Asphalt and gravel flat roofing: advantages, disadvantages, and green alternatives

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If your flat roof needs to be replaced, there are many options available, such as tar and gravel roofing, green roofing, or TPO or EPDM roofing, each of which offers several advantages. Which is the most cost-efficient solution? The most durable? The most environmentally friendly? Clinique de la toiture FCA, a roofing company in Montreal near Laval, tells you more about it!

An asphalt roof

For many, many years, flat roofs made of gravel and asphalt have been very common in Montreal and elsewhere in the province. Who has never smelled the odour of tar being spread on flat roofs in the middle of summer? Very popular for many residential and commercial roofs, these materials offer many advantages:

  1. Affordable and Efficient Solution
    Installing asphalt and gravel roofing on a flat roof is a very economical solution because the materials used are not expensive. Composed of 3 to 5 layers bonded together with hot asphalt and then covered with gravel, these roofs are also very resistant, which gives them a good quality/price ratio.
  2. Easy Adaptation and Repair
    Does your flat roof have several skylights, chimneys and vents? Then it is very easy to install a tar and gravel roof! What’s more, it can be repaired quite easily.
  3. Protection against Fire and Water Infiltration
    A flat gravel and asphalt roof provides protection against fire spread as well as water infiltration.

However, there are several disadvantages to this type of roofing. For example, some insulations are not compatible with an asphalt roof, which could force you to change your plans. As well, these materials have a low tolerance to contraction and expansion; they are also vulnerable to the weather at the time of installation and will deteriorate more quickly if you do not maintain them. The smell of tar can also be a nuisance to some people. Finally, asphalt can slip on your roof if it has a slope greater than 8 degrees.

Environmentally friendly alternatives to asphalt and gravel roofs

A variety of materials with a smaller ecological footprint are available on the market and are becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few of them.

Green Roof

Also known as a planted roof, the green roof is the eco-friendly roof of choice! Beautiful and most practical—you can grow flowers and vegetables on it!—this type of roof also has many advantages. For example, the plants on the roof absorb air pollutants, which purifies the air; then they reduce heat islands in the city while protecting against heat and UV rays. Finally, they will limit heat loss during the winter, while providing insulation against the cold.

White Roof

Whether you opt for an EPDM or TPO membrane, a white roof is also an excellent investment! Indeed, these membranes are easy to install and are fully recyclable at the end of their service life. Moreover, they are remarkably resistant to wide temperature variations, while reflecting the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them, thus helping to reduce heat islands. Finally, these membranes are affordable and can be used as a waterproofing layer for a roof terrace, for example.

There are also other types of roofs that can be an environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt roofs, and are usually found on pitched roofs. Sheet metal roofs, which can last well over 50 years, require little or no maintenance and do not require snow removal, since snow slides on them. Also, the use of shingles made from recycled tires has gained popularity in recent years; it is an environmentally friendly solution because it allows old tires to be recycled and given a second life, while providing a roof that is resistant to weather, insects and fire.

To find out more about ecological solutions for flat roofs, contact Clinique de la toiture FCA in Montreal, close to Montreal North and Montreal East!

Asphalt and gravel flat roofing: advantages, disadvantages, and green alternatives


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