What is a Flat White? Hint: It’s Not Coffee.

White commercial roofing primarily refers to single-ply membranes, typically made of either TPO or EPDM.

What are flat commercial roofs?

Flat (or low-slope) buildings require a roofing system to address their unique challenges. Ponding, punctures, and blisters are all specific issues that affect flat roofs. Guy Roofing offers flat roofing systems in a variety of materials, including single-ply membranes, modified bitumen, and built-up roofing systems.

Many flat white roofs today use single-ply roofing systems, also known as membrane roofing. Guy Roofing installs both TPO and EPDM membranes, which are highly durable thermoplastics available in white sheet-like rolls. Membrane roofing systems are faster and easier to install than other commercial roofing systems, and are easier to repair. However, they do require more frequent inspections to check for punctures or blisters, and have a shorter lifespan than bitumen or built-up systems.

Why is commercial roofing white?

White commercial roofing primarily refers to single-ply membranes. White material, like TPO, reflects harmful UV rays; this in turn lowers a building’s cooling costs and makes for a more efficient use of energy overall.

White membrane roofing materials are 100% recyclable, which exceeds the EPA's specifications. For environmentally conscious businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and create long-term energy efficiency, white commercial roofing is the go-to solution.

For clients seeking white commercial roofing, Guy Roofing installs both TPO and EPDM. Increasingly, mechanically attached TPO and EPDM are providing better strength, durability, and water-resistance than ever before. As the material technology continues to improve, Guy Roofing ensures installation of the most up-to-date materials. For value-driven, energy-efficient commercial roofing solutions, TPO and EPDM are both excellent options.

What other commercial roofing systems are available?

Built-up roofing, or BUR, are a versatile, resilient roofing option for flat commercial buildings. Built-up roofing systems are just that – built up. This means multiple layers of durable materials are installed, creating a built-up weatherproofing system.

Many built-up roofing systems are comprised of a base layer (typically asphalt-based bitumen), reinforcing membrane sheets, and a surface material (gravel or small stones are popular surfaces for built-up roofing systems). The gravel provides a protective cushion from the sun, harsh weather, and falling debris, which can puncture the underlying membranes.

For more information on the best materials for flat roofs, check out our post on Flat Roof Homes!