Flat rooms are more commonly used in commercial buildings, but you will see that there are some residential homes that have flat roofs installed on them. A flat roof that needs repair before it reaches its minimum life expectancy of the material only show that it was not properly installed; perhaps it was installed by a contractor who does not really have experience in installing flat roofs.
If one uses a single ply rubber membrane in a flat roof, and if it was not properly installed, then the roofs will leak easily. The material used for flat roofs before was not single ply rubber membrane but it was made up of a base sheet and multiple layers of felt paper and hot asphalt or coal tar. In order to increase its life, it was covered with gravel. This type of flat roofing is called built up roofing. When used in residential applications, this type of roofing which uses less high tech material outlast the single ply rubber membrane. Because of inconsistency in installation procedures, this will be true.
If you don’t want to go through repairing your flat roof because of its high cost and you simply want to replace it, you should find a roofing contractor with experience in flat roof installation. Before signing a contract make sure you check referrals. If you are looking for a flat roof installer for residential homes, you might have to look long and hard to find one. Knowing how to install asphalt shingle roofs does not qualify one to know how to install flat residential roofs. There are flat roof installers around who would prefer to work on commercial flat roof installations rather than residential roof installation, but it is still not impossible to find a good flat roofer for residential applications.
Flat roof installation can make use of different materials. One material used is the single ply membrane which is used for commercial roofing with a low slope. Others, however, prefer newer materials like PVC membrane or self adhering membrane system and these use hot air welded seams. Roofing contractors would use materials that fits their preferences. So you will need to find a roofing contractor in your area with years of experience. There are materials that work best in extreme heat or cold and this means that your location can make a difference.
There are options for repairing a single ply membrane flat roof. Seams of the single ply membrane is where the leaks occur and so to repair this means to cover the seams with black rubber flue or peel and stick flashing material.
Your flat roof’s life can be extended for a limited period with this repair. You only need a small amount of this repair materials so if you don’t want to spend much on these, find a roofing contractor that can sell you’re the amount the your need.