Why Is It Better Replace Your Existing Felt Roof with PVC?

Homeowners always try to improve their residential premises to stay pleased with the high level of comfort indoors and the aesthetic exterior of the house. Qualitative roofing is the essential aspect of the convenient premise. Both residential and commercial sites require sustainable housetops. Today, there are many materials and techniques to apply for the installation of a durable roof covering  

Among the most popular solutions for commercial and residential premises are ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing and similar eco-friendly and long-lasting installations. Nevertheless, some people still prefer more common materials for their exterior improvements. For example, felt roofing is still popular in the USA. But the habitual technique ranks below the modern EPDM roofing systems that are installed with the help of using waterproof and energy-efficient PVC membranes. 

Felt Roofing is Behind Present-Day Time: Know Why

In comparison with PVC-membrane commercial and residential rubber roofing, felt installations are an out-of-date solution. Asphalt sheets or ruberoid elements that are used for felt roofs are about the building material that is not lacking in weak spots. One of the most critical disadvantages of felt roofing is its short-term exploitation and frequent maintenance routines. The ruberoid system is warranted only for 10-15 years and then loses its high-performance properties.  

It goes without saying that homeowners are searching for more lasting roofing solutions to skip constant leaks, expensive repairs, and roof replacement. Additionally, asphalt sheets are not resistant to severe weather conditions. They can be damaged by strong wind, storms, and other extremes. That is why felt roofing is not suitable for residential and commercial premises in regions with ever-changing weather. PVC membranes that are used for EPDM roofing installation are highly resistant to snow, heavy rains, winds, and other external agents. The main disadvantages of felt roofs to take into consideration are: 

The ruberoid rooftop becomes brittle while affected by sun rays and frosts. It means that the covering becomes vulnerable to hot weather conditions.
The felt roof has a scruffy look in 3-5 years after installation and without any regular repairs and improvements.
Felt roofing requires regular professional maintenance to perform well and not to lose its protective properties.
Repaired asphalt sheets spoil the overall exterior look of the building. It seems that the housetop looks untidy and old.
The felt roof is not warranted against ponding water. Water leaks can take place if the rooftop has a sloping shape.

Asphalt sheets are not resistant to heavy loads. That is why felt roofing systems are not suitable for flat roofs with dance decks and rest areas. 

The New-Day Roofing Solution Is PVC Membrane Systems

If you are searching for the best alternative material for the replacement of your existing ruberoid roof, pay attention to the PVC. These membranes are used for the exterior improvement of both residential and commercial buildings. Rubber roofing membrane installation is undertaken with the help of a qualitative hot-air welding technique. These durable and energy-efficient systems are resistant to extreme weather and obtain anti-foot properties. 

If you are searching for trustworthy EPDM roofing contractors, our local certified team of specialists can assist you with PVC-membrane roof installation, repairs, and maintenance. We are a reliable rubber roofing company that uses the licensed materials and technology of the IB Roof System corporation. Update your existing felt roof with us – call now to get a free quote! 

Handyman VS Professional Roofing Contractor

The roofs of residential buildings can be completely different from each other. They differ in size and shape, roof frame and appearance, material and method of its installation. 

Nevertheless, despite the differences, all roofs are similar in one thing – sooner or later, each roof requires repair. Even if you have chosen an ultra-reliable and almost eternal material, you will periodically have to carry out minor repairs.  

What about complex repair problems? If you suspect some major roofing issue, if you notice a leak or damage, if bad weather has already damaged the roof, then immediately call a professional. Without a doubt. It will not be possible to restore the roof without experience and qualifications. 

But what to do if your problem is minor or you need just common seasonal repairs. Maybe you should contact a handyman? 

Handyman: Jack of all trades

Attention! Roofing repair can be dangerous. It requires compliance with all precautions and safety rules. 

To begin with, even a skilled handyman can handle only minor repairs that do not require the use of special equipment and tools. These tasks include: 

Replacing one or two shingles that were blown away by strong winds
Repair of minor damage of eaves
Replacement of standard gutters and downspouts

In some cases, a handyman can be a right choice if you are planning a tear-off task. Most likely a handyman will agree to tear off an old roof covering for less than a specialized roofer. 

