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5 Popular Flat Roof Types In 2024
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5 Popular Flat Roof Types In 2024
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5 Popular Flat Roof Types In 2024

Posted on June 14, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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flat roof types

For many building owners in Ohio, flat roofs are increasingly becoming a sought-after choice due to their modern aesthetic appeal and functional advantages. But with so many different types of flat roofing systems available, it is essential to understand the differences and benefits of each material before deciding on one for your building. 

To help you make the best decision for your roof, this blog post will look at five popular flat roof types in 2024, outlining their features and benefits.

Best Flat Roof Types For Dayton Building Owners In 2024 

Let’s delve in and take a look at different flat roof material types:

#1. Metal Roofing Panels

Metal roofing panels
Metal Roofing Panels

Lifespan: 50 years or more

Cost: $4 and $16 per square foot

For Dayton building owners, metal roof styles are a popular choice for flat roofs because they are durable, energy efficient, and require little maintenance. Unlike other types of roofing materials for flat roofs, these are designed to withstand specific challenges such as water pooling and UV rays much more efficiently. Furthermore, they can be coated to reflect heat and reduce energy usage, providing building owners with a long-lasting, trouble-free solution.

Longevity: Lasts 40-70 years.Cost: Generally more expensive.
Durability: Resistant to wind, fire, and pests.Noise: Can be noisy during rain or hail.
Energy Efficiency: Reflects heat, reducing cooling costs.Installation: Requires proper installation for durability.
Safety: Fire-resistant and will not burn.Slippery Surface: Can be slippery in wet or snowy conditions.

#2. Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roof
Modified Bitumen Roof

Lifespan: 10 to 20 years

Cost: $4 to $7 per square foot

Another great option for flat roofs, modified bitumen is a popular roofing material due to its durability, flexibility, and many other benefits. This roofing system features multiple layers, including a base sheet, a modified bitumen layer, and a top layer of aggregate. Improved with polymer modifiers, the modified bitumen layer provides increased flexibility and resistance to extreme temperatures. Its sturdy construction enables it to withstand heavy foot traffic and resist punctures and tears. Moreover, its versatility allows for installation in different thicknesses and compatibility with various substrates, making it suitable for a wide range of building types.

Durable: Multiple layers provide enhanced durability.Heat Absorption: Can absorb heat in summer, increasing energy costs.
High Traffic: Suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic.Higher Risk Installation: Torch-down methods can be hazardous.
Easy Installation: Sheets fit easily even in cramped areas.Expensive: Generally more expensive than other options.
Compatibility: Compatible with different roofing materials.Ponding: Prone to water accumulation, leading to structural issues.
Flexible: Resists impacts and temperature changes.Limited Lifespan: Typically lasts 15 to 30 years.

#3. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

Epdm roof

Lifespan: Up to 40 years

Cost: $3.50 to $10 per square foot

The next option, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) stands out as a synthetic membrane made from ethylene and propylene. Particularly favored for flat roofs, this roofing system has impressive longevity, often spanning up to 50 years, and excels in low-slope roofing scenarios in Dayton. 

This roof can contribute to energy efficiency, with certain EPDM membranes engineered to reflect solar rays, diminishing cooling expenses. Moreover, EPDM demonstrates environmental friendliness compared to alternative flat roof solutions. Its pliability and resistance to punctures render it a dependable choice for flat roofs.

Cost-Effective: A low-priced option.Not DIY-Friendly: Needs experts to install.
Long-Lasting: Lasts up to 50 years.Vulnerable to Heat: Can shrink or crack in heat.
Easy to Repair: Repairs are often straightforward.Basic Appearance: Only available in black or white.
Hail and Ozone Resistant: Resists damage from impacts and chemicals.
Ponding Water: May collect water if improperly sloped or installed.
Energy Efficient: Saves energy with special coatings.Prone to Damage: Not immune to punctures or tears.
Flexible: Easy to install on different roofs.

#4. Built-Up Roof (BUR)

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Cost: $4 to $7 per square foot

Built-up roof (BUR) systems have emerged as a popular choice for flat or low-slope roofs in Dayton, particularly in commercial and industrial settings. These systems are made by layering bitumen (either asphalt or coal tar) and reinforcing fabrics such as fiberglass or organic felt to create a strong, sealed surface that can handle foot traffic and a variety of weather conditions. 

Some systems also include a topping of gravel or a mineral cap sheet, known as ballast, which adds weight to secure the roof during high winds and provides a non-slip surface for maintenance workers. This intricate layering makes BUR systems extremely waterproof, fire-resistant, and energy-efficient, with some lasting up to 30 years or more when properly maintained.

