Your Flat Roof Specialists – Serving MD, DC, VA
Maggio Roofing is the leading flat roofing contractor in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area. Our flat roof installation and repair experts have the experience and skill required to install a roof that is as durable and functional as it is beautiful.
Flat roofs can be used in either residential or commercial settings, and Maggio is the region’s leading flat roof specialist.
Flat Roof Installation & Repair Estimates
Want a quote on a new flat roof for your home or commercial building? Simply click on the image to the right and fill out the free estimate request form, and someone from our team will contact you. To learn more about flat roofs click here.
More About Flat Roof
Most roofs in Washington DC are flat or nearly flat with a slight pitch. Some that are completely flat and do not have a pitch due to settlement of the home, improper construction, or deflection of the rafters must have a roof system installed that will either correct the pitch or be able to withstand the effects of ponding water. In order to correct a roof structure that has standing (or ponding) water, a tapered insulation system can be installed. Sometimes, though, this is not possible due to penetrations or other structures on the roof. When this is the case, a roof system that is not adversely effected by standing water should be used. The problem is that most flat roof systems are made from asphalt products, which do not hold up under these situations.
We normally suggest installing a single-ply membrane roof system. The next issue is to decide which type of single ply roof should be used. Most people have the impression that all single-ply membranes are alike and nothing can be further from the truth. Just because they are called single-ply membranes does not mean that they will perform the same. It’s like saying that just because you have a car, it will perform the same as any other car, just because they are both automobiles —which we all know is not the case.
Single-Ply roofing membranes have been installed on roofing projects for over 25 years. Some have performed well while others are doing poorly or are non-existent today, while others have recently come into the marketplace.
In designing performance characteristics in a single-ply membrane or single-ply system you have to keep in mind what elements the material is going to be subjected to. Roofing membranes need to perform 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without resting periods. Roofing membranes are exposed to UV Rays, rain, snow, hail, standing water, micro organisms, chemical pollutants, vast temperature changes, wind and dynamic flexing, etc.
The expectations of single-ply membranes should be that the membrane:
- is a waterproofing sheet
- must remain waterproof throughout its warranty life
- must be non-flammable
- must comply with building codes
- must be easy to work with and repair
- be pliable at different temperatures (especially extreme cold)
The single-ply roofing market today is dominated by TPO, PVC & CPA (co-polymer alloy). TPO’s are relatively new and do not have adequate performance history to make a concise judgment, but if past performance is any measure, they should be avoided. There has been some confusion in the market place regarding TPO’s. TPO’s, as a roofing product, have only been around in the United States since 1993 and “As yet, little is known about their durability.” Ralph M. Paroli, Technical advisor report Feb/Mar 2000. Recently GAF recalled its’ TPO2 product. According to a newsletter article from the NRCA dated 6/8/01 “GAF Materials Corp. (GAFMC) has announced that it will discontinue production of its new EverGuard® TPO² Plus product… According to GAFMC, TPO² required greater care during installation, which meant it did not meet the company’s requirement for being “contractor-friendly.” The TPO² product, according to GAFMC, proved to be more sensitive to temperatures, weld speeds and cleaning procedures and, therefore, “created hassles for experienced contractors.” TPO continues to be in the experimental phase – all are in their second, third and in some cases fourth generation of formulations. These and other reasons are due cause to still be a little skeptical of TPO roofing materials.
On the other hand PVC & CPA’s roofing membranes have been around for over 25 years with an incredible documented track record.
Maggio Roofing primarily uses one type of membrane –Fibertite Roof Systems. This manufacturer has one of the best track records of any roofing material manufacturer. In fact, this manufacturer has not changed their formulation of their membranes since introducing them over 30 years ago.
FiberTite is a unique DuPont™ Elvaloy® (Ketone Ethylene Ester – KEE) based roofing system that was invented over a quarter century ago. Today, over 99% of FiberTite roofs ever installed are still performing.
