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In Florida, flat roofs are one of the most common roofing styles for both homeowners and business owners. And that means that a lot of people need a flat roof replacement. But it’s important to be highly selective when choosing a Florida roofing contractor since flat roofs face a variety of extra issues that slanted roofs do not. As a result, improper installation could drastically shorten the life of your flat roof and leave you on the hook for repairs.
At Classic Roofing & Construction, we’ve worked on countless flat roofs across Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties, so we know the ins and outs of a flat roof replacement. Keep reading for the essential information you need to make the best decision for your property.
Problems with a Bad Flat Roof Replacement
Whether you’re experiencing an issue with your roof or it’s simply time for a new one, nobody wants the headache that comes with a bad flat roof replacement. Before we delve into your flat roof replacement options, you should know the kind of issues that can arise from using a poor flat roofing contractor.
1. Water Pooling
Flat roofs, despite the name, aren’t completely flat. Rather, they look flat to the casual observer, but they’re slightly tilted so that water can run off. However, an improper flat roof installation can cause water to pool on top of your roof.
Without proper roof sloping, water can easily become trapped on your roof. We often see this happen with inexperienced subcontractors who unevenly lay down a roofing material, and the property owner may not realize there’s an issue until months later when their roofing system has started to rot.
Problems like this are the reason that at Classic, we don’t use subcontractors. All of our contractors are trained and vetted so our clients can trust that they’re working with experienced, friendly professionals.
2. Improperly Installed Flashing
In roofing, the flashing is what keeps the moisture from getting under your roofing material. For flat roofs in Florida, two of the roofing materials we prefer are modified bitumen and TPO since they’re durable, water-resistant flat roof replacement options. However, they’re only water-resistant when installed correctly.
If the flashing on your flat roof isn’t water-tight, you can easily develop a host of problems like:
- Algae growth weakening your roofing system
- Mold development on and under your roof
- Rotting of your roofing material
3. Seam Defects
Modified bitumen is normally thermally welded in sections so that it creates a water-tight seal over your roof. However, improper flat roof installation can lead to issues where the seams between sections are uplifted or with gaps in between. In either case, this can result in water and/or pests getting into your roofing system and weakening the structural integrity of your roof. This is especially concerning in Florida, which is known for its humidity and its many forms of pests.
When we install flat roofs, we make sure to create an overlap of several inches with our sections of modified bitumen. This ensures that there is no opportunity for seam defects to develop now or in the future as your flat roof expands and contracts with the Florida heat. This is just one of the many ways that we’re looking out for our customers’ best interests now and in the future.
Your Flat Roof Replacement Options
There are a variety of flat roofing systems out there, but for residential and commercial flat roofs, we recommend modified bitumen or TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin). These roofing materials are water-resistant, withstand heat well, and are tear-resistant so they’re unlikely to be damaged by debris in a tropical storm or hurricane. But while this is our general recommendation for flat roofing systems, you still have flat roof replacement options to consider.
Atactic propylene (APP) membranes are composed of a mixture of asphalt and plastomeric compounds. Put simply, this means that these modified bitumen sheets prove highly resistant to weathering. That’s good, because Florida weather can be especially harsh on flat roofs. APP membranes also beat the heat by reflecting UV rays away from your home and provide insulation, both of which serve to lower your energy costs.
Styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) is a type of modified bitumen that is made from asphalt and rubber, and this combination provides both durability and surprising elasticity. Flat roofing systems expand and contract with the sun’s heat throughout the day, so this flexibility goes a long way in slowing down wear and tear on your roof. Additionally, SBS-modified bitumen tends to be quicker to install, which can help lower your flat roof replacement costs.
TPO is a single-ply membrane roofing material that can be a great option if you want an eco-friendly roof. This membrane roof typically comes in white and is UV-reflective, which can help keep your roof cool and lower energy costs. Many TPO roofing systems are also Energy Star-rated for their ability to help cut back on how much power your home or business uses for heating and cooling. As a bonus, TPO membranes do not include plastic, so they’re a “greener” alternative to some forms of modified bitumen.
Pick Reliable Florida Roofers
Once you’ve chosen a flat roof replacement material, the only thing left to do is pick a roofing company you can trust. And this may be the most important step of all since a quality flat roof installation can make or break the longevity of your roofing system. But how do you know who you can trust with your flat roof replacement?
Look for Experienced Flat Roof Replacement Roofers in Your Community
Experience plays a huge role in the success of a roofing project, so don’t entrust your roof to people who don’t have track records of success in your area. Different locations have unique roofing needs, so local roofers can likely help you better than companies that operate nationally. For the same reason, you don’t want to use inexperienced roofers. Reliable, high-quality roofing comes with time, so you don’t want to be someone’s first flat roof replacement.
At Classic, we’ve been working across the Greater Tampa Bay region since 2003, and we’ve replaced plenty of flat roofs in that time. At each worksite, we take great pains to make sure that we don’t commit any of the installation errors listed above. And our reputation for success is well-established among property owners with flat roofs in Florida.
Since 2003, we’ve accumulated hundreds of five-star reviews. These represent real homeowners and business owners who have reached out to us for roofing services and been blown away by our 100% happiness guarantee. But replacing your flat roof is a big investment, so it’s natural to want some further, outside assurance that you’re in good hands.
Choose a Certified Roofing Company for Your Flat Roof Replacement
Classic Roofing & Construction is Master Elite certified by GAF. But how will that affect your flat roof replacement? First, GAF produces new roofing technologies that are only available to their trusted, certified roofers. This means that we have access to the best roofing materials on the market. And we love to pass along this exclusive access to our clients.
But it doesn’t stop at the roofing materials. We can also provide the best warranties on the market for your flat roof replacement. And our GAF warranties aren’t just backed by us—they’re also backed by GAF itself. This means that even if Classic weren’t here, you would still have your warranty through GAF, which has been in business for over a century.
As a fully licensed, insured, and certified roofing company, we make it our business to keep our customers happy. From the initial estimate to the final inspection, we’re fully equipped to handle every step of your flat roof replacement.