Pros Cons
Waterproofing: Exceptional water resistance.Heavy Weight: Adds significant weight to the roof deck.
Fire Resistance: Inherently fire-retardant.Time-Consuming Installation: The installation process can be complex.
Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep.Cost: Higher initial cost.
Puncture Resistance: Highly resilient to punctures.Odor Issues: Emits strong smells that can be hazardous, requiring ventilation.
UV Protection: Provides effective shielding from UV rays.

#5. TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) 

Flat roof types

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Cost: $4 to $10 per square foot

The last option, known for its durability, energy efficiency, and affordability, TPO is another great choice for flat roofs. Composed of multiple layers including a TPO polymer base, a polyester-reinforced scrim, and a TPO compounded top ply, this roofing material effectively reflects heat and resists UV and chemical exposure. 

Its installation process is straightforward with fewer seams, and it is resistant to mold, fire, and chemicals. Despite its typical white appearance, TPO membranes come in various colors and thicknesses to cater to the diverse preferences of Dayton building owners. With minimal maintenance requirements, TPO proves to be a cost-effective solution for flat roof systems.

Pros Cons
Cost-Effective: An affordable option.Leak Repair: May need repairs over time.
Energy efficiency: High reflectivity reduces cooling costs.Quality Variations: Quality varies between manufacturers.
Durable: Resistant to UV rays, ozone, and chemicals.Seams: Potential weak point if not installed properly.
Easy installation: Comes in large sheets for quicker installation.Puncture Risk: Susceptible to punctures from foot traffic.
Flexible: Accommodates building shifts.High Heat Issues: Can fail under extreme heat.
Low Maintenance: Resists mold and stains.
Adaptable: Suitable for residential and commercial properties.

Also Read: How Long Does A Flat Roof Last?

What Factors To Consider When Choosing A Flat Roof Type For Your Building

1. Climate and Weather Conditions:

It’s essential to factor in the local climate and weather conditions when selecting a flat roof type. This includes elements like rainfall, snowfall, and temperature ranges. For example, in areas with heavy rainfall, opting for a roof designed to manage high water volumes and prevent ponding is wise. Similarly, in regions with extreme temperatures, choosing a roof type resistant to heat and cold is prudent.

2. Building Usage and Occupancy:

The intended purpose and occupancy levels of your building significantly influence the ideal flat roof type. For commercial buildings with high occupancy rates, a roof capable of supporting additional loads like HVAC equipment or solar panels may be necessary. Conversely, for residential structures, selecting a visually appealing and easily maintainable roof type is often preferable.

3. Roof Slope and Drainage:

Proper drainage is essential for flat roofs, requiring a slight slope (typically 1/4 inch per foot). This prevents water accumulation, which can cause damage and structural problems. Ensure the chosen flat roof type aligns with your building’s drainage system and can manage heavy rainfall effectively.

4. Energy Efficiency:

Consider energy efficiency when selecting a flat roof type. Certain roofing materials possess high reflectivity, reducing heat absorption and cooling costs. Integration with solar panels or green roof systems can further enhance energy efficiency, contributing to a more sustainable building.

5. Durability and Lifespan:

Longevity and resistance to weathering, punctures, and chemicals are crucial factors for flat roof types. Opt for a roof with a proven track record of durability to minimize maintenance and replacement expenses over time.

6. Maintenance Requirements:

Consider the maintenance needs of various flat roof types. Some require more frequent maintenance, which can escalate costs and disrupt operations. Choose a roof type that’s easy to repair and maintain, ensuring local contractors are available for upkeep.

7. Cost:

Cost is a significant consideration when selecting different types of flat roofs. Evaluate both initial installation expenses and long-term maintenance and replacement costs. Additionally, factor in potential energy savings and return on investment for energy-efficient roofing options.

8. Aesthetics:

The visual appeal of a flat roof should harmonize with your building’s architectural style and color scheme. Ensure compatibility with local building codes and design guidelines to prevent any aesthetic conflicts.


In 2024, choosing the best type of flat roof greatly affects a building’s longevity, performance, and efficiency. The options we have mentioned above are just five of the most popular flat roof types suitable for Dayton businesses in 2024. Each has its own set of pros and cons. Understanding these options allows building owners to make informed decisions based on their specific needs and conditions.

For unmatched flat roofing services, turn to All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters! Our expert team handles installations, repairs, and maintenance with precision and reliability. Trust us to keep your property safe. Call us today at (937) 902-2839.

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