The advantage of contacting a handyman – is cost savings. As a rule, handymen are willing to work for a lower cost, and their estimate is 20-30% less than that of professionals. They do an excellent job with simple tasks.  

Nevertheless, we recommend that you request several estimates from the roofers and handymen – with and without dismantling work. Then compare prices and check whether it is worth contacting non-professional workers to save some money. 

Roofing Contractor: Real Professionals

Firstly, only a roofing contractor can design a new roof and carry out installation work properly. If you are planning not just repair, but renovation of the roof, contact the professionals. It’s worth it.  

Secondly, only licensed roofing contractors are able to carry out emergency repairs, including repairing leaks during heavy rains or major damages. This repair must be done quickly, as strong leaks can damage your property, as well as the frame and walls of the building. 

Thirdly, a roofing contractor is worth calling if you plan to repair a large coverage area, if you cannot find the source of the leak, and if you need to repair chimneys, ventilation, external walls and other ‘complex’ parts of the roof. 

Fourthly, only roofing contractors are capable of qualitatively repairing ‘non-standard’ roofs or roofs with innovative materials such as TPO membranes or PV solar panels. 

The advantages of professional roofing contractors are the availability of licenses and roofing service permits, insurance, as well as a guarantee for materials and services. 

Who should I call?

If repairs are not urgently required, we recommend that you independently assess the scope of work. If the repair is small, then contact the handyman and ask him to calculate the cost of the work including materials. Then contact a specialized roofing company (or several companies in your area) and ask them for an estimate. 

If the difference in estimates is small, it is better to give preference to professionals. In the case of minor roof repairs, a handyman can be the right choice, but try to find an experienced and responsible builder. 

Need a small or complex roof repair? Contact our specialists, tell us about your problem and we will calculate the cost of the work including or excluding necessary materials.  

Flat and Low-Slope Roofs Materials

Our company is a professional roofing contractor and proven roofing material supplier in Massachusetts. Over the past 21 years, we have renovated and installed hundreds of roofs in residential and commercial properties all over the region. 

Our main specialization is flat and low-slope roofs. We prefer to use only modern and Energy Star rated materials. Being also a certified IB Roofs installer we specialize on IB Roofs Systems. 

We have all the necessary licenses to carry out roofing works of any complexity on commercial and residential real estate, including CSL and required insurance coverage. We always provide our clients with full package guarantees, both for materials and work. 

PVC: durable and resistant to elements

PVC – membranes based on polyvinyl chloride with various plasticizers. The main advantage of PVC is tear and break resistance. Not the cheapest option. 

The main manufacturers of PVC materials in the USA are Duro-Last, Seaman Corporation, Flex Roofing Systems, GAF.   

1. Quite durable. 
2. Mostly any PVC-membranes are reinforced.
3. Excellent insulation from moisture and leaks.

1. Loses flexibility and cracks over time. 
2. Burns out in the sun.
3. More expensive than EPDM or TPO membranes.
4. Can be mounted on the prepared surface only. Cannot be installed on asphalt-based roofs.

TPO: cheaper than PVC

TPO or thermo-plastic olephine is a type of laminated roofing rubber that has been in active use for many years. TPO is believed to be cheaper alternative of PVC but with its own limitations.  

The main manufacturers of TPO roofing materials are Carlisle SynTec, GAF, Johns Manville, Firestone. 

1. Cheaper than PVC.
2. Can be used in regions with severe frost in winter.
3. Manufacturers offer white TPO membranes which do not heat up the roof during the summer.

1. Can be installed on a prepared, clean roofing surface only.
2. Not the longest service life even if installed properly.
3. TPO can shrink over time. You should check the TPO roof periodically to notice cracks and leaks.
4. Not the easiest material for installation.

