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If the time has come for a new flat roof, look no further than GB Roofing. We offer a range of flat roofing services catering for all types of residential buildings, extensions, garages and out houses.

When Your Roof May Need Replacing

You should contact GB Roofing for an assessment if you notice any cracks, bubbles, damaged flashing or water damage in the attic. We can tell you if the problem can be patched up or if you need a full roof replacement.

This is important as the problem may not be cosmetic, and has likely affected much more than the eye can see.

Problems with a Flat Roof

The main culprits causing a flat roof replacement are poorly secured or damaged flashing, cracks or bubbles and ponding water. Bad flashing, cracks and bubbles are like having a hole in your umbrella. Ponding lasting more than 48 hours after rainfall can indicate a poorly installed flat roof, and has the added effect of increasing the effects of UV rays.

BUR flat roofing is prone to leakage, and the source can be difficult to find as water can travel many feet from one defect layer to a defect in another. Gravel can clog gutters, and exposed tar paper will weaken the structure, ensuring an imminent replacement.

Inspecting Your Flat Roof

Regular inspection can prevent replacing your roof early. Walk the entire surface of the roof, paying attention to how to feels underfoot. A soft or squishy area could indicate wet or damaged insulation. Look for cracks and blisters on your flat roof, as well as ponding water.

For a BUR flat roof, look for areas where gravel is missing and tar paper is exposed. If there are areas where gravel has piled up, use a stiff broom to brush the gravel away, and evaluate the tar paper below.

As with all roofs, take a peek in your attic to check for water damage.

Types of Flat Roofs

There are three main types of flat roofing solutions available and GB Roofing are experienced in all three:

Types of Flat Roofs

There are three main types of flat roofing solutions available and GB Roofing are experienced in all three:

Fibreglass GRP flat roof

These have been around in the UK for well over 20 years but in small numbers, I first came across GRP many years ago when I was asked to supply a no-flame solution for a very awkward roof. Fibreglass roofs have suffered from a bad reputation in the past due to ignorance and faulty installation. A common mistake was using standard boat resins that couldn’t expand or contract properly, or laying fibreglass onto chipboard or smooth plywood. These days’ modern resins and correct installation has helped fibreglass become a real contender for a top flight flat roof. Normally laid in a one, or sometimes a two layer jointless finish with factory made trims and coloured to literally any colour.

Torch on felt roofing

New bitumen felt roofs can unfortunately still carry a bad reputation from the older and now unused pour and roll systems of yesteryear. Large strides have been made, and continue to be made in flexibility and durability of a modern hot flame applied torch on roofing felts. Typically applied in a 3 layer system consisting of a vapour control layer, a layer 2mm reinforced felt and a 4mm layer of felt called a cap sheet which can be a plain black bitumen finish for a solar reflective paint finish, or a mineral fleck finish in a variety of colours, typically green, brown and a purple / blue.

EPDM rubber roof – Firestone or similar

These have stormed the market since being introduced a few years ago in the U.K. A rubber roof can be often installed in one complete layer without the need for joins depending on size, which is often an attractive prospect. It is also extremely light weight, elastic and tough, so it lends itself to many situations. Mostly rubber roofs are glued down to the decking ( wooden substrate ) so if you had a felt roof previously the timber deck may need replacing depending on the system or glue used. Other fixing methods are possible i.e. mechanically fixed, and ballasted ( weighted down with stones ). A well installed rubber roof can be a very good option.

Please check out The National Federation of Roofing Contractors guide to Flat Roofing for more information.

NRFC Guide to Flat Roofing