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A Flat roof is the most popular roofing style in the Bronx, New York. The term can be slightly misleading but a flat roof is technically any roof with a 10-degree pitch or less. The flat roof has many benefits, running from price and ease of maintenance to being a practical solution for creating outdoor space.

Here are basic tips of what to consider when replacing a flat roof:


What is the best material to put on a flat roof?

Flat roofs come in various materials that each range in prices and expected life spans. A few of the most popular options are:

EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) – A type of single-ply roofing material that can be found anywhere and is quick to apply. It has lower costs and is guaranteed for a 30 year period.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin single-ply roofing) – this is another single-ply material that is very popular in the green community since it can come in white which is more energy-efficient. 

Modified bitumen – is newer material made of a combined rubber or plastic materials plus asphalt for reinforcement. These roofs are easy to maintain and can last 20 years or more.

Metal – metal has long been used in traditional roofs for many years and can be used for flat roofs as well. Known for its strength and long life space it can be a great option despite its higher initial costs.


How often should a flat roof be inspected?

Inspections allow for catching problems before they become serious, thus saving costs and time down the road. It is suggested that at least 2 times a year an inspector comes to check the flat roof and in the fall and spring is a good schedule (before and after the Bronx snowfall). 

There is a stereotype that flat roofs can leak more, and this is party true IF there was not a quality installation job. Since the pitch of the roof is less than a shingled roof, there must be proper sealant and waterproofing material to prevent damage from snow and rain. Inspections help by checking the places on the roof which can lead to larger issues.


How much does it cost to replace a flat roof?

As mentioned above the material used in the flat roof varies in price. On average in the Bronx area, a flat roof installation will cost between $3-$6 per square foot.

If you have found a leak or in the roof, it is vital to repair it as soon as possible and this can be about $300-$500.


What weight can my flat roof support?

Flat roofs are not always made for heavyweight or even to be walked on. It is important to speak with your roofing professional to learn the capacity of the roof. Some flat roofs are built reinforced for the purpose of creating rooftop patios or gardens, but if you are not certain it is not worth the risk. There are minor ways to mitigate the risk like laying down wooden boards to walk on if you must go up on the roof to check something on your own.

Royal Roofing & Siding Bronx 1231 Lafayette Avenue 2nd Floor Bronx, NY 10474 (718) 395-5061


If you have ever been to the Big Apple’s most populous borough of Manhattan or “The City,” as it’s locally called, then you probably have marveled at its sheer number of flat roofing. Hundreds of New York City offices and apartment buildings have flat roofing, a tradition that dates back to over 60 years ago.

But perhaps you are wondering why such is a norm, especially in a city as vibrant as NYC!

Well, I know, New York City isn’t exactly a “northern, snowy city,” although sometimes, the extreme weather conditions threaten to force it to look like one. For a city that seemingly belongs to the same latitude as historic European cities of Rome, Sofia, and Barcelona, the reason for its structures to have flat roofing should be easy to decipher.

So Why Is Flat Roofing The Best Roof Type in NYC?

The flat roof material itself responds well to local weather conditions, works well in densely populated areas with tall buildings and maximizes space. On a different note, some even attribute it to the city’s romantic connotation.

I will now elaborate on these points:

NYC is a place whose structures are mostly multi-story apartment buildings with flat roofing that is pitched at an angle towards the drainage system so that the snow slides off towards the sidewalks. These flat exteriors serve the city well from a plumbing perspective.

New York City receives an average yearly snowfall of 25-inches which occurs an average of 11 days a year. Hence, the flat roofing systems that are prevalent in Manhattan are designed with several drainage systems scattered across the roof to ensure the snow get disposed of.

Also, the fact that flat roofing is relatively inexpensive to install and may require little maintenance is a huge win for developers and apartment dwellers. Technically, it is a matter of design and economics since the commonly used materials like bitumen and asphalt-type substances don’t cost much and last longer. Any maintenance procedure is easy to do as well, given that it’s just a flat roof. Although sloped shingles roof may be a bit more visually appealing on a residential home, it’s aesthetic value is diminished when considering the height of the average NYC flat roof.

In the 1960s, there was a popular hit song by “The Drifters” called “Up On the Roof,” a beat that talked about two inner-city lovers who would climb up to the roof to avoid the city’s incessantly filled streets. Today is no different as parties atop NYC structures, what they call the ‘Fifth Wall’ are perfectly normal.

Other reasons why structures in the Big Apple feature flat roofing include the fact that such a style helps significantly slash the operating costs in multiple ways. First, the exterior foundation isn’t sloped, which simply means AC units can sit on the roof where vandalism and accidents are rare to happen. Also, a flat roof simply means you get a more efficient use of top-floor space, including making it a recreation spot, throwing firecrackers, sunbathing or throwing fun parties.

Royal Roofing & Siding Brooklyn

Save time and money and speak to an elite flat roofing expert in Brooklyn, Queens & all of NYC. Inquire about our affordable flat exteriors designed to maximize your buildings plumbing, cooling, heating and waterproofing capabilities. Call us now for a fast & free estimate on all roof maintenance, repair and installation services. Our seasonal roof maintenance plans can save you thousands of dollars on home improvement costs. Call us now to find out more.

Royal Roofing & Siding Brooklyn 2380 Ralph Avenue Brooklyn , NY 11234 (718) 536-2667

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