The Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing Systems for Residential Roofing in St. Louis, MO

When choosing the roof for your home, there are many styles available for you to choose from at Shelby Roofing & Exteriors. Some of the more popular forms of residential roofing in St Louis, MO, are flat roofing systems. Typically, when deciding on a flat roof, there are three options to choose from:

  • Membrane or Single-ply
  • Built-up Roofing (BUR)
  • Modified Bitumen (MBR)


While any of these styles can work for your property, there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them. Some of these pros and cons include:


Membrane Roofs

These roofs are typically lightweight and easy to maintain. They are also excellent at retaining heat and preventing leaks. However, membrane residential roofs can be punctured by falling debris. If your property has any roof penetrations such as chimneys or HVAC system, then the cost of installation will be significantly higher and more difficult. These penetrations can also be a source of leaks if not sealed properly.


Built-Up Roofing

BUR offers excellent protection against the elements and is relatively easy to maintain over its lifetime. Additionally, with multiple layers, roof repairs are quite simple to handle when needed. However, this style of residential roofing is very slow and labor-intensive to install since you need so many layers and materials to build up the surface. Additionally, during installation, there is a potential for hazardous fumes and vapors to be released from the hot asphalt.


Modified Bitumen Roofing

MBR is similar to BUR, but it has a factory-applied mineral coating that ensures consistent installation. MBR is also less labor-intensive to install reducing installation costs. However, MBR does require an open flame during installation, which means extra safety precautions are needed. MBR also has to have overlapping joints to prevent leaks and is generally seen as less attractive when compared to BUR or membrane roofs.