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Denver Roofing: Article About Flat Roof Construction and Repair

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Many residential homes, row homes and townhouses have a portion of lower sloped roof, such as a porch or garage roof, that transitions from the pitch of the main roof. Low slope roofs require much different maintenance than roofs with steeper pitches do. The roofing materials needed for low slope roofs will require a separate type of product and application than the main shingled section. Today's materials offer much easier and cleaner applications, granulated surfaces in colors to match or coordinate with shingles and designs to help create a smooth transition from steep to low slope. Finding the right Denver roofing contractor and selecting the proper Energy Star products can qualify a homeowner for federal tax rebates as well.

Low slope and flat roofs are traditionally called built up roofing (BUR) because layers of materials are applied during installation. There is a base sheet, a ply sheet and a cap sheet. The cap, or top layer, can also be gravel or liquid coating. The accessories to the roll out roofing material include primer, adhesives, coatings, patch and liquid flashing. Bitumen is used to bond and waterproof between the layers. It is hot asphalt combined with either plastic or rubber characteristics using polyester and fiberglass mats for added strength and durability. These sheets are applied mechanically with fasteners, by torch, mop or via hot or cold adhesive.

After a roofing torch is used to heat the bitumen, it is then applied with a mop, or self adhered using hot or cold modified asphalt adhesive. These self adhering membranes are a result of technologies that have advanced since the 1970s and have greatly increased low and flat roof performance, minimized the equipment needed to do the job and created a cleaner environment.

The roofers from All Around Roofing of Denver can answer any questions you have about flat roof systems or siding.

By combining these technologies, a hybrid of both methods of application can be even stronger. The better the combination, the higher the roof's cost, but longevity will prevent leakage and premature roof failure over longer periods of time. A longer warranty can indicate a better system.

Going over an existing roof requires a vented base sheet to recover the old material and buffer it from the new product. A regular base sheet can resemble a vented one if spot mopped over lightweight insulation. Otherwise, the vent sheet takes the place of the ply sheet and provides moisture and puncture resistance.

When it comes to gravel or ceramic granule cap sheets or top layers, the latest trend in design and efficiency is white or light minerals applied as a reflective coating to keep the interior cooler by nearly 20 percent, reduce energy costs and the size of the cooling system. The heat from these roofs in the past has been a contributor to smog, impaired water quality and heat related illnesses due to products containing VOC. Now, gravel or ceramic granule caps they are easy to install, low maintenance, more consistent, have environmental options and are more aesthetically pleasing.

As with all building projects, there are local and state building codes that specify certain roofing guidelines and a licensed roofing contractor should be familiar with them.

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