Your commercial property is an investment, so it’s only right that you want to take the necessary steps to protect it. By maintaining your roofing system, you can feel confident that severe weather or pesky critters won’t find their way inside, ensuring your property’s security and structural integrity.

Therefore, when it comes time to replace your flat roofing in Calgary, it makes sense that you would want the best materials available. But is there a true standout when it comes to flat roofing materials? Let’s explore your options below.

The Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing Materials

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

This is your traditional hot-tar-and-gravel roofing option. With three, if not more, layers of waterproof membrane alternating with hot tar, you’re sure to have a reliable, leak-proof roof. 

This type of flat roofing is attractive, fire-retardant, and relatively inexpensive. The main drawback to this style is the installation process: it’s smelly, heavy, and requires a true pro to ensure a proper finish.

Modified Bitumen Roof

This single-ply roofing material is infused with a mineral-based wear surface. It comes in a roll, and as you unroll it, a torch is used to heat and adhere the material to the surface of the roof. That said, there are peel-and-stick options available now, which can be safer to install.

This type of flat roofing can be perfect for those looking to save money in the long run, as its light-coloured mineral surface is able to reflect heat and cut down those energy bills. However, the installation process does present a fire risk, and it’s not as scuff-resistant as other options.

Rubber Membrane Roof

This material may resemble an inner tube, but its durability and resistance to damage and sunlight prove it’s here to stay! Rubber roofs can be anchored with fasteners, glue, or ballasted with stone.

This material is fairly light, yet can still hold up against scuffs and tears. Additionally, if leaks ever form, they are relatively simple to patch. The main downside to this option is the cost; the standard black material absorbs heat, thus increasing your energy bill, while the lighter-coloured options generally cost more, thus impacting the price of your roof replacement.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, there is no one material that can be described as being the best. Take your time to research your options and connect with a contractor to determine which flat roofing material would make the most sense for your property.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933.

When you begin to notice unexplained cases of mould, water stains, condensation, or even leaks, you know it’s time to replace your flat roof. While the varying types of flat roofs may be similar in appearance, they each have their own pros and cons.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of flat roofs available to you and how they can work to protect your property.

3 Types of Flat Roofs

  1. Built-up Roof (BUR)

This is the traditional hot tar and gravel roof that is comprised of three (sometimes more) plies of waterproof material, which alternate with hot tar. While they once used tar paper, it’s more common to find roofing companies using more advanced materials, such as fibreglass membranes.

The most attractive fact about this particular flat roof is that it is generally the least expensive option. Gravel is also fire-resistant, which is an added bonus.

On the other hand, this is a rather heavy material that is smelly and messy to install. Therefore, it’s recommended a professional is hired to install the roof and that the building not be occupied during the installation.

  1. Modified Bitumen Roof

This is a single-ply roof that has a mineral-based surface. During installation, modified bitumen roofing is rolled out and then heated with a torch to ensure proper adhesion. However, there are peel-and-stick options coming out as well, which can be safer to work with.

Worker preparing part of bitumen roofing felt roll for melting by gas heater torch flame. On the back of the sheath there is the stamp "Made in Italy" product

This type of roof is moderately priced, but more expensive than BUR. However, the mineral surface creates a lighter colour, thus reflecting the sun and reducing energy bills. Therefore, you may find yourself making back some of that initial investment through savings.

  1. Rubber Membrane Roof 

This is another single-ply material that tends to resemble the feel of an inner tube. Rubber membrane roofing can be anchored with either fasteners, glue, or stone.

This type of roofing is easy enough to install that property owners could do it themselves if they so wished. The material is highly resistant to scuffs and tears, and any leaks that may appear in this roofing are easy to patch. 

It is, however, the most expensive option and more susceptible to punctures.

If you’re considering flat roofing in Calgary but are unsure of where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional roofing company. With their years of experience, they’ll be able to advise you on which flat roof makes the most sense for your property.


At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933.

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