Roofing is an essential part of any building, protecting the structure from the elements and helping to maintain a comfortable indoor climate. When it comes to flat roofs, the choice of materials is crucial as it directly influences the longevity, durability, and energy efficiency of the roof. In this article, we will delve into the most common flat roofing materials used in Fort Collins, Colorado, considering the city’s unique climate and roofing needs.

Understanding Flat Roofs

Why Choose Flat Roofs?

Flat roofs, contrary to their name, are not perfectly flat. They have a slight slope or pitch to allow for water runoff. Flat roofs provide several advantages, such as additional living space (rooftop patios or garden spaces), easier and safer accessibility, and a modern aesthetic. They are also cost-efficient due to less surface area and simpler construction methods compared to sloped roofs.

Common Flat Roofing Materials in Fort Collins, CO

Some of the most common materials used for flat roofing in Fort Collins include tar and gravel, modified bitumen, and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber.

Tar and Gravel Roof

Also known as a built-up roof, this material has been used in the US for over a century. It consists of multiple layers of roofing like asphalt, tar, and coal, covered in small stones or gravel. The final layer protects the tar from the sun.

Modified Bitumen Roof

This roof is similar to the built-up roof but is composed of asphalt rolls. Unlike the built-up roof, this type is usually made only of two layers, followed by a base sheet and a cap sheet.

EPDM Rubber Roof

EPDM Rubber is an easy-to-install material that is usually stretched tight over an insulation board or fiberboard, resembling a membrane. It can be either glued or hanged over the roof with large river stones.

Detailed Analysis of Flat Roofing Materials

Let’s delve into the specifics of these materials, their advantages, disadvantages, and costs.

EPDM Rubber

Made from environmentally friendly recycled rubber materials, EPDM rubber is known for its increased elasticity and resistance to any weather conditions. However, it tends to absorb heat, making it energy-inefficient. The cost of EPDM rubber covering varies from $4 to $8 per square foot.

PVC Membrane

PVC Membranes are waterproof, sturdy, and elastic. They meet all fire safety requirements and have high vapor permeability, which eliminates the possibility of condensate moisture stagnation. The cost of installing a PVC membrane is about $7 to $11 per square foot.

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

The Built-Up Roof (BUR) uses tar and gravel to create a waterproof layer. It provides excellent protection against water, ultraviolet rays, and adverse weather conditions. However, its installation takes a lot of time, and it is prone to damage from wind and rain. The cost of BUR varies from $5 to $8 per square foot.

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen roofing has reinforced the proven effectiveness of BUR and adds layers for strength and durability. It provides better elasticity and flexibility at low temperatures. However, some application methods require an open flame/burner, which requires special safety measures. The price can range from $3 to $6 per square foot.

Spray-On Roof

Spray-On Roof, using a silicon spray, is one of the most expensive types of roofing. This method uses a coating to repel water and has one essential advantage: it has no seams. The price varies from $3 to $6 per square foot.

TPO Roofing Membrane

TPO Roofing Membrane is ideal for complex buildings due to its elasticity, resistance to deformation at sub-zero temperatures, and fire-fighting chemical components. The cost for TPO roofing in Fort Collins ranges from approximately $5 to $8.50 per square foot.

Climate Considerations in Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins, situated in the Larimer County of Colorado, has an elevation of 5,003 feet and experiences an annual high temperature of 64ºF and a low of 37ºF. The city receives an average annual precipitation of 16.1 inches and snowfall of 57 inches. Therefore, the roofing materials need to withstand these weather conditions.


Choosing the right material for a flat roof in Fort Collins, CO, involves considering factors such as the local climate, the roof’s purpose, and budget. While this article provides a guide to the most common materials, it’s crucial to consult with a local roofing expert to make the most suitable choice for your specific needs.

Severe Weather Roofing and Restoration, LLC
3307 S College Ave Ste, #220, Fort Collins, CO 80525, United States
(970) 223-2455

View Roofing Contractor Fort Collins CO in a full screen map

View Roofing Contractor Fort Collins CO in a full screen map