Schedule Your Professional Flat Roofing in Dublin

The Dublin Roofers specialise in flat roofs and have been building and repairing them for over 30 years. In that time we have worked with every single flat roofing material on the market.

We are so confident in our ability to install them perfectly that we offer extremely long guarantees of even up to 30 years in some cases.

You won’t find any other roofer in Dublin offering anywhere close to that type of warranty.

We always insist on using the highest quality materials and we have even gone as far as getting certified by the manufacturer’s themselves. We are recommended installers for most of the major flat roofing brands.

The Best Flat Roofing Materials: a Summary

Choosing a flat roof can be confusing. It can be hard to know what type of flat roof to choose. There are many different options and everybody has their own recommendations.

There is generally no right or wrong answer, however there can be a best material based on budget, appearance or use case.

This guide will lay out the 5 main flat roof types and their pros and cons.

Felt Roof

  • Felt Roofs Pros – Cost effective, good results, suitable for any sized roof.
  • Felt Roofs Cons – Not good for being walked on, flame required to install, not suitable for DIY installation.

Asphalt Roof

  • Asphalt Roof Pros – Affordable pricing, extremely durable, can e used on most sizes of roof, last a long time.
  • Asphalt Roof Cons – Very heavy which needs a strong roof substructure, not DIY friendly.

EPDM Rubber

  • EPDM Rubber Pros – Flexible and light, durable, doesn’t need naked flames to install, suitable for DIYers.
  • EPDM Rubber Cons – Can be prone to shrinkage over time, not really suitable for complex roof designs or use around vents etc, some may think its appearance is unattractive.

GRP Fiberglass

  • GRP Fibreglass Pros – Hard wearing and light, no flame required to install, very strong and resistant to being cracked or cut with a knife, DIY friendly.
  • GRP Fibreglass Cons – Not that flexible, not suitable for large areas, can be very slippery especially when new.

Single Ply Membrane

  • Single Ply Membrane (PVC, TPO, TPE, PIB) Pros – Flexible, light, nice to look at, resistant to fire, quite long lasting, can be used on large surface areas and slopes.
  • Single Ply Membrane (PVC, TPO, TPE, PIB) Cons – For domestic use it costs much more than other materials available, may not be suitable for complex roof detailing or foot traffic.

Our 100% Satisfaction 30 Year Guarantees

The Dublin Roofers offer extremely long written guarantees on every job we do right up to 30 years.

From small roof repairs right up to new roof constructions and everything in between, we always aim for 100% satisfaction.

Our 30 year guarantees are designed to give you maximum peace of mind.

Thousands of Happy Customers

More than happy to recommend The Dublin Roofers for any roof repairs. The team that came to fix my roof were terrific. They worked quickly and cleared up any rubbish after them. Very pleased with everything.
Henry Browne
Rathmines

Everyone we worked with at The Dublin Roofers were very professional, courteous and kept to appointments. Communication was great throughout and our questions were always answered promptly.
Julia Burke
Clontarf

Very impressive customer service from Maria. The team’s workmanship was excellent and we were very happy with the competitive price. We are also very grateful that everything was finished within our tight schedule.
Mark Thorne
Blackrock

Felt Flat Roofs

Felt roofing has a very bad reputation. This is because many years ago this material was a really bad choice. The felt was often prone to rot and tended to dry and become cracked from the sun. If you were lucky you might get ten good years out of it.

Torch-On Flat Roofing Felt

Modern felt roofing is torched on instead of the old pour and roll method. And a lot of great progress has been made in the actual felt too. Nowadays it is much more resistant to UV rays and doesn’t dry and crack as easily. The back of the sheet is heated with a torch and then rolled on to the roof structure.

Also nowadays there are usually 3 separate layers applied which each serve a different purpose and all result in a much more insulated and durable rough.

It’s very strong and very durable when installed correctly and the top layer is available in many different colours.

Almost any roofer will give you a 10 year guarantee because they know if it’s installed properly it will easily last 20 and possibly even 30 years. 

Overview:

  • Price – The most affordable flat roof option
  • Appearance – Lots of different colours to suit all tastes
  • Usability – Useful for any size of roof and suitable for complex roofs with various details, not suitable for heavy foot traffic
  • Durability – Can last for 20 years plus if installed correctly, good expansion and contraction properties make it resistant to the elements and UV rays, can be walked on but not too frequently
  • Ability to Repair – As easy as adding a new area of felt to the torn or worn area
  • Other Issues – As it requires a flame torch to apply you should make sure your roofer carries the proper insurance cover

Asphalt Flat Roof

Asphalt roofs have been used for quite a long time now. But just like felt roofs, with modern innovations they have become significantly better.

Asphalt can be laid on timber metal and concrete. It’s very heavy so it does require a strong structure. But it is very versatile and can be used on roof designs that are fairly complex, easily fitting around vents, roof lights or slopes etc.

Overview:

  • Price – On average expect to pay about 20-25% more than a torch-on felt roof
  • Appearance – This is really down to individual tastes but it has a matt grey finish which many like the look of
  • Usability – No need for flame torches, but does require a strong structure and not suitable for heavy slopes, suitable for roofs with complex detailing
  • Durability – Extremely hard wearing, can easily withstand heavy footfall, some asphalt roofs can last 40 or 50 years only requiring some light repairs
  • Ability to Repair – Repairs are quick and easy, and there are many different options of material to repair it with
  • Other Issues – The underlying roof must be strong enough to not flex, otherwise the asphalt can crack, also the substructure must not have any rising damp or complications may occur in the asphalt

EPDM Rubber Flat Roof

These roofs have become much more popular in recent years. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a large roll of rubber roofing material. Due to its width it can often be installed in one section meaning there are no joints.  It is also very light and straightforward to install as they don’t require flame torches. They can simply be glued down to a wooden substate.

The main benefit of EPDM roofing is that it lasts an incredibly long time. If it’s installed correctly it would last as long as 50 years. 

Overview:

  • Price – Affordable but still about 25% more than a torch-on roof, but a small roof could be installed by a DIYer
  • Appearance – It’s looks like you would expect, a black sheet of rubber, some people like it but others don’t
  • Usability – This material is best suited for simple roofs, if there are too many complications it can look poor and also be more prone to leaking
  • Durability – As you would expect, it’s very durable and can withstand all types of different weather and wear and tear, is susceptible to damage from pointed objects or vandalism from knifes
  • Ability to Repair – Can be repaired quite easily using more patches of EPDM
  • Other Issues – Needs to be fitted by competent professionals, it can be prone to shrinkage so fleece-backed EPDM is recommended on large roofs areas, russ strips are also necessary to prevent edge details pulling away from the walls from shrinkage

GRP Fibreglass Flat Roof

GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is another type of felt roof material that has become much more popular recently. This is largely due to the improvements in both the material itself and the newer more reliable installation techniques.

Being completely jointless makes it an excellent choice

A fibreglass roof should easily last 20 years and even up to 30 years when high quality materials are combined with expert installation.

Overview:

  • Price – It will depend on the exact spec you go for but expect to pay a bit more than an EPDM roof
  • Appearance – With so many colours to choose from this is probably the best looking type of flat roof material
  • Usability – Very light and strong, comes in a huge array of colours, works well only both very complicated and simpler roofs, only downside is that it’s not really suitable for use on a very large area where the structure is prone to contract and expand excessively or where the structure might not be very strong
  • Durability – Extremely long lasting and super strong, resistant to almost any type of damage or vandalism, can be quite slippery when wet but there are special anti-slip coatings that can be applied
  • Ability to Repair – Repairs are quick and easy but also basically invisible once completed
  • Other Issues – Requires good, dry weather to install properly, don’t skimp on the material quality, make sure it’s from a reputable manufacturer and is thick enough

Single Ply Membrane

There are many different types of single ply membrane. Technically it’s any roof covering that can make a waterproof flat roof with just one layer.

The most common types are PVC, PIB, TPO and TPE.

All single ply membranes share similar traits with some minor differences separating them. For example they are all light, very flexible, very resistant to all weather types from very hot to very cold. They are also able to handle UV light and are resistant to mold and mildew growth. Finally they are fire resistant (and in fact self-extinguishing), chemical resistant and friendly to the environment.

This is why they are so commonly used on commercial and industrial buildings.

However for a residential setting single ply membranes are usually overkill and are also more expensive than the other options available.

PIB (PolyIsoButylene)

  • Life expectancy of over 30 years, sometimes up to 50 years
  • Very expensive
  • Durable and easy to install
  • Not resistant to solvents

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

  • Life expectancy of over 30 years, sometimes up to 50 years
  • Slippery when wet
  • Prone to shrinkage

TPE (Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer)

  • 100% recyclable
  • Expected life of 30 years, usually guaranteed for 20 years

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Expected life of 20 years, guaranteed for usually 15-20 years

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Is a Flat Roof a Good Idea?

In recent years flat roofs have gained popularity in Dublin and across Ireland and this is for a very good reason. They used to have a reputation for not lasting for very long. Older roll-on felt roofs often didn’t even last 10 years before cracking and splitting.

However with modern advances in materials like torch-on felt, EPDM rubber and GRP fibreglass, flat roofs are often just as long lasting as pitched tile, slate and clay roofs. They are also easy to repair, cost-effective and can be insulated very well too.

This makes opting for a flat roof an excellent idea under the right circumstances.

How Long is a Flat Roof Good For?

How long your flat roof lasts will depend on the quality of the roofer and whether the materials are high quality and bought from a reputable manufacturer. Ireland’s experienced flat roof specialists always work exclusively with the market’s leading manufacturers.

Assuming regular maintenance and proper installation here are the expected life spans of the various flat roofing materials:

  • Torch-on felt: Will easily last for 20 years if installed correctly, maybe even 30 years
  • EPDM rubber: Should last 50 years
  • GRP fibreglass: Expected lifespan of 20-30 years
  • Asphalt: Should last 40-50 years
  • Single ply membranes: Expected lifespan of 30 years with possibility of up to 50 with regular maintenance

What is the Best Coating for a Flat Roof?

There is no single best solution when it comes to flat roofing. Each of the 5 main types of flat roofing material have their pros and cons. There is however a perfect choice for your specific circumstances.

What you need to do is figure out what your budget is and what’s most important to you. The four main things to consider are the price, appearance, usability and durability.

Are you very concerned about the finished look? Then you might want to choose GRP fiberglass as it comes in many different colours.

If it will need to carry a lot of foot traffic then asphalt is an excellent choice. If it’s a complex roof with many complications then something like EPDM would not be advised. However EPDM rubber is affordable and can be repaired quite easily.

Check this link for more info on the 5 main flat roofing materials and their pros and cons.

Where do I Find Skilled Flat Roofing Specialists in Dublin?

At The Dublin Roofers, we are always ready to do what we do best and put your mind at ease. As Dublin’s top choice for roof repair and other roofing services, we can perform prompt and reliable roof installation on your Dublin home or commercial property, including flat roof installation and repair available across Dublin. Browse our website for more information or simply make your appointment with Dublin’s leading flat roofing contractors today!

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