Types of Flat Roofing Materials in Florida

Roofing for Flat Roofs
June 12, 2024

Flat roofs are common for both residential and commercial structures in Florida. But did you know that these roofs are especially vulnerable to damage from the local elements? To get long-lasting roofing for flat roofs, it helps to know what kind of flat roof materials you need.

As your local roofing partners, it’s our job to make sure that you’re informed about your flat roofing options. That’s why today, PITCH Roofing is sharing our insights and tips for picking your flat roof materials. Whether a roofing membrane or a layered flat roof is right for your home, we have the know-how and the expert roofers to make sure you get a flat roof replacement that will last.

Now, it’s time to discuss the different options for flat roofing in Florida!

Types of Flat Roof Materials in Florida

Types of Flat Roof Materials in Florida

First things first: let’s talk about why flat roofs need special roofing materials in the first place.

On a sloped roof, you can install shingles or tiles because the water will naturally slide off the edges of your roof. As a result, you don’t need anything especially water-resistant, since the water won’t be on your roof for long. Flat roofs work very differently, however.

While they’re not technically flat and are actually low-slope roofs, flat roofs can’t move water off your roof as efficiently as a sloped roof. While your roof should have a slight slope to help with drainage, you can still expect water to pool on your roof and take time to completely run off. To protect your roof during this vulnerable period, you need special roofing for flat roofs.

That said, there are very different approaches to flat roofing materials. Specifically, flat roofs tend to have either a rubber roof membrane or a layered roofing system. Now, let’s look at each of these options and how they protect your structure!

TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO roofing, is a rubber roofing membrane. In other words, this is a single-ply roofing system that covers your flat roof. While having only one layer of protection may seem risky, it’s very well-suited to what flat roofs need: water protection.

Because TPO is made of rubber, it creates a water-tight barrier around your home. This means that even if water is trapped on your roof for days or hours, TPO should keep it away from the vulnerable interior of your roof. And since it’s reinforced with fiberglass and carbon fiber, you can still count on it to be hardy and resilient, which makes for excellent roofing for flat roofs.

That said, TPO isn’t perfect. For one thing, it can shrink and become brittle as the sun ages it over the years. This can require additional maintenance over the lifetime of your roof. Additionally, it’s a fairly new material on the market, so roofers are still debating exactly how long it lasts on average since the chemical formulation of TPO has changed in recent years.

While we don’t know an exact number, there’s good evidence to suggest that TPO roofs average 15-20 years of life, even in Florida. This is a standard lifespan for a flat roof, but it could turn out to be even longer if new alterations to TPO sheets improve its heat resistance over the years!

Modified Bitumen Roofing

As a layered flat roofing system, modified bitumen (or mod bit) is hardy. Made from blending asphalt with rubber polymers and reinforcing the mixture with fiberglass, mod bit is an excellent alternative to a single-ply roofing membrane. With its many layers of protection, you can count on it to hold up against the worst Florida has to offer and keep its structural integrity intact.

Modified bitumen works much better than TPO in areas that see a lot of foot traffic. This makes it popular for commercial structures like hospitals. Since it’s built of multiple layers of sturdy protection, some light traffic shouldn’t cause problems for your modified bitumen roof!

Despite its strengths, there’s no such thing as perfect roofing for flat roofs. Modified bitumen still has flaws, like its weakness to ponding. While it isn’t likely to experience ponding, if it does, your asphalt protection won’t keep out water as well as a rubber roof would.

When it comes to lifespan, we know exactly how long this flat roofing material lasts. On average, modified bitumen lasts for about 20 years in Florida. And since it’s a low-maintenance roofing system, you can count on minimal repairs and low maintenance costs across these two decades of protection!

This is a basic look at two of the most popular types of flat roofs in Florida. But there’s still one important area that everyone has questions about: the cost of different flat roofing materials.

Affordable Roofing for Flat Roofs

Affordable Roofing for Flat Roofs

When choosing a roofing material, we encourage roofers to consider more than just the cost. Of course we all have limits to our budgets, but it’s important to balance the cost with the performance of your new roof. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about the costs of different types of flat roofs!

On average, TPO flat roofs cost between five and 10 dollars per square foot. So if your roof is 2,000 square feet, your total roof replacement costs will probably be between $10,000 and $20,000. Keep in mind that other factors can impact this cost though, like the current state of your roof and any unique features on it!

Modified bitumen roofing is a more affordable roofing option for flat roofs. With costs ranging from four to eight dollars per square foot, you can expect a mod bit roof replacement to cost between $8,000 and $16,000 if you have a 2,000-square-foot roof. These low costs make mod bit flat roofs the most popular option in roofing for flat roofs.

Collect Your Free Flat Roofing Estimates

These price ranges are nice, but they’re not a guarantee. To find out how much your unique flat roof replacement will cost, you’ll need a custom estimate prepared. And at Pitch, our estimates are always detailed, clear, and come with no obligations or costs to you.

To get your free roofing estimate, just call us at 727-607-4280 or schedule your flat roofing estimate online. No matter what type of flat roof you need, we’ll work with you to explain your options and make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

As experienced flat roofers, Pitch knows how to prepare your roof for hurricane season. Reach out to us for your free flat roof estimate and let us earn your business through our great customer service and even better workmanship!