Edinburgh Flat Roof Specialists
Felt is the most common covering for flat roofs in Edinburgh.
Our roofers cover felt roofs, rubber roofs or fibre glass roofs; repairs maintenance or replacement.
The reputation of flat roof systems has, in the past, been questionable. In part this is due to unqualified roofers doing work they should not do. Done correctly a flat roof in Edinburgh will last 40, or more, years.
So, if you are looking to replace a felt roof or any kind of flat roof in Edinburgh you’ve come to the right place for long term peace of mind
Read on to find out more about the different flat roof systems that HomeForce accredited specialists can help you with.
Flat roof technologies (felt roofs, rubber of fibre glass) have evolved and developed significantly over the last 20 – 30 years.
Greater durability, increased insulating properties, faster and cheaper installation and lower maintenance costs make flat roof systems more attractive to building designers and architects.
Flat roofs are no longer only used for garage roofs, extensions and sheds.
Three main flat roof systems
- Felt Roof
- Sometimes referred to as a “torch on” or three layer system.
- Layers are “Melt Welded” with a large blowlamp or torch.
- System usually comprises a breathable membrane, a layer of reinforced felt and a thicker layer called a cap sheet that comes in a variety of finishes and will have solar reflective properties.
- The advantages over other flat roof systems are:
- Cost, usually cheaper than other flat roof systems
- Easily repaired
- More roofers are familiar with it
- The downside is that it is less damage resistant than other flat roof options and so may be less suitable for anywhere where their might be significant traffic.
- Lifespan: – Most installers and manufacturers will offer at least a 10 year guarantee though a properly installed and maintained roof could last over 40 years.
- HomeForce Tip: – Ensure any roofing contractor carries the suitable insurance to work with hot flame on your property.
- Rubber Roof
- Sometimes referred to as EPDM or Firestone Roofing
- Relatively new system becoming increasingly popular
- Single layer and often a single sheet with no joins.
- It has some advantages over Felt:
- Longer life span with some manufacturers / installers offering 50 year guarantees (though the original installer might be retired by that time!)
- Very damage resistant though care should still be taken
- Promoted as being easy to install. We’d still advise using only roofers approved by the manufacturers of the system being used.
- Costs wise, at time of writing (May 2019) it will cost around 20% to 30% more than felt roofing, more if the timber decking needs replacing before the rubber is laid.
- The downsides are:
- The aesthetics of a plain black roof may not be to everyone’s taste
- Repairs are not (yet) straight forward and can be unsightly.
- HomeForce Tip: – Because of the relative ease of installation this type of roof has attracted it’s fair share of cowboys acting as qualified installers. Check that an installer is accredited with the manufacturer of the roofing system – simply call the manufacturer – and ask to see examples of other similar work they have done.
- Fiber Glass
- Also referred to as Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)
- Been in use for around 25 to 30 years
- Usually installed as a one or two layer joint-less system with factory made finish & trim.
- The most expensive flat roof system but also the most resilient to damage
- The lack of breathability of a fiberglass roof makes it unsuitable for a building where condensation may be an issue.
- Also the expansion capabilities (as the roof expands and contracts in heat and cold) are relatively poor so it is not ideally suited to large roof areas.
Other points to consider:
- HomeForce recommend speaking to roofers with a broad range of flat roof skills (a flat roof specialist) rather than one who is a specialist in, or promotes, just one particular system. The “right” roof and roof system will vary from situation to situation. As technology has evolved what was right 15 or 20 years ago may not be right now.
- Good ventilation is essential to prevent moisture and condensation build up in properties. The roof covering plays an important part in allowing damp air to escape as well as keeping rain out.
- Although referred to as a “flat” roof there should be sufficient incline to ensure water runs off it into gutters. Look-out for ponding / pooling water on flat roofs.
- Ensure that the roof deck (the foundation of the roof) is sufficiently strong to support both the roofing system to be used and anything (for example solar panels) that is to go on the roof.
- If replacing an existing flat roof a roofer may be unable to advise you if roof decks (or joists) are damaged until they have stripped the existing covering. This therefore is a potential “hidden cost” and should be allowed for in a contingency budget.