Flat Roof House – the Most Common Types Used for Buildings and Residence

When it comes to the discussion about home construction, roofing materials always become a hot topic. There are many roof types that you can find out there, and one of them is a flat roof house. Knowing the materials used in your house’s flat roofing system will help you make the most of it.

Flat roof house

Build Up Roofs or Bur

One of the most common flat roof construction types you can find is build-up roofs. Being popular with another name, bur, this flat roof type has been around for over 100 years in the US. It is also often referred to as gravel or tar roof. Bur comes with layers that are usually three feet wide.

flat roof types - Built Up Roofing BUR
Flat roof types – Built-Up Roofing

They are stripped in, and a hot melted star is used to cover them. During the installation process, the constructors will heat coal pitch or asphalt tar. It will be turned into liquid and then used to cover the roof.


Bitumen is also one of the most popular concrete flat roof house plans. Basically, this roof type is just the same as a built-up roof. Bitumen also uses asphalt rolls three feet wide. The differentiation between the two roof types is that instead of using many layers, bitumen only applies two layers that function as a cap sheet and a base sheet.

You can install bitumen by using four different ways. They are cold-applied solvent-based adhesive, hot-applied with hot tar, self-adhered to peel and stick base sheet, and torched down with an open flame.

Read also: Flat Roof with Peel and Stick Roofing

flat roof types - modified bitumen
Flat roof types modified bitumen.

EPDM Rubber Roof

You can easily recognize this flat roof type simply by using two basic ways: adhered or glued down and weighted down or ballasted by using a large river stone. The adhered rubber roof is easy to recognize since it mostly comes in black and is stretchy.

Meanwhile, the ballasted one usually uses a large stone to be placed on the top part of the roofing sheets. The rocks can be easily moved to expose the rubber membrane used in the roof.

EPDM Rubber Roof
EPDM Rubber Roof

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof

This flat roof comes with a high-density layer of polyurethane foam. The foam is sprayed from a sprayer or a wand. A waterproofing elastomeric topcoat will be used to cover the foam.

This will also make it possible for you to identify the spray pattern during the installation process. The topcoat used often comes in white and grey colors.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof

Thermoplastic Membranes TPO or PVC

This flat roof only comes with a single layer of material. It can be found in many colors, but the most popular one is gray or white. Just like the EPDM rubber roof, the membranes used can also adhere. You can also attach the membrane mechanically by using plates or screws.

flat roof types - Single Ply Membrane
Flat roof types – Single Ply Membrane

Most of the time, the TPO or PVC membrane is hard to identify from a distance since it often comes with a white color.  

Thermoplastic Membranes TPO
Thermoplastic Membranes TPO
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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair