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Question DetailsAsked on 2/5/2016

Best roofing material for low slope residential roof that is visible from the street.

I would like to replace an existing 23 year old BUR (tar and gravel) roof on my 1950's ranch home. It is low slope, but the roof is visible from the street. I have heard that IB is a great material for low slope and flat roofs but I am worried about the aesthetics of IB roofing. I am also not sure if it is worth the additional expense compared to single ply rolled roof (torch down or peel and stick).

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Voted Best Answer

Torch-down and single ply peel and stick you sound familair, so I will not discuss that - almost certainly the lowest cost solution along with built-up tarred roofing.

IB is a company name - the generic for that product would be a membrane roof - available in a variety of materials of varying durability and sunlight resistance - from vinyl (similar to fake naugahyde furniture coverings and vinyl flooring materials) and PVC (same material as green and white plastic water pipes are made of) on the low end through various polyethylene (basic plastic used for plastic bottles and platic appliance/tech product casings and such) compounds to HDPE (high density polyethylene) and more exotic long-chain plastics on the higher end.

For low slope, generally membrane roof and raised seam metal panel would be your most common choices. If you don't like the look of membrane (though there are now a few products with granulated surface in a few colors to look more like graveled built up asphalt), then sheet metal panel or strip roofing would be the normal next best choice - available in a pretty wide range of colors, and again a couple are now available in a textured paint job or tetured surface to look more natural and less like an industrial building.

Certainly steel roofing (I don't recommend aluminum) is stronger and a lot more resistant to damage and would generally be expected to last about two to three times as long as a membrane roof, but also costs 2-3 times as much to install - so both aesthetics and economics come into play in your decision. Also, with metal roofing, whether you object to the sound of rain or hail on metal roofs - though that sound also means you hve a higher resistance to major hail damage than with all but the thickest membrane roofs.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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