EPDM: the most inexpensive product

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) also called Synthetic Rubber roof is a material common in all states. It is flexible enough, easy to install, suitable for large roof areas. This material can be installed over old bituminous roofs. 

The main brands of EPDM roofing materials are the following: Carlisle SynTec, Firestone, GenFlex. 

1. One of the cheapest materials.
2. Easy to install – using special glue or mechanically.

1. Service life – about 10-15 years.
2. During the summer months, this material gets very hot from the sun’s rays, heating up the entire house.
3. Susceptible to mechanical damage.

IB Roofs: Energy Star and lifetime warranty

B Roofing is a modern roofing material that has no analogues with similar energy-efficient options. It is a single layer acrylic coated PVC membrane with plasticizers, fire retardants, UV stabilizers and other innovative additives which provide almost eternal service life, clean reflective surface, flexibility and 100% leakage protection.  

We believe this material is the best solution for mostly any flat roofs. Especially if you want to save money paying electricity bills.   

The cost of IB Roofs depends on the selected membrane – 50-mil white IB Roof, 80-mil IB, IB Traditions Membrane, and so on. 

The material is produced by only one manufacturer – IB Roof Systems. Our company is an official and certified partner of the brand. 

1. Energy efficient. Thanks to the unique technology, IB Roofs allow you to save on electricity bills in the summer.
2. Ecologically clean.
3. Durable and long-lasting. A roof with such material does not require constant maintenance. Our company installs IB Roofs with lifetime warranty.
4. It copes well with any bad weather – including snowfall and icing, stormy winds and rainstorms.
5. Large selection of IB membranes directly from the manufacturer. We will offer you the optimal material of any thickness, texture, color and style. Your home will become the pride of the entire area.
6. Installation and repair is fast and require only 1-2 days.

1. IB Roofing System is not the cheapest material on the market. However, if we compare the savings on electricity bills, in the long term, the modern membrane turns out to be even more profitable than the budgetary options like EPDM, TPO, Tar, Gravel, and so on. 

IB Deck Shield: perfect covering for exploited roofs

IB Deck Shield is the most reliable and durable roofing option for patio and exploited flat roofs. If you want to go out to your open roof or even have picnics there periodically, this is the most fitting material. 

1. IB Deck Shield provides reliable protection against leaks even in heavy rain.
2. Slip proof texture allows you to walk on this material all year round.
3. Fast installation and maintainability.

1. This material is only suitable for flat roofs.
2. Requires professional installation, which will prevent the appearance of leaks and cracks in future.

Solar PV Roofing: the roof that produces electricity

Solar Photo-Voltaic Roofing is not the most popular, but very promising type of material for flat roofing. PV Roofing panels generate electricity by converting the sun’s rays and it is believed to be the clearest energy. 

For maximum efficiency, Solar PV Roofing can be installed on the IB Roofing System. This way you will both save energy on air conditioning and use the “clean” energy generated by solar panels. 

1. You can provide electricity not only to your house, but also to other houses (with a large roof area)
2. Surplus energy can be sold.
3. Your home will become practically independent from power grids.

1. Such material is quite expensive.
2. The maximum efficiency of the panels is available in the summer only.
3. Solar panels require maintenance.
4. Solar panels must be mounted on a prepared surface with good insulating properties.
5. Installation of solar panels and repair of faulty elements is not the fastest measure.

Green roofing: the ‘greenest’ option and your own garden

Environmentally friendly solutions have been a trend in recent decades. A green roof is an opportunity to acquire your own lawn or even a garden, using the entire area of ​​a flat roof. 

1. You will have your own garden or lawn where you can relax or spend time with friends.
2. Your home will look attractive.
3. Green Roofing is the most environmentally friendly solution available.

1. Green Roofing is suitable for buildings with large roof areas.
2. Green Roofing requires constant maintenance.
3. Before installing such a roof, it is necessary to additionally install drainage and other communications necessary for plants.
4. Installation of Green Roof cannot be quick, as a complex of works is required.

