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Littleton Roofing: Article About Tapered Roofing Systems

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Tapered roofing systems are important because their layered insulation is designed to strategically reduce standing water accumulation on roofs that do not slope heavily enough to enable proper drainage. For low sloping roofs such as those commonly found on commercial flat top buildings, an adequate drainage system is essential to extending the life of the roof membrane. Because tapered insulation systems enable improved drainage without requiring serious structural alteration to the roof, these systems have grown increasingly popular in Littleton Roofing.

In most cases, building codes require a minimum slope of ¼ inch to every 12 inches that will need to be drained. This is quite logical, because water that ponds or pools on roof surfaces can cause damage to the roof membrane, void its warranty, cause bacterial or plant growth on the roof, or compromise the roof's structural integrity. In order to meet building codes' slope requirements for new construction projects, re-roofing and roofing repair projects, tapered insulation systems are frequently just the design element needed.

Different kinds of insulation materials are available for tapered roofing systems' construction, most of which are made of various foam compounds and sometimes in conjunction with rigid structural components such as gypsum. The material selection process is complex and should integrate consideration of the degree of slope required, the insulation values required from the tapered insulation material, and the material chosen for the uppermost layer of the roof membrane.

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These specifications will differ among most roofing projects, so it helps to consult with expert roofers who can provide valuable input into the products that will best match the project's needs.

Lastly, there are certainly a number of layout options for TRS/TISs. For instance, shed roof designs are the simplest, directing water from a high point down to a low point that leads to a gutter. These designs locate the highest point of a roof on one edge and the lowest point on the other. Alternatively, there are two way slope designs that partition the roof into two parts, with a high point in the middle that sheds water down to gutters on either edge. The design considered most effective is the four way slope, which partitions a roof into four parts, each of which drain to their respective edge. Because this type of design requires a high central ridge of insulation that can be susceptible to ponding, the four way slope option includes the need for crickets and saddles that increase tapering at the peak to prevent water accumulation.

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