Low-slope roofs tend to be more affected by weather conditions then those with high pitches. This is because the sun and rain hit low-slope roofs more directly. This causes cracking and wear, which reduces the lifespan of the material. These roofs require strong durable materials. Most are exposed directly to the sun with no protective product over them, such as cement roof tile. Tiles cannot be put on low slopes because they will trap water on the roof. There are several quality materials that protect low-slope structures from damaging weather conditions and leaks.
Single-Ply Modified Rubber Bitumen
Single-ply modified rubber bitumen is a material made of strong durable rubber. If you try to rip it with your hands, it will not tear. On the front of this material is a white granulated surface. These adhered granules aid in reflecting the sun's damaging rays. Rubber bitumen comes in rolls approximately 40-inches wide and 33-feet long. A roll covers a 10 by 10 section known as a square. This material is installed to the roof with hot tar.
Fiberglass Roll-Out Roofing
Fiberglass roll-out roofing is a black, fiberglass, tar based gauze-like material that comes in 2-foot wide rolls. It is applied with hot tar to the roof. When the roof is completely hardened, aluminum coating is applied to the black surface to reflect the sun. For proper maintenance, the aluminum coating is applied once a year.
Seamless Membrane Cloth
Seamless membrane cloth comes in rolls 5-feet wide. It is a strong cloth material that is cut with a scissor or utility knife. This material is applied to the roof on top of a thick, pink latex basecoat. When dry it is covered with a waterproof rubberized latex coating. For proper maintenance, the topcoat is reapplied once a year.
Fiberglass shingles are made of tar and fiberglass. The front side has granules adhered to it. They come in bundles and are approximately 9-inches high by 3-feet wide. The size depends on the type of shingle. The two most common are dimensional shingles and three-tab shingles, dimensional having double thickness and a wood like appearance. Shingles are nailed down to the roof in rows. When installing them on a low sloped roof, it is required to have two layers of tar paper underneath the shingles.
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