Flat Roof Material: The Ideal Choice for Boston Homes and Businesses

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When discussing roofing options, what’s the most popular choice for homes and commercial buildings in Boston, Massachusetts? Flat roofs are the go-to, offering decades-long construction stability and a modern aesthetic. Though traditional sloping roofs have their appeal, flat roofs, especially those with the right flat roof material, come with numerous advantages that make them a fitting choice for many properties. Let’s explore the world of flat roofing and the materials that are perfect for it.

Why Have Flat Roof? Why Flat One Is Better Than Other Variations?

You may wonder, why choose flat roof material instead of other possible variations for your roof? Well, it’s not that different types are necessarily inferior, but flat roofs offer key features that many homeowners find unique and compelling. Here they are:

  • It has a modern and fresh look. Minimalism lovers will like this type of decking. Many property owners and commercial establishments consider flat roofs an appealing modern look. Flat roofs may give a building a sleek and upscale appearance and are frequently connected with modern architecture and design.
  • It Is Affordable. Flat roofs require less creativity to install. That is why they are much easier to build from scratch. Thus, the price of the project would be much lower than usual, and many householders would like it.
  • It Is Cost Effective. The fact that flat roofs are more economical than sloping roofs is one of its main advantages. Installing flat roofs requires less work and material, lowering prices for individuals and businesses. Flat roofs are simpler to maintain and repair because of their better accessibility.
  • It Is Energy Efficient. In addition, flat roofs, mainly when constructed with suitable flat roof material, use less energy than sloping roofs. Due to their larger surface area, flat roofs can accommodate solar panels or rooftop gardens, leading to energy cost savings and improved insulation. Furthermore, flat roofs are more effective at reflecting sunlight, keeping the interior of a building cooler during the summer.
  • It Is Easy To Maintain. Maintenance and repairs are significantly simpler on flat roofs than on sloping roofs since they are easier to reach. Without the need to employ qualified professionals, homeowners and business owners may readily check their flat roofs for damage or leaks and make the required repairs.

In contrast to sloping roofs, flat roofs offer more useable space. Homeowners and companies may use the extra space for rooftop gardens, outdoor living spaces, or even more office space. In cities with little space, this is especially essential.

Flat Roof Deck & Materials To Use

A flat roof’s material selection is one of the most crucial decisions to make while building or remodeling a structure. A flat roof is vulnerable to strong loads and external factors, including wind, rain, snow, and UV radiation. Poor material selection might result in wall and ceiling damage, roof leaks, and higher repair and maintenance expenses. Let us explain how to select the ideal flat roof material and what to consider while making your choice.

Rubber Roof

Synthetic rubber is commonly used to make rubber roofs, a popular flat roof material option for homes. These roofs are robust, easy to install, and energy-efficient. Among the most durable roofing materials available, rubber roofing can last up to 50 years and withstand extreme heat, heavy rain, snow, and hail without cracking or breaking. Rubber roofing is resistant to, unlike other materials that degrade over time due to UV rays. Additionally, its high reflectivity can help lower energy bills by keeping your home cooler in the summer, leading to reduced cooling costs and more comfortable living conditions.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Flat roofs have been used for built-up roofing for over a century, often known as BUR. BUR comprises several felt and asphalt layers stacked to provide a waterproof barrier.

Flat Roof Material - BUR
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

It is renowned for its tenacity and, with appropriate upkeep, may endure up to 30 years. Heavy rain, snow, and hail are effectively repelled by the felt and asphalt’s several levels of defense. BUR also requires little upkeep and is easily repairable if damage does occur. By keeping your house cooler in the summer, this material can assist in lowering energy expenditures. This may result in cheaper cooling expenses and cozier living conditions.


EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a type of synthetic rubber that is a highly durable flat roof material resistant to weathering. Easy to install and cost-effective, EPDM roofs require minimal maintenance and can last up to 30 years, making them a popular choice for commercial buildings.


PVC Roofing

Single-ply roofing materials like PVC are popular for flat roof installations, especially on flat or low-slope roofs. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a synthetic plastic polymer often combined with other materials like polyester or fiberglass. These large PVC sheets are laid down and welded to create a seamless, impermeable barrier. One of PVC’s advantages is its flexibility, which allows it to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, making leaks and cracking less likely. The reflective materials in PVC roofing can also help lower energy costs by keeping your home cooler during summer. Maintenance is straightforward, and repairs are easily manageable, helping to extend the lifespan of your flat roof.

Flat Roof Material - PVC
PVC Roofing

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Specifically used on flat roofs, modified bitumen roofing (MBR) is a type of roofing material. It is constructed of asphalt and reinforced with various substances, including fiberglass or polyester. MBR is robust. Extreme temperatures, a lot of rain, snow, and hail may all be endured by it.

Flat Roof Material - Modified Bitumen
Modified Bitumen Roofing

Due to the reinforced materials and modified asphalt utilized in its construction, MBR has a strong fire resistance. MBR is a more affordable alternative for flat roofs than other roofing materials like metal or rubber in terms of price. MBR comes in two major varieties: torch-applied and self-adhering. The underside of the material is heated with a torch before being pressed onto the roof surface to install torch-applied MBR. Self-adhering MBR can be applied without a torch because of its sticky underside.

Flat Roof: Is It Worth It?

We hope this article has helped guide you through selecting flat roof material options in Boston, MA. Making informed decisions at the design stage ensures a well-constructed roof. Consulting with professional roofers who can adeptly manage any project is a sensible approach.

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Main Contractor at ID Flat Roof | + posts

Denis is the driving force behind ID Flat Roof, a leading company in Boston specializing in flat roof repair and installation for over 20 years.
Denis excels in PVC, TPO, EPDM, and rubber roofing. His meticulous approach ensures quality and customer satisfaction.
Denis incorporates cutting-edge solutions like skylights and solar PV roofing.