The following are comparisons between Fibertite’s engineered PVC and other single-ply roofs.
vs. TPO – No Long-Term Track Record
TPO roofi ng membranes were first introduced in 1992. Yet the majority of TPO manufacturers didn’t enter the market until the mid- to late- 90s. And TPO continues to be in the experimental phase – all are in their second, third and in some cases fourth generation of formulations. The FiberTite and IB formula has never changed since its introduction over 25 years ago
vs. EPDM – Less Seam Strength, Less Energy Efficiency
EPDM is a thermoset material, which requires a mechanical seal using tape or glue. This mechanical seal becomes the weak link, and can lead to leaking and waterproof issues. FiberTite and IB roofing membranes are made of a thermoplastic material, and provide a molecular weld via sealing the seam with a heat source. Molecular welds are 10 times more secure than those created with a mechanical seaming process. Both membranes are Energy Star® compliant and reduces energy costs.
vs. Built-Up and Modified Bitumen —
Potential Installation Issues, Poor Protection from the Elements and Energy Inefficiencies
Built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen roofing systems require the construction of multiple waterproofing membrane layers. Consequently, they are subject to a number of installation errors. Combine these factors with extremely poor resistance to UV, chemical resistance, ponding water and poor energy efficiency, and what you have is an inferior roofing product. All of the ‘protection’ needed for your roof is engineered into one monolithic FiberTite or IB sheet, reducing the probability of installation error. And FiberTite’s high KEE polymer content provides excellent chemical resistance.
Another huge problem with modifeds are that they are installed with a torch. This gives rise to the risk of roof fires, which have increased so much so that the insurance companies have convinced the industry to install torch applied membranes differently. We can all agree that insurance companies should not be telling roofing companies how to install a roof!
To compensate for deficiencies, many manufacturers continually alter their product formulas. Look for proof that the product you choose has already stood up to the tests you plan to give it. If you want your roof to last 20 years, withstanding exposure to harsh chemicals and intense sunshine, ask the manufacturer for examples of similar success stories. Be aware: many products that start out performing like champions, lose their original physical properties with age.
Figuring the cost of your roof requires looking far beyond the sticker price. The real value of a roof is calculated by factoring the system’s proven longevity, the energy savings it can bring if it is a reflective roof system, typical maintenance and repair costs, and also, if necessary, the cost of disposing the roof when it’s old. According to the Department of Energy, in most regions of the U.S., reflective roof systems can save between $.07 and $.20 per square foot, per year – in some cases even over $.20 per square foot. Be sure to ask the manufacturer for life cycle cost data.
Don’t overestimate the value of a warranty. In many cases it’s a piece of paper used as a marketing tool. Warranties protect the manufacturer and with some, the proof of failure lies with the owner. A warranty for 15 or 20 years makes you feel safe the day you buy it, but first verify that the roof system will last that long. Will the manufacturer last that long? Take time to understand the warranty, especially its exclusions. Many warranties are pro-rated and exclude common conditions like ponding water, hail, oil or grease. Definitions for wind speed can be vague.. Big company or small company, nothing is more important than their integrity and proven commitment to service and product performance.
The best roof system in the world put in the wrong hands will fail. The quality of the finished product depends on the experience of the installer. Check to see if the product manufacturer provides installation training for the contractor. Ask the contractor for a complete project reference list to verify customers have been satisfied with the installation of the system you select.
Because some systems’ original physical properties change with age, they can become next to impossible to modify or repair. It’s common to make alterations after installation, such as changing the heating, ventilation and cooling system, or adding rooftop equipment, exhaust fans or skylights. Making sure repairs are possible and warrantable will lessen possible frustrations
If you’re considering installing a flat roof, let us help. We’re Maggio Roofing, the leading flat roofing contractor in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC area. Our team of roof installation specialists have years of experience in successfully installing flat roofs. Contact us today for a free quote for your new residential or commercial flat roof. Simply click on the button below, and fill out the short form to get your quote shortly.