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Tips to care for your home with a flat roof

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Tips to care for your home with a flat roof

Many Arizona residents love the territorial style of home building that helps keep the spirit of the old Southwest alive.

Most of them don’t have real adobe bricks for their walls, but they often have Southwestern-style flat roofs surrounded by parapet walls.

If you have a flat roof, you probably already know that it requires tender loving care and maintenance. If you’ve been experiencing and patching leaks, it may be time to redo your roof, particularly if it’s an older built-up roof.

Here are the options:

1. Built-up roofs: Built-up roofs are less expensive. Roofers put down layers of rolled asphalt with hot tar between layers and more tar used to make the layers stick to the deck underneath.

The sheets of roofing membrane also have sealing done on seams and vents and around pipes sticking out of the roof. This type of roof is called a built-up roof.

2. Foam: Think about having a foam coating instead. Foam can cost 10 percent more but provides better insulation for your home so your power bills could drop.

Foam covers the roof completely with no seams or joints to split and create leaks. It’s lightweight and long-lasting.

It does have to be inspected every five to seven years to be sure that the elastomeric covering on top is not wearing thin. If that covering wears off, the foam may “sunburn” and need complete replacement.

Birds do peck holes in the foam that can cause leaks if not resealed quickly.

3. PVC: This is single-ply roofing sometimes sold under the brand names Duralast or IB. This type of roofing can cost 20 to 30 percent more than foam and takes a week to install. It lasts longer than foam and comes in various colors.

When you recover your flat roof, you also want all those cracks replastered in the stucco parapets that surround the roof. Then repaint the parapets and maybe you should even repaint the whole house.

You can search by your zip code to find a trustworthy Rosie-Certified roofers here.

For more DIY tips and information for all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at –- Arizona’s most trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

Rosie on the House

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