roofing Calgary

Top Flat Roofing Materials: Pros & Cons

Regarding roofing in Calgary, flat roofing offers unique advantages and challenges. As a homeowner, selecting the right roofing material for your flat roof ensures durability and functionality, especially with Calgary’s unpredictable weather. Check out the top flat roofing materials, their pros and cons, and how they fare in the context of flat roofing in Calgary.

Weighing Your Material Options For Flat Roofing in Calgary 

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing (BUR), known as tar and gravel, has been a popular choice for flat roofs for decades. It comprises multiple layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) and is reinforced with plies of roofing felts.


  • Proven durability and longevity.
  • Excellent protection against UV rays and harsh weather conditions.
  • Resistant to foot traffic and punctures.
  • Offers good fire resistance.


  • Heavy and requires a strong supporting structure.
  • Installation can be messy due to the use of hot asphalt or torch application.
  • Susceptible to temperature-related expansion and contraction, leading to cracks.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is an evolution of BUR and combines the benefits of traditional built-up roofing with modern technology. It consists of bitumen (asphalt) modified with rubber or plastic polymers.


  • Flexible and can withstand temperature fluctuations – perfect for the seasonal cold climate of Calgary.
  • Resistant to UV rays and water damage.
  • It can be installed using different methods, including torch, hot asphalt, and self-adhesive sheets.
  • Offers good puncture resistance.


  • Installation requires skill and expertise.
  • Vulnerable to damage from heavy foot traffic or sharp objects.
  • The seams can be potential weak points if not properly sealed.

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-ply membrane roofing is a lightweight option with excellent waterproofing and weather resistance. Two main types are Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM).


  • Lightweight and suitable for various flat roof types.
  • Reflective surfaces (TPO) help reduce energy costs.
  • Resistant to UV rays, chemicals, and punctures.
  • Installation is relatively straightforward and requires fewer seams.


  • It may not have the same long-term durability as some other materials.
  • Seam integrity is essential for preventing leaks.
  • The quality of installation depends on the expertise of the installer.

PVC Roofing

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofing is a type of single-ply membrane that offers durability and energy efficiency. It’s known for its heat-welded seams and reflective properties.


  • Highly resistant to chemicals, fire, and UV rays.
  • Reflective surfaces contribute to energy efficiency.
  • Excellent seam integrity due to heat-welded installation.
  • Long lifespan with proper maintenance.


  • It can be relatively expensive compared to other options.
  • Requires professional installation to ensure proper seam welding.
  • Vulnerable to punctures from sharp objects.

Green Roofing

Green roofing involves the installation of a living, planted surface on your flat roof. It offers insulation benefits, aesthetic appeal, and environmental advantages.


  • Natural insulation helps regulate indoor temperature.
  • Aesthetic appeal and potential for creating green spaces.
  • Improved air quality and reduced heat island effect.
  • It can extend the lifespan of the roofing material underneath.


  • Requires specialized expertise in design and installation.
  • Higher upfront costs due to materials and installation requirements.
  • Ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure plant health and prevent leaks.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing for flat roofs is typically made from steel, aluminum, or copper. It offers a sleek and modern aesthetic while providing durability and weather resistance.


  • Long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Reflective surfaces help reduce energy costs.
  • Resistant to fire, UV rays, and pests.
  • It is lightweight and doesn’t require a heavy supporting structure.


  • Initial installation costs can be higher than other materials.
  • Expansion and contraction due to temperature changes can lead to noise.
  • Seams and fasteners need proper attention to prevent leaks.

Flat Roofing in Calgary: What to Consider 

When selecting the right flat roofing material for your Calgary home, it’s essential to consider the local climate. The unpredictable weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, rain, and temperature fluctuations, require a roofing material to withstand the challenges.

Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Durability: Opt for a roofing material that can handle the varying weather conditions in Calgary without deteriorating quickly.
  • Insulation: Insulation is crucial for maintaining indoor comfort and reducing energy costs, especially in the cold winters of Calgary.
  • Installation Expertise: The quality of installation plays a significant role in the performance of your flat roof. Choose experienced professionals who are familiar with Calgary’s weather challenges.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of your flat roof. Choose a material that aligns with your maintenance preferences and schedule.

Choosing The Right Materials For Flat Roofing in Calgary

When weighing out materials for flat roofing in Calgary, you should be well-informed, considering each option’s pros and cons. Whether you prioritize durability, energy efficiency, or aesthetic appeal, there’s a roofing material that suits your needs. By selecting the right material and working with experienced professionals, you can ensure that your flat roof meets the unique challenges of Calgary’s climate, providing you with years of reliable protection.

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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