Waterproofing a flat roof is different from waterproofing a steep roof, and it’s even more vital to a home’s overall health. A steep roof offers a clear path for rain, snow and debris to clear away. In contrast, flat roofs can allow these elements to collect over time, compromising the integrity of your entire property.

Your roof needs a waterproof surface to protect the people and things you hold dear. Many popular waterproofing membranes can add that extra layer of protection to your home, but which one is right for you?

As the top licensed roofer in Bloomington, Indiana, Equity Builders Roofing has built an arsenal of knowledge on every roofing surface imaginable. We have the expertise you need to make the best flat roof decision for your property.

Secure Your Flat Roof with Professional Waterproofing Services

Don’t tackle flat roof waterproofing alone. Contact our expert team today for reliable and professional assistance in ensuring the longevity and protection of your flat roof.

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The Best Materials for Waterproofing a Flat Roof

When it comes to waterproofing a flat roof, three main materials cover the majority of homes — polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer membrane (EDPM). You can learn more about each option below.

Regardless of which membrane you choose, a proper installation can give your roof a waterproof life span of 25 to 30 years. This investment in your home can potentially last as long as you live there.


PVC material is commonly used to manufacture durable piping for households. This plastic material also serves as an excellent protectant when used as a waterproof membrane on your roof. It makes a white, flexible membrane that installs easily and reflects heat, helping you maintain the ideal temperature inside your home.


TPO is quite similar to PVC in appearance and installation practice. It’s a white, single-ply membrane that’s used on buildings large and small.

One concern some people have with TPO, PVC and other white membrane waterproofing materials is cosmetic. Over time, these materials can show dirt and debris quite obviously. However, their appearance does not impact their effectiveness. Additionally, it’s unlikely people will see much of the membrane of a flat roof from the ground, making TPO and PVC perfectly acceptable choices for most residential and commercial properties.


EDPM roofing is a durable, black, rubber-like material. It’s most common in larger commercial buildings, but recent years have seen its popularity rise in residential housing. One of the major draws of EPDM is its stylish appearance and ability to mitigate the appearance of dirt.

EDPM can be installed anywhere so long as you’re aware of how it may affect your home. The membrane’s black finish absorbs heat rather than reflecting it. As a result, the material is usually recommended for garages and spaces where temperature control is not a priority.

Steps to Waterproofing a Flat Roof

Once you choose the best membrane for your roof, it’s time to start the installation process. Equity Builders Roofing will schedule your appointment promptly when you make a decision so you can begin experiencing the benefits sooner and protect your roof from any upcoming weather. Our process for flat roof waterproofing includes four steps, which we can usually finish in one appointment.

1. Clean the Substrate

The first step with any new installation is to prepare your substrate to accept the waterproofing material. Our team will wash the roof to clear away any existing debris and remove anything that could interfere with the adhesion process.

This step may also expose existing leaks or damage that need repairing before we move forward, which our full-service maintenance team will handle.

Related >> Roof Leaks in Heavy Rain (Causes, Solutions, & Prevention)

2. Prime the Surface

After thoroughly cleaning and drying your roof, we can apply our primer. This roof primer will clean any lingering oils or tough spots while ensuring every surface is ready for application. Priming your roof also helps the waterproof membrane adhere to the substrate, resulting in a stronger bond than you could achieve by applying the membrane to the roof directly.

3. Treat Smaller Details

Parts of the roof with small details are most prone to improper installation. Our team will pre-treat these spots with extra insulation and protective layers to ensure you get the best outcome for your investment. We’ll take special care prepping these areas and more:

  • Pipes
  • Lights
  • Drains
  • Corners
  • Vents
  • Any other roof penetration

4. Apply the Liquid Membrane

With the roof primed and prepped, we’ll get to work waterproofing it. We’ll lay multiple layers of your membrane of choice based on the manufacturer’s standards and our own knowledge. After applying each layer, we’ll smooth and dry the membrane to get an accurate view of how it lays and see any spots we may have missed.

Applying the liquid membrane itself is the most time-consuming part of the process and can take a few hours to complete. Outside factors such as temperature and humidity levels can affect this process, which is why we’ll take as much time as necessary to confirm a job well done.

Once the membrane is completely applied and layered as needed, one of our certified inspectors will take a close look at our work and ensure the waterproofing process is effective. The layers can take up to a day to adhere and dry properly. By the time we leave, you can rest assured that your home is more protected than it’s ever been.

How to Avoid Leaks on a Flat Roof

Now that your roof is waterproofed, you can move on with your life and know your home is as secure as possible against potential leaks. That said, you can take a few steps to reduce the likelihood of future leaks even more:

  • Make sure the waterproofing is applied properly: While it’s easy to cover a flat surface in waterproofing materials, coating the areas around corners, HVAC units, skylights and pipes can be challenging for the average installer. The team coating your roof should take extra care to cover these spots carefully, as they’re most prone to developing leaks.
  • Complete regular inspections and maintenance: After your roof is waterproofed, regular maintenance is the best way to keep it in good shape and prevent leaks. You should have a professional inspect your roof at least twice a year, checking for dents, leaks and any areas that may need repairs. If they suggest any repairs or replacements, follow up on them as soon as possible to prevent small issues from turning into larger concerns.
  • Keep the roof clear of debris: Leaves, twigs and other debris falling on your roof can impact even the best waterproofing membranes. When there’s a storm or windy night, try to clear off as much debris as you can so your roof can continue working the way it was designed to.

Related >> Steps to Take After a Severe Storm Damages Your Roof

Why Let Equity Builders Roofing Waterproof Your Roof?

At Equity Builders Roofing, our goal is to provide quality service and an unparalleled experience. We give our best to every client we have, offering:

  • Experience with any roof: From flat roofs to steep slants in every type of material, Equity Builders Roofingcan handle it all. Since 2002, we’ve seen the best and worst rooftops Bloomington and the surrounding areas have to offer. We’ve tackled every job with passion and expertise. We love a good challenge, so you can feel confident in us being your rubber roof contractor for your roofing needs.
  • The certifications to back it up: Your roof is critical to protecting the people you love and the things that matter to you. You need a strong, safe and reliable roof — and that starts with a team you can trust. We maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and complying with every standard set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Additional remodeling services where necessary: We’re more than just a roofing company. Many of our crew members come to us with significant experience in construction, and we utilize their skills by offering full-service remodeling to our clients. If any additional needs arise during your roofing project, we’ll take care of them to enhance your property’s value and security.
  • Price-match guarantees: We know you have options when it comes to waterproofing your flat roof, but we’re sure you won’t find better service at better prices elsewhere.
  • Transparent and affordable financing solutions: We’ll tell you our prices from the start so you know exactly what to expect. We also work with many financing companies so you can take care of your roof on a budget.

Contact Equity Builders Roofing for Flat Roof Maintenance and Repair

Whatever your roofing needs, Equity Builders Roofing is here to help. We pride ourselves on being Indiana’s choice for roof work. Whether you’re seeking waterproofing solutions, complete roof replacement or any other roof work, contact our team today. We’ll schedule your free roof inspection right away.