commercial flat roofChoosing the right material for your flat roof is crucial. 

A well-chosen material can enhance durability, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, while a poor choice can lead to frequent repairs and higher expenses. 

In this blog, we’ll explore common commercial roofing materials and highlight the advantages of roofing coatings, particularly those from IPP.

Common Materials for Flat Roofs

Several materials are commonly used for flat roofs. 

Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, making it essential to understand them before deciding.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing, often referred to as BUR, is a traditional choice for flat roofs. 

It consists of multiple layers of bitumen alternated with reinforcing fabrics. 

These layers create a durable and robust surface.


– Highly durable

– Excellent waterproofing capabilities

– Good insulation properties


– Heavy material, requiring a strong support structure

– Time-consuming and labor-intensive installation

– Can be expensive due to the materials and labor involved

BUR is ideal for buildings that can support its weight and where long-term durability is a priority.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is another popular flat roofing material. 

It is an evolution of the BUR system, incorporating polymer-modified bitumen to enhance its performance.


– Improved flexibility compared to BUR

– Easier and quicker to install

– Good resistance to extreme weather conditions


– Can be prone to surface cracking

– Requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity

Modified bitumen is suitable for areas with fluctuating temperatures, providing a flexible and durable roofing solution.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

EPDM is a synthetic rubber membrane that has gained popularity for flat roofs. It is known for its exceptional durability and weather resistance.


– Long lifespan (up to 50 years with proper maintenance)

– Highly resistant to UV rays and ozone

– Easy to install and repair


– Can be susceptible to punctures from sharp objects

– Black color can absorb heat, potentially increasing cooling costs

EPDM is a great choice for those looking for a long-lasting and low-maintenance roofing material.

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin)

TPO is a single-ply roofing membrane that combines the durability of EPDM with the energy efficiency of PVC.


– Highly reflective surface, reducing cooling costs

– Resistant to mold, dirt, and punctures

– Easy to install and weld


– Can shrink over time, causing seams to separate

– Not as flexible in extremely cold temperatures

TPO is ideal for buildings in warmer climates, offering energy savings and ease of maintenance.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC roofing membranes are known for their strength and resistance to various chemicals.


– Extremely durable and long-lasting

– Highly resistant to fire, chemicals, and wind

– Energy-efficient due to reflective properties


– Can become brittle over time, especially in cold climates

– Higher cost compared to other materials

PVC is a top choice for commercial buildings requiring a durable, chemical-resistant roofing solution.

The Advantages of Roofing Coatings

While traditional roofing materials each have their merits, roofing coatings offer a unique set of benefits that can enhance the performance and lifespan of your flat roof.

What Are Roofing Coatings?

Roof coatings are fluid-applied membranes that create a seamless, protective layer over your existing roof. 

This application process ensures there are no seams or joints, which are often the weakest points in a roofing system. 

The seamless nature of these coatings significantly reduces the likelihood of leaks and other common roofing issues.

Types of Coatings

Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic coatings are water-based solutions that provide excellent reflectivity and UV resistance. 

They are highly durable and can expand and contract with the roof surface, making them ideal for areas with significant temperature fluctuations. 

Acrylic coatings are also environmentally friendly, as they are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coatings are known for their superior weather resistance and durability. 

They are particularly effective in protecting roofs from ponding water, a common issue with flat roofs. 

Silicone coatings maintain their elasticity and adhesion even under extreme conditions, providing long-lasting protection. 

Additionally, they offer excellent UV resistance, helping to reduce roof temperatures and energy costs.

Polyurethane Coatings

Polyurethane coatings are highly resistant to impact and abrasion, making them suitable for roofs that experience heavy foot traffic or physical wear and tear. 

They are available in both aromatic and aliphatic formulations. 

Aromatic polyurethanes are cost-effective and provide good overall protection, while aliphatic polyurethanes offer superior UV stability and color retention, making them ideal for roofs exposed to intense sunlight.

Each type of coating brings specific benefits, allowing building owners to choose the most appropriate solution for their particular needs and environmental conditions.

Benefits of Roofing Coatings

Longevity and Durability:

Roofing coatings can significantly extend the life of your roof. A high-quality coating can add up to 20 years to your roof’s lifespan, reducing the need for costly replacements.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings:

Coatings like reflective or “cool roof” coatings can lower roof temperatures and reduce energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills.

Environmental Benefits:

By extending the life of your roof, coatings reduce the need for new roofing materials, decreasing the environmental impact of roof replacements.

Ease of Application and Maintenance:

Coatings are easy to apply and can often be installed without disrupting daily operations. 

They also make future maintenance simpler and more cost-effective.

Why IPP Roofing Coatings Are the Best Choice

At IPP, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality roofing coatings that outperform traditional materials. Here’s why our coatings are the best choice for your flat roof:

Quality and Innovation

We are committed to using the highest quality materials and the latest technology in our roofing coatings. 

Our innovative solutions are designed to provide superior protection and durability, ensuring your roof stands the test of time.

Proven Performance

Our roofing coatings have been tried and tested in various conditions, proving their reliability and effectiveness. 

Numerous case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients attest to the performance of our products.

Expert Support and Service

At IPP, we offer more than just great products. 

Our team of experts provides professional guidance and support throughout the entire process, from selection to application. 

We are here to ensure your roofing project is a success.

Putting a Lid on Flat Roofing

Choosing the best material for your flat roof is a critical decision that impacts your building’s longevity, energy efficiency, and maintenance costs. 

While traditional materials like BUR, modified bitumen, EPDM, TPO, and PVC each offer distinct advantages, roofing coatings provide a versatile and highly effective alternative.

At IPP, our high-quality roofing coatings are designed to enhance your roof’s performance and extend its lifespan. 

Contact us today to learn more about how our innovative coatings can benefit your flat roof and ensure long-term protection and efficiency: