Torch on Roof Felt.
New bitumen felt roofs can unfortunately still carry a bad reputation from the older and now unused pour and roll systems of yesteryear. Large strides have been made, and continue to be made in flexibility and durability of a modern hot flame applied torch on roofing felts.
Typically applied in a 3 layer system consisting of a vapour control layer, a layer 2mm reinforced felt and a 4mm layer of felt called a cap sheet which can be a plain black bitumen finish for a solar reflective paint finish, or a mineral fleck finish in a variety of colours, typically green, brown and a purple / blue.
3 layers of felt are melt welded together with a large blow lamp or torch from where it derives the name torch on.
Make sure any roofing contractor carries the correct insurance to work with hot flame.
Most guarantees are 5 to 10 Years.
Foot traffic in hot weather may scuff the surface of a mineral finish; this can lead to U.V. damage by sunlight. Window cleaners also put step ladders and ladders on them in hot weather which could damage the surface. Cracking and splitting is also an issue after time.
Easily repaired but patches on top can look messy.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but we prefer EPDM for the clean looking finish.
Installation issues or concerns.
Hot flames can always be dangerous, make sure that any contractor has full insurance to work with hot flame, never attempt a DIY installation.
Modern roofing felt has good expansion and contraction properties.
Roofs are often called on to breathe, thanks to the vapour layer a felt roof will do this.
Firestone RubberCover™ EPDM membrane.
These have stormed the market since being introduced a few years ago in the U.K. A rubber roof can be often installed in one complete layer without the need for joins depending on size, which is often an attractive prospect. It is also extremely light weight, elastic and tough, so it lends itself to many situations. Mostly rubber roofs are glued down to the decking ( wooden substrate ) so if you had a felt roof previously the timber deck may need replacing or be covered with a new wooden substrate depending on the condition.
Manufacturers guarantee is 20 years. But from what we have heard from Firestone is that a well installed EPDM roof should last upwards of 50 years.
Very tough in most situations and foot traffic, always place something to spread the weight underneath a ladder though.
Can be repaired easily which involves gluing on patches a bit like an inner tube repair.
A good neat installation gives a nice clean appearance.
As no hot flames are used this causes a lot less issues. However we recommend that all roofs are only fitted by a roofer with experience of EPDM.
You will simply not beat a rubber roof for expansion and contraction, if you have a large roof where this is a real concern, EPDM is for you.
This is dependent on layers that may be underneath, but in normal glued down installations will breathe well.
Firestone RubberCover™ EPDM membrane comes in various widths that are normally wide enough to cover any residential flat roof in one piece without any joints.