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3 Types of Flat Roofs: Choosing the Right Roof for Your Maryland Home

A roof isn’t just about shelter; it’s about protection. It’s the essential barrier that guards your home from the elements. When it comes to roofing, the options are as diverse as the weather, and it’s vital to choose the right one for your specific needs. For Maryland homeowners in Carroll County and Baltimore County, this choice is particularly important. The region’s climate requires a roofing solution that can stand up to varying weather conditions, and flat roofs are a popular choice. In this guide, we’ll explore three common types of flat roofs: Built-Up Roof (BUR), Modified Bitumen Roof, and Rubber Membrane Roof. Each has unique characteristics and advantages to consider when choosing the perfect fit for your home.

3 Types of Flat Roofs: Choosing the Right Roof for Your Maryland Home

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

Built-Up Roofs (BUR) have a long history in the world of flat roofing, originating as a hot-tar-and-gravel system. This traditional method consists of multiple plies of waterproof material alternated with hot tar, sealed with a layer of smooth river stone. While tar paper was once the primary material, modern BUR roofs utilize more advanced components, such as fiberglass membranes.

The Advantages of BUR Roofs

  • Durability: BUR roofs are known for their exceptional durability. When properly installed and maintained, they can have a long lifespan, making them a cost-effective choice.
  • Waterproofing: The multiple layers and hot tar create a strong waterproofing system, effectively protecting your home from rain and moisture.
  • UV Resistance: Built-Up Roofs have good UV resistance, which is particularly crucial for areas with plenty of sunshine, such as Maryland.
  • Customization: BUR roofs offer customization options. You can choose the number of plies and the type of waterproof material based on your specific needs.

The Disadvantages of BUR Roofs

  • Weight: BUR roofs can be quite heavy due to the multiple layers, which may require additional structural support.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including inspections and resealing, is essential to ensure the longevity of a BUR roof.

Modified Bitumen Roof

The Modified Bitumen Roof is a single-ply rolled roofing material with similarities to ice-and-water shield. It is impregnated with a mineral-based wear surface. There are two primary installation methods: torch-down systems, which involve heating the adhesive while unrolling the material, and newer peel-and-stick systems, which are considered safer and easier to install.


  • Ease of Installation: The peel-and-stick system is safer and easier to install compared to the torch-down method, making it a popular choice among homeowners.
  • UV Resistance: Modified Bitumen roofs come with UV-resistant features to protect against sun damage.
  • Versatility: This roofing material is flexible, making it suitable for various architectural styles and roof designs.
  • Affordability: Modified Bitumen roofs are cost-effective and provide good value for homeowners.


  • Maintenance: Regular inspections are essential to detect and address any damage or issues promptly, ensuring the roof’s longevity.
  • Installation: While peel-and-stick systems are easier to install, it’s crucial to have them installed by experienced professionals to ensure a watertight seal.


Rubber Membrane Roof

Rubber Membrane Roofs, specifically EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), are made of a true rubber material engineered to resist damage from sunlight. It is a single-ply membrane that can be mechanically anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone, or glued.


  • Durability: EPDM is known for its durability and resistance to UV rays, making it suitable for Maryland’s climate.
  • Ease of Installation: The flexibility of rubber membranes makes them relatively easy to install, especially for flat roofs.
  • Affordability: Rubber membrane roofs are cost-effective and offer long-lasting performance.
  • Low Maintenance: These roofs require minimal maintenance and are resistant to damage from the elements.


  • Seams: The seams between EPDM sheets may require periodic maintenance to ensure they remain watertight.
  • Color Options: Rubber membrane roofs typically come in black, which can absorb heat. Consider the impact on energy efficiency in warmer climates.

Why Choose Roof Right for Your Flat Roof Installation in Hampstead, MD

When it comes to flat roof installation in Hampstead, MD, Roof Right is the name you can trust. Here’s why:

  • Fully Licensed & Insured: We operate with all the necessary licenses and insurance to protect your interests and your property.
  • A+ Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau: Our outstanding reputation is reflected in our A+ accreditation with the BBB.
  • Top 80 Replacement Contractor: Recognized as the 80th largest replacement contractor in the United States by Remodeling Magazine.
  • Angie’s Super Service Award Winner: We consistently receive the Angie’s Super Service Award, which is reserved for the top 5% of all contractors.
  • Home Advisor Screened & Approved: Our Elite Service Rating on Home Advisor reflects our commitment to quality service.
  • Customer Satisfaction: We maintain a 98% overall customer satisfaction rating, based on an independent survey of our customers conducted by Guild Quality.
  • References Available: We can provide references from previous customers, banks, and vendors to attest to our quality work.
  • Before & After Photos: You’ll be provided with before and after photos of your roofing work for transparency and assurance.
  • Unparalleled Service: A member of our management team is always available to assist you, even after hours.
  • Financing Options: We offer 100% financing options with approved credit, making your roofing project more accessible.

With Roof Right, you’re not just getting a new roof; you’re getting peace of mind. Contact us today to discuss your flat roof installation needs and experience the difference of working with a top-tier roofing company.