Metal Roofs: solid and long-lived

The metal shingles is an excellent solution for low-slope roofs. The main material can be galvanized steel, aluminum, copper. There are several varieties of metallic roofing materials, including stone coated, corrugated or tile-look shingles. 

You also need to pay special attention to the preparatory work for the installation of a metal roof, including synthetic lining materials for ventilation and additional thermal insulation. 

1. Metal is a very durable material, especially if the roof is properly protected against corrosion.
2. The metal is very durable. Such a roof will withstand even strong mechanical damages.

1. Metal, especially copper, is quite expensive.
2. Metal roofing can be heavy. Metal exert a load on the roof frame and the walls of the building, which must be designed to withstand this load.
3. Installation of metal shingles requires special equipment. Repairing and replacing a metal roof is also considered a challenge as a large area of ​​coverage needs to be changed.

Other roofing materials: ‘old-school’ materials

Built-up-Roof, Bitumen, Torch Down roofing are options that have been used in the past. Some roofing companies still use them today, but they have many disadvantages compared to their modern counterparts. The installation of old roofing materials is usually long, not-friendly for the environment and dirty. Mentioned material have poor anti-leaks and physical damage protection. 

We prefer to use only modern and personally tested materials from leading American manufacturers in our work. Like IB Roofs. 

How much will my new roof cost?

To save your time, we suggest you calculate the estimated cost yourself using an online calculator. Choose the main parameters – and in a second the program will show you the approximate cost of the roofing works, taking into account the selected materials. 

To find out the exact cost, contact our specialists by phone or chat. Describe the project, tell us more about your property, and we will offer the most practical solution. If it is possible to calculate the cost remotely, we will immediately announce the estimate. 

Flat Roof Materials Rating

The choice of roofing material for a new or renovated building is one of the most important stages in the whole construction process. 

If you make the right choice, the roof will serve you up to 50 years, without leaks, critical damages, deformations and other unpleasant incidents. Some modern roofing materials will even save money on your electricity bills constantly. 

If you make the wrong or hasty choice, you most likely will be repairing your roof every season, getting rid of leaks, the building will be too hot in summer, and you will be spending extra dollars on air conditioning. 

Are you afraid to make a mistake and choose the wrong material for the roof? Ask the professionals for help – we will answer all your questions, tell you about the available options and help you with the right choice. 

Is there an ideal material for all flat roofs?

It’s worth starting with the statement that there is no such thing as ‘ideal material’ for any roof and for any industrial or private house. In each specific case, you need to select the appropriate option, taking into account the architectural, technical, construction, financial and other features. 

We have been working with roofs for many years and we know which materials are better to choose in your case, what advantages and disadvantages each material has. Feel free to ask for advice.  

What materials are used to cover flat roofs?

There are several common options that are actively used not only in Massachusetts, but throughout the United States.  

Note. We will not consider innovative options that are not too much in demand – such as green roofs or roofs with solar panels, focusing on more popular options. 

These are modern PVC or TPO membranes with a wide range of benefits, a time-tested rubber roof or metal sheets. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each material by comparing the basic parameters. 

Briefly about the main

Rubber roof (EPDM) is a material that has been used for 40 years. It is the cheapest, easy and quick to install, but it is also easy to damage. If the rubber roof is black, it will heat up in hot weather – it’s not good if you don’t want to run your air conditioning 24/7 in summer. 

PVC and TPO are membranes that are made from different chemical raw materials, but have several similar properties. Both materials are quick and easy to install even on large roofs, they cope perfectly with any weather, they are durable and watertight. Note that PVC has better puncture (depending on thickness) and chemical resistance, and TPO is more environmentally friendly. 

PVC IB is a modern roofing that has taken the best from all materials. They are environmentally friendly, water and weather resistant and, importantly, due to the unique reflective properties of the material, such a roof reduces the cost of cooling the building. 

Metal (steel, aluminum, copper) is the most durable material on the list. If the installation was carried out by professionals, such a roof will be completely sealed and as durable as possible. It will ignore mostly all negative influences. However, metal roofs are not the cheapest. In addition, the metal is heavy and often requires building frame reinforcement.  

1. Price

The cheapest option is EPDM roofing, and it is the cost that makes this material so common. However, it has its drawbacks. 

PVC and TPO are materials that are only slightly more expensive than rubber roofing, but in many aspects they are better than their aging rubber counterpart from the 80s. In addition, as mentioned above, energy saving PVC IB Roof is more expensive, but saves your budget on electricity bills. To install such a roof is like to make an investment with dividends.  

Metal costs differently. Thin steel sheets are not very expensive, but they have weakness to physical deformation and corrosion (if they do not have a proper protective coating). Copper is the best metal for roofing, but it is very heavy and the most expensive. 

2. Installation speed

Let’s start with rubber roofs. In the past EPDM roofs were installed with adhesive liquids or mechanically. Today, rubber roofs are installed fully adhered or with special formulated seam tapes. Installation speed is average. 

A more modern solution is a membrane roof. PVC materials are assembled using adhered installation or heat welded technology, which ensures the geometric stability of the materials and their tightness. Alternative methods of installation – mechanical fastening. But it has its drawbacks. PVC IB Roofs are installed faster and easier than anyone in the most reliable way. 

Metal roofs require special assembly equipment that seams metal sheets hermetically without leaving holes. The quality and speed of installation depends on the professionalism of roofers, but such an installation cannot be called the fastest. 

3. Appearance

All modern roofs are attractive. The exception is the “classic” black rubber roofing, which is installed in industrial facilities. 

PVC and TPO are available in several base colors. If they are laid on a roof without folds or bubbles, then such roofs always look neat. 

Metal roofing, especially copper, is a special status. Such a roof looks very beautiful, but it requires a lot of investment. Moreover, copper is really heavy and not every building can hold such a roof.  

4. Durability

EPDM roofs can last up to 20 years if used carefully. This material is susceptible to even minor mechanical and chemical influences. In addition, it can crack and bulge over time. 

Metal is a very strong and durable roofing material that is difficult to damage mechanically. Metal’s only enemies are corrosion and chemicals. 

PVC, especially modern PVC IB Systems, are protected from various types of negative influences. They are also protected from moderate mechanical damage, but their durability in this case depends on the thickness of the membrane. 

5. Fire safety and thermal conductivity

EPDM burns really well. Fireproof EPDM materials are usually multi-layer, with a special fire-resistant layer. But they also lose their fireproof properties after 4-5 years. To add, black rubber roofs get very hot in summer, heating up the building itself – this is impractical. 

Metal roofs do not burn, but they heat up even more under the influence of sunlight. Even if you don’t live in the southern region. Metal roofing can increase your air conditioning costs dramatically. 

PVC roofs are inherently fire resistant, TPO are not. One of the advantages of modern PVC IB Roofs is their ability to cool the roof by reflecting UV rays. In a house with such a roof, you will pay less for electricity every summer. 

6. Lifetime and Warranty

Rubber roofing usually lasts 20 years, PVC roofing 20-30 years, and metal roofing from 10 to 50 years, depending on the resistance to corrosion. 

The service life of the material and the warranty period directly depends on the specific manufacturer, the specific model of the material, the policy of the roofing company. 

We recommend contacting those roofing companies that offer a long-term guarantee, both for the work itself and for the selected materials. 

Which manufacturer brand should you choose?

It is highly desirable to purchase products from American manufacturers who already have a reputation in the market, positive reviews, including recommendations from professionals. 

We cooperate with leading manufacturers of roofing materials for flat and low-slope roofs. We have special partnerships with suppliers of building materials, so we can offer the best roof prices on the market in the region. 


As you can see, in the process of choosing the ideal material for the roof, you need to be guided by a set of factors.  

In some cases, it is OK to choose budget, inexpensive materials, but in others it’s better to find innovative solutions, like PVC IB System, which require more investment in the beginning, but will pay off after a few years. 

We recommend that you consult with our specialist. Call an expert, tell us about your project, ask your questions, and find out what material and what brand will be the best solution in your case. 

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