You can find several buildings or homes with flat roofing in Calgary. Yet, what is it about that’s made it so commonplace? Where and when did this type of roof become popular? Learn everything you need to know about the origins of flat roofs here. 

Why Flat Roofing in Calgary Exists Today

Origins of Flat Roofs

For the most part, some of the first homes and buildings were constructed with flat roofs. Flat roofs were typically found in dry climates, where infrequent rainfall and freezing temperatures were a rarity or non-existent. So, it was no wonder how flat roofs were common in places like the American southwest and the Middle East since the climates matched those ideal conditions. However, you can get a good idea of how far back they date based on flat roofs characteristic of the Egyptian, Persian, and Arabian styles of architecture.

Factors Towards Building Upon Flat Roofs 

The early foundations of flat roofs used easily accessible materials such as leaves, straws, and branches. Creating a flat roof involved using those materials and pressing them into clay to fill the empty spaces and create a solid barrier for the top of homes and buildings. However, due to the limitations of materials used, a flat roof’s biggest flaw at the time was needing a basic drainage system. 

Despite this flaw, it inspired the need to innovate on flat roofs in various ways—these range from using more durable, suitable materials for certain climates and structuring flat roofs differently. For instance, places experiencing snow benefit from a sloped roof to avoid leaks from seeping inside. Over time, these factors help facilitate the evolution of the flat roof, eventually leading it to become a staple type of roofing across the globe. 

Foundation of Modern Flat Roofs

In 19th century America and Europe, modern flat roofs found popularity. By this time, better waterproof materials, like concrete and steel, were readily available. Various metals such as lead, tin, copper, and asphalt were deemed the most effective since they were durable for many years. 

Once the late 1950s and 1960s rolled in, a notable material called mineral felt – bituminous felt roofing sheet – became popular since it was lightweight and affordable. However, its drawback was it’s prone to leaks. Thankfully, the issue was short-lived from using better materials like TPO, PVC and EPDM rubber roofing.

EPDM has been one of the most popular materials since the late 1970s and remains as such until this day. It makes sense since this material is cost-effective, with the lowest cost per square foot. TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is another common material that modern flat roofs can use. Like EPDM, it’s also very durable and heat resistant since it is made of a vinyl composite. However, it’s a tad better since it offers a higher degree of UV protection and structural integrity, allowing it to support more weight.

With these new materials, modern flat roofing in Calgary wouldn’t have existed without innovations making it possible. 

City Roofing & Exteriors consistently takes pride in serving Calgarians. At City Roofing, we understand the importance of customer satisfaction. We put safety, quality work and on time delivery as our top priority. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet their budget and needs. We offer completed roofing services in Calgary and area on both residential and commercial projects. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and recommend City Roofing as your roofing consultant and contractor. Give us a call at 403-608-9933 or send an email to [email protected].

Winter ushers in a sudden drop in temperatures that don’t go unnoticed by everyone in the city. Naturally, the shift to colder conditions has many homeowners planning to find ways to make their homes warmer. One such method is by finding parts of the house to insulate. However, for those with flat roofing in Calgary, it has them wondering whether it’s possible to insulate. Find the answer here if you have been pondering whether it’s possible.

Insulation For Flat Roofing in Calgary 

How Insulation For a Flat Roof Works

For those with flat roofing, insulating is possible! Yet, when it comes to installing insulation, there are various ways of going about it. For instance, you can install insulation from the inside or the outside. 

Here are a few of the following methods to consider:

Inside Insulation

Many roofing companies in Calgary may refer to inside insulation as a hot roof. What exactly does this mean? For the most part, hot roofs are where the insulation is attached to the floor decking and rafters. In turn, it helps create thermal protection. However, this form of insulation has its limitations. If your ceiling height is limited, the insulation will reduce not only the room’s height but may impede doors and windows opening too. It’s why these are mainly common for pitched roofs.  

Outside Insulation

Regarding outside insulation, it’s also commonly referred to as a cold roof. Typically, this type of installation involves proper ventilation through the layer of insulation, waterproofing, and the rest of the roof. The process is done by applying a strong adhesive to the foam board, laying it down on the roof surface, and securing it with washer head nails. After, the rubber waterproof membrane adheres to the surface of the foam board. More layers of foam board are normally used in this application to achieve the needed R-value. Yet, for this method, be mindful of insulating rim joists – without doing so can create moisture and air infiltration issues.

Materials Used for Flat Roof Insulation

Beyond choosing to insulate inside or outside, you must also discern what materials to use. It’s important to understand what materials there are to know which would work better than others. Check out the following insulating materials down below:

  • Polyisocyanurate: It’s the most popular flat roof insulation option – and for a good reason. This material achieves a high R-value even with minimal thickness as closed-cell foam. Its thinness is great for working on a flat roof with little space. 
  • Expanded Polystyrene: Just installed a flat roof? If so, this material is best. However, avoid this for existing flat roofs since it works by expanding into crevices. It must be dealt with much care to avoid cutting off ventilation. 
  • Extruded Polystyrene: This material may not have high performance. However, if you’re looking for an easy installation for an existing roof, this is for you. 

The Benefits of An Insulated Flat Roof

For any Calgarian, the common reason to consider insulating their flat roof is to stay warm during the cold winter months. Yet, an insulated flat roof brings plenty of other benefits. 

Check out a few of the benefits here:

  • Stays cooler during hot summer weather
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Less energy consumption
  • Lower heating bills
  • Improved energy rating

City Roofing & Exteriors consistently takes pride in serving Calgarians. At City Roofing, we understand the importance of customer satisfaction. We put safety, quality work and on time delivery as our top priority. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet their budget and needs. We offer completed roofing services in Calgary and area on both residential and commercial projects. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and recommend City Roofing as your roofing consultant and contractor. Give us a call at 403-608-9933 or send an email to [email protected].

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