How to Replace a Flat Roof

Mar 06, 2023

It can be difficult to replace a flat roof, especially if it is not something you are familiar with and skilled in. Flat roofs can be used in many architectural styles, including commercial buildings and warehouses. It can be very difficult to maintain and vent, and it is susceptible to water damage. It is easy to install and maintain. You can replace your roof or install a flat roof without any prior experience.

Before you decide to install a flat roof by yourself, it is important to learn about flat roofing materials and the various equipment that are used.

Material for Flat Roofs

There are many options available if you want to install a flat roof on your commercial or residence building. There are many flat roofing materials available. Here are two of the most popular flat roofing materials.

Built-Up Roof (BUR).

BUR roofs are typically made from hot tar and ballasted gravel. A waterproofing material is usually included in the combination. Modern technology has made it possible to use more advanced materials in roofing.

BUR is still a popular choice for flat roofs. This roofing material is fire-resistant and affordable flat roofing material. BUR, despite its affordability, isn’t so easy to maintain and is best used for reconstruction of vacant properties. This roofing material should be left to the professionals.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM, or rubber membrane, is a durable flat roofing material. It is lightweight and flexible and easy to install. You can install this material with glue, fasteners or stone ballasting. Rubber membranes are durable and resistant to water, sun rays and rips.

Equipment Required for DIY Flat Roofing

Flat roofs come in many styles, designs, and materials. For DIY projects, it is best to choose the one you feel most comfortable with. We’ll be guiding you through the steps with EPDM, but here are the basics for flat roofing.

  • Spade
  • Hammer/wallpaper scalper
  • Safety glasses and safety wear (long overcoat or covering)
  • Stripping knife
  • Bolster
  • Pry bar
  • Measure tape
  • Adhesive roller
  • Joists and roofing timber
  • Steel Joists
  • Rubber EPDM membrane
  • Water-based adhesive
  • Copper flashing
  • Foam reinforced with fiberglass
  • Insulating material

Step by Step Flat Roofing Guide

Get Rid of Your Old Roof

The first step to installing a flat roof that will replace an old roof is to remove the old roof. It should be stripped to the sheeting. Be careful not to damage any flashing trim or valley. Before you install your new roof, make sure to check for any damage. You can remove your roof by following these steps

  • Remove any underlying roof by removing the fascia and gutters
  • Use a spade to push into the layers of felts and fabrics.
  • Grab the mortar-filled frame perimeter with your hand.
  • Scrape any remaining surfaces with a hammer, bolster, or wallpaper scraper
  • Take out the felt and any awkwardly positioned nails
  • Remove any timber fillets with your spade or pry bar if you find them.

Assess for Damages and Repairs

Next, remove your old roof. Then you need to assess your roof for damage. If standing water is a problem, you should remove all roofing materials from the area. If the wood is fine, you can use roofing tar to rebuild that area before you apply your new roof material.

Attach Your Flat Roof Material (EPDM).

Once you have evaluated your existing roofing structure and determined that everything is in order, you can apply your flat roof material. Flat roofing materials can be purchased from any local retailer or online. To use your flat roofing material, measure the length, width, and size. This will match the size of the roof. A roofing calculator is a great tool to help you determine the size of your roof. Make sure your roof is dry and clean before you begin. Apply your new roofing material.

  • Take measurements of your roof and choose the right roofing material
  • Place the EPDM (folded material) in the middle of your roof.
  • Spread the material along the length of the roof
  • Let the membrane sit for 30 minutes
  • Fold the material in half to the right side of your roof
  • Adhere the left side of the roof to make it opaque.
  • Roll the membrane quickly to the left side of your roof.
  • To remove air, press the membrane into the adhesive.
  • Adhere to the roof’s right half
  • Remove the membrane remaining.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry for 15-30 minutes

Apply adhesive to your flat roof. Make sure you cover all light spots until the surface becomes opaque. Before you apply adhesive to your flat roof, make sure that it is at least half dry before you start rolling the membrane. To test the adhesive’s wetness, you can touch it with your finger to check if it is tacky, but not stringy.

Complete Flat Roof Installation

The steps above are for replacing an existing roof. However, these steps can be used to install a flat roof from scratch.

  • Fix long nails to the joists, frame the roof
  • Layer 5/8-inch plywood sheathing
  • Attach your plywood sheathing to your underlayment.
  • Attach a 2×4 to the joint between the roof and wall
  • Place your membrane on the roof and glue it.
  • To finish the edges, use a termination stop and attach a lead-coated copper flashing to the front edge.

Get a FREE Estimate

Installing a flat roof and replace an old roof can cause more danger than you think. It’s better to live it to experts like Roofing Co. Roofing Co. provides superior flat roof installation services.

At Roofing Co., our experienced team of roofers has years of experience installing flat roofs that are not only strong and long-lasting but also energy-efficient and visually pleasing. We use only top quality materials and techniques to guarantee your new roof will withstand the elements and protect your property for years to come – contact us today to get started!

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No matter what style or type you prefer, Roofing Co. can install any roof for you with great pride and care.

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Roofing Co. provides top-quality roof installation services that are durable, energy-efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. Contact us today!