Being a roofing professional, I can tell you how important it is to have a safe and advanced roof for an apartment building. It enhances your property’s value, improves the living experience of the residents, and keeps the structure safe and sound.
If you’re looking for a new, upscale roofing style for your apartment building, I’m here with an expert guide to help you choose the right roofing material and style. At Hepler Contracting, we aim to help our customers learn crucial facts about the roofing and building exterior industry.
In this blog post, I’ll explain which roofing practices you should avoid and discuss the top apartment roofing trends in 2023 to level up your building. Whether you’re a property owner, manager, or designer, this information can be a helpful guide for your project.
History of Apartment Roofs: How it All Started and What’s Outdated
Roofs on homes in the United States are marked by traditional wood shakes, asphalt shingles, slate, and clay tiles. But this may not be the case for modern apartments, as using asphalt shingles on apartment buildings is an outdated practice.
In the early 20th century, apartment buildings were introduced to flat roofing systems having more waterproofing capabilities and affordable benefits. The roofs typically involved layering materials such as tar, asphalt, rubber, and gravel.
However, the early flat roofs had multiple issues, such as the use of harmful chemicals, low-energy efficiency, and frequent leaks. To combat these problems, many improvements were made to the materials and design of these roofing systems. Today, more robust and durable flat roofing options are available for your apartment.
So now, let’s explore the latest roofing trends in apartment living.
Top 7 Apartment Roofing Trends in 2023
In 2023, a roof isn’t merely a protective cover for your apartment and tenants. It can do so much more depending on your specific requirements and local climate. Since the 1980s, flat roofs on apartments have become more innovative and multi-purpose. Today, there are several eco-friendly roofing materials and luxurious elements to elevate the lifespan and comfort of your apartment.
Here are the top seven roofing trends for apartments in 2023:
EPDM roofing is a popular trend in the world of apartment roofing due to its durability, affordability, and flexibility. EPDM is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that offers excellent resistance to UV rays, weathering, and thermal fluctuations. Having this type of roof on your apartment building provides a long-lasting and watertight seal, making it a reliable choice for various weather conditions, including hail storms.
EPDM roofing membranes come in large rolls that can be adhered to or mechanically fastened to the roof substrate. The flexibility of EPDM allows it to accommodate structural movements and withstand extreme temperature differentials without compromising its integrity. Additionally, EPDM is known for its low maintenance requirements and can have a lifespan of up to 30 years with proper care. It can be coated with cool roof paints or heat-reflective roof coating to reduce heat build up during the summer.
TPO roofing has gained significant popularity in recent years as a more beneficial and energy-efficient roofing option for apartment complexes. TPO membranes are made of a blend of rubber and plastic, providing exceptional resistance to UV radiation, heat, and chemical exposure.
One of the key advantages of TPO roofing is its ability to reflect sunlight, reducing the heat absorbed by your apartment’s roof. This energy-efficient membrane can contribute to lower cooling costs and create a more comfortable living environment for residents. TPO membranes are typically white or light-colored to maximize their reflective properties.
#3 Modified Bitumen
Modified bitumen roofing is another trending option for apartments, particularly those with flat or low-sloped designs. It is a multi-layered roofing system that combines asphalt with modifiers such as rubber or plastic to enhance its durability and flexibility.
The versatility of modified bitumen allows for different surface finishes, including granulated, smooth, or reflective coatings, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits. With proper maintenance, a well-installed modified bitumen roof can last up to 20 years, making it a reliable choice for apartment roofing.
#4 Adding Solar Panels on the Roof
As sustainability becomes a top priority, many apartment owners are incorporating solar panels on their roofs to harness clean and renewable energy. Solar panels offer numerous benefits, including reduced energy costs, a lower carbon footprint, and potential incentives or rebates from government programs.
By harnessing solar energy, a building can generate electricity to power common areas, lighting, or even individual units. Excess energy can be fed back into the grid, potentially leading to energy credits or cost savings.
#5 Green Roofs
Green roofs are an innovative and eco-friendly approach to roofing. The concept involves transforming the flat roof of your apartment into a lush, vibrant garden, creating a unique and sustainable roof. A green roof can contribute to the overall well-being of tenants by providing a calming, natural environment that can enhance their mood and living experience. Another benefit of a green roof is improved air quality around the space.
A roof with a lawn or garden will also act as a natural insulator, reducing the energy consumption required for heating and cooling the building. It will also help manage runoff by absorbing and filtering rainwater, thus reducing the burden on drainage systems. Eventually, a roof garden apartment will contribute to carbon seclusion, helping combat climate change.
Before installing a green roof, you’ll need a new, stronger roof structure, additional layers, and proper drainage to accommodate soil, plants, and irrigation.
#6 Terrace Roof
If you choose a roof made of wood, metal, or roofing glass, you have the opportunity to create a terrace area on the roof. The benefits of having an apartment with a roof terrace are numerous. It not only provides a leisure space for tenants but also adds value to your property.
A roof terrace allows residents to utilize the roof space to relax or enjoy, especially in urban areas where outdoor options may be expensive, far off, or crowded for casual meetups. It creates a sense of community and promotes social interaction among residents.
#7 Rooftop Pool
Rooftop pools have experienced a significant boom in recent years. This trend is driven by the desire for luxurious amenities and unique experiences among residents. An apartment with a pool on the roof offers a distinct and enticing feature that sets it apart from the competition.
A rooftop pool offers