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Selecting the Best Roofing Material for Your Flat Roof

What material is best for your needs? Here are the factors to consider

When it comes to picking the best roofing material for a flat roof, the reality is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. A variety of excellent commercial roofing materials are available these days, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. That means the best roofing material for one flat roof may be a poor solution for another commercial roof!

At Dolan Roofing, we’ve provided professional commercial roof repairs and replacements for many business and property owners, each with their own unique budgets and needs. From EPDM and TPO to metal and modified bitumen, we’ve seen a variety of materials emerge as the right solution, and we’ve helped provide our expert advice to each customer we’ve worked with. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to selecting the best roofing material for your flat roof!


As you might expect, the cost of a material makes a pretty big difference when it comes to deciding what material works best for a given situation. Some materials, such as metal roofing, carry much higher upfront costs than materials like EPDM, TPO, and modified bitumen. While pricier materials are likely to make up for this cost in durability, some folks simply aren’t looking to make a major investment in their flat roof. And that’s perfectly okay!

Longevity and durability

Of course, if your budget allows for it, installing a long-lasting roof can be well worth the investment. While a material like TPO or modified bitumen is likely to last for 20-30 years, EPDM is a bit longer lived, with a 30-50 year life expectancy depending on maintenance. And of course, metal roofing takes the crown here, typically lasting at least 50 years—and sometimes longer than 70!

Ease of repair 

Effective commercial roof maintenance is the key to a long-lasting flat roof. (Check out our blog post on that very topic!) A big part of effective maintenance is prompt repairs—and while any roofing material can be repaired, some are much easier to fix. Be sure to ask your roofer about typical repair costs for each flat roofing material you consider, as this can help you find the best one.

Water resistance

Because of their low pitch, water is the mortal enemy of flat roofs. That makes it especially important to keep the drainage systems of these roofs well-maintained and clear of debris. However, it also helps to select a flat roofing material that will best stand up to water, particularly if your area experiences more precipitation. This is where TPO really shines compared to EPDM, as the heat-welded seams on TPO roofs are more resistant to water penetration.

Impact resistance

Of course, rain isn’t the only kind of precipitation your flat roof will have to ward off. Hail storms can cause major damage to any kind of roof—especially flat roofs, which take the full force of the impact from hailstones. In a hail-prone area, impact resistance can make a major difference when it comes to the longevity of your roof. In contrast to water resistance, EPDM roofing generally outperforms TPO here, as the “bouncier” rubber surface of EPDM is better at standing up to hail damage.

What’s the best material for my flat roof?

With a variety of flat roofing materials to choose from, including EPDM, TPO, metal, and modified bitumen, it can be difficult to pick the right one for your commercial roofing needs. Each carries a different cost, expected lifespan, and resistance to things like hail and rain. If you’re still unsure of what material suits your needs best, that’s okay! Your reliable roofing partners at Dolan Roofing are happy to help evaluate your situation and provide our recommendation.

Dolan Roofing: Installing Industry-Leading Flat Roofs!

With many years of experience in commercial roofing, the Dolan Roofing team has a great deal of expertise, and we’re always ready to share that expertise with our customers. We’ll help you choose the best material that will help provide your property with the best protection from the elements while fitting within your budget. What’s more, we work with only the top-rate flat roofing materials on the market, so you can be confident you’re getting the best roof possible.

Looking to install a new flat roof? Dolan Roofing is here to help! Get in touch with our experts today.

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