Flat Roofing: The Differences Between Single Ply and Felt
Flat roofs are a feature of many commercial and residential properties nowadays. Whether implemented on a commercial building in order to install an air conditioning unit in the ceiling, or on the shed or garage of a domestic property in order to provide shelter and protection against the elements without expensive construction costs.
Whatever you may require a flat roof for, there are different materials and methods that can be used to complete it, the main two of these being felt and single ply roofing. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will go on to explore in this blog.
Having been around for years now, felt roofing has been a popular roofing solution for many home and business owners. Unlike the old roll-on method of application, which came with its issues, modern felt roofing consists of elastomeric membranes that are layered atop each other and torch-applied in order to improve its performance.
Single Ply Roofing
Unlike felt roofing, single ply roofing is designed to be applied in a single layer, making it a popular choice for convenience of installation. There is also a selection of materials that could be used for single ply roofing, with the most popular being thermosets (made from synthetic rubber polymers) and thermoplastics (e.g. PVC).
Advantages and Disadvantages
Between these types of roofing, felt is the cheapest of the two to initially install. This makes it the popular choice for people who are looking to install their roofing sooner rather than later whilst catering to a budget.
However, they also require more maintenance overtime in comparison to single ply roofing, meaning overall costs may be higher for felt roofing due the amount of repairs you may be paying for.
Both types of roofing offer protection from the elements, being waterproof and strong. However, when it comes to overall durability, one clearly comes out on top – single ply.
When it comes to protection against UV rays, single ply membranes are resistant to UV damage. Felts, however, are susceptible to UV rays and will also expand and contract as temperatures change. This often leads to cracks, splits and weak points, affecting their overall strength and potentially leading to inefficiency or further damage.
Due to their higher levels of durability, single ply membranes have a longer lifespan than felts, lasting approximately 25+ years on average, whilst felt roofing tends to last for only 10-20 years if well maintained.
Furthermore, when felts have run their course, they become unusable and cannot be disposed of consciously, typically going to waste. Single ply materials, on the other hand, may be reused and can also be recycled, making them the more environmentally sustainable option.
Which to Choose?
Based on the aforementioned facts, it would seem that single ply roofing is the better choice to go for, however if you are weighing up the two, the decision you make should ultimately come down to what your requirements are.
For example, if you are looking for affordable roofing for a home-built garden shed, then felt would be sufficient in terms of importance and being fit-for-purpose. Whereas, if you were looking for roofing for a conservatory extension or annex, then single ply would be the more durable, cost-efficient option in the long run.
Roofing Services Oxford
If you are looking for local flat roofing solutions in Oxford, we offer the ideal services for you here at James Dunn Roofing.
Not only do we offer roofing for both commercial and domestic properties, but we also provide green roofs and roof window installation.
Contact us today for your free consultation and estimation. We pride ourselves on finding the right solution to meet your requirements.