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  • Flat Roof Alternatives


    December 06 2018

    Traditional felt or rubber flat roof options have declined in popularity in recent years as new alternatives have come to the fore.

    However, which is the best option for anyone looking for a flat roof alternative, whether that is for a domestic, commercial or building of special interest?

    The Problem with Felt or Rubber Flat Roofs

    The level of the problem should not be exaggerated, there are many felt flat and rubber roofs that have been in situ for decades problem free, doing exactly the job they were installed to do.

    However, these roofs can also be prone to issues. As they are not applied as a single, continuous membrane, there is a join and seal that can be prone to fail.

    These roofs can also be, if not ugly, at least not pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, felt roofs are heat applied and neither of these roofs is suitable for heavy footfall, they are not particularly durable options.

    Not all flat roofs are equal

    The issues with this type of flat roofing have made many people completely discount all flat roofing. However, in our opinion, that is a mistake. Not all flat roofs are created equal…

    New, fibreglass flat roofs

    People search for flat roof alternatives because they have concerns about the installation of flat roofs, the life span, or the
    aesthetics.

    These are all factors that new, fibreglass flat roofs tackle. This is also shown by independent reviews, the Fixmyroof website coming down heavily in
    favour of fibreglass flat roofing.

    At Topseal, we are the UK’s market lead-in fibreglass flatroofs, our products having been fitted on to millions of square metres of roofing.

    Flat roof alternatives - is a flat roof still the best option?

    Every roof installed has a minimum of a full 20-year guarantee while the most durable roofs have 40-year guarantees.

    These are also roofs where there is no heat applied during the installation and roofs that are fitted on to British sourced timber, a far cry from the worst of the old days of flat roofs where the roof might be applied on top of thin chipboard.

    Topseal even provides a product called Direct Lay which is a flat roof that can be applied over an existing, failed roof and so saves greatly on time and expense. This type of roof comes with almost no upheaval - a business could stay in full operation while having the roof to its premises repaired.

    The roofs come in a huge range of colours, there are more than 1,000 shades, far from looking like a bolt-on, this is a roofing product that has been used on renovations on Grand Designs.

    A quality installation is also guaranteed, only approved accredited installers work with Topseal, we know that the quality of the installation is every bib as important as the quality of the product itself.

    If a long-lasting, durable roof is required, a fibreglass flat roof is the recommended option. These are roofs which share a name with felt and rubber flat roofs but have none of the drawbacks.


    Download the Topseal brochure

    Other flat roof alternatives

    Many other flat roof alternatives would be suitable for a roof where a compromise is acceptable - whether that is on lifespan, the look of the roof or the professionalism of the installation, for instance some would be possible for the DIY enthusiast to undertake.

    These might be roofs for a shed or outbuilding rather than for living space in a house or the roof to a commercial property.

    Roll-on roofs are one option. These, as the name implies, simply get rolled out and then nailed to the frame. This type of roofing is unlikely to last much beyond a decade and certainly is not suitable for any part of a building in regular use - it is a roofing option for sheds and barns.

    Sheet metal roofing. This is a roofing option that is heavy and quality can vary greatly, only the best quality will leave a roof that is free from rust and long lasting.

    Although very different to roll on roofs in terms of material, this too is a roofing option that is best suited to barns, storage facilities and outbuildings.

    Asphalt roofs. This is a roofing option that has been used for more than a century. Similar to felt and rubber flat roofing, it is declining in popularity.

    Asphalt roofing can be a cheap option at least in the short term - the typical life span of around a decade means there is a strong likelihood that repairs or a new roof will be required just years after the initial installation.

    Flat roofing alternatives - It depends on the purpose of the roof

    When looking for the best roof option it is necessary to consider what the roof is for - clearly you could use a different, cheaper roofing option for a shed or a barn than you could for an extension or a commercial property.

    Where the roof does not need a guaranteed long life and where the look of the roof is not a prime concern there are a number of cheap options which might be worth considering.

    However, for any more substantial roof, where real quality is required the fibreglass flat roofing option is the best option.

    This is a roofing option that has up to a 40-year guarantee and should always last a lifetime. It is also a roof that is environmentally friendly. Any timber decking used is fully FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified and as a company Topseal is ISO 14001 certified, this the international standard for environmental management.

    If you would like to discuss your roofing requirements, please call us on 01423 886495 or use our Contact Form.

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