential and Commercial Roofing in Boise, Idaho

Don’t choose a roofing company that will end up falling flat. For flat roofing, sloped roofing, residential roofing, or commercial roofing in Boise, Idaho, leave it to the experts.

Contact Point Roofing for your Boise, Meridian, Nampa, or Middleton roofing needs.

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