Flat Roof Systems

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Overview 

Our team at IDS has decades of combined experience working in flat (low slope) roof construction and repair.  Washington, DC is full of buildings with flat roofs; ranging from historic standing seam terne metal and historic built up roof systems to modern single-ply roof systems such as TPO, Modified Bitumen, and EPMD roof systems.  We look at roof systems from a system-wide perspective and try to solve problems followign root cause analysis perspective. 

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In our experience, engaging in removal and replacement of existing flat roof systems often uncovers damage in the substrate framing and decking system. Repairs of this type are only visible once the existing roof is removed. If framing and decking repairs are also needed, IDS is a multi-disciplinary company with technicians trained and certified in all areas of flat roof repair and installation. IDS is the leading flat roof specialist in DC. 

We look at flat roofing construction in four functional areas of work

  • Flat Roof Repair

  • Flat Roof Replacement

  • Overlay and Coatings

  • Seasonal Roof Checkups and Maintenance

Flat Roof Repair    

In our experience, engaging in removal and replacement of existing flat roof systems often uncovers damage in the substrate framing and decking system. Repairs of this type are only visible once the existing roof is removed. If framing and decking repairs are also needed, IDS is a multi-disciplinary company with technicians trained and certified in all areas of flat roof repair and installation. IDS is the leading flat roof specialist in DC. 

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In many cases temporary repair and spot patching can be somewhat effective to mitigate water entry for a limited period of time, but in cases where roof systems are beyond their midlife span and/or installed incorrectly by previous contractors, we often will recommend replacement of the roof system.

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Our company's core values are founded in the principles of quality control management and we take a unique approach to checking roofs for problems and defects.  The marked up image below, shows a real example of a roof repair job in which we used annotated photos to communicate and numerate the problems. This allows us to both track the work through operations and also communicate with the client. 

This type of approach to communication helps because most building owners and managers do not climb up to their rooftops often to see things for themselves, and we understand that.

Flat Roof Replacement

IDS can provide consultation and advice on how to address your flat roof concerns.  At times, we may recommend replacing or overlaying the roof.  Our company is trained and and certified to install several different typed of roof systems.  Depending on the configuration of the roof deck and roof layout, we will select and recommend a system which provides the best combination of longevity, first cost, and lifecycle costs (aka running costs).  Different roof systems have varying characteristics and the best roof system selection is dependent on context and individual customer needs.

For example, TPO roofs have a higher first cost, but lower maintenance costs and provide better energy efficiency.  In circumstances rooftops are used for air duct runs, or where solar panels are to be installed in the future with bearing penetrations in the field of the roof membrane, modified bitumen roofs may be a better option.  However, modified bitumen systems can offer some savings on first cost, have a similar lifespan, but provide more flexibility as a substrate in the event that you plan to expand your roof system to tie into other systems.

For example, in cases where there is a need to add rooftop access or HVAC equipment in the near future, modified bitumen may be the superior choice. 

 

TPO is generally a better option for all other circumstances. As flat roofing specialists, we can help a client review both existing conditions and options for improvements to make the best decisions.

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Rooftop Coatings 
Several types of commonly used flat roof systems, have a lower first cost, but require routine recoating.  Our company is a certified and applicator of several types of flat roof coating systems, including: siliconized, elastomeric, and aluminum.
 
In many cases the application of a roof coating can extend the life of a roof membrane system, by several years. Some types of roofing systems are required to be coated to provide protection from the deleterious effects of ultraviolet rays from sunlight.
Seasonal Roof Checkups and Maintenance
For a fee, our company can come out to your building and get on the roof and provide routine seasonal maintenance to check a variety of different rooftop systems and particularly the interface between the flat roof membrane and adjacent rooftop components. Our company can also clean out gutters, check for rodent infestation at chimney tops, at faces and records, and at soffits.   In seasonal maintenance agreements, our company will also check and make needed adjustments to many other parts of a flat roof system.
Washington DC flat roof systems require a lot of repair and attention over their life cycle. It's worthwhile to have a knowledgeable and reliable contractor taking care of one of your building’s most valuable components.   Feel free to reach out to us and start a conversation. We would be glad to be your contractor of choice for all your flat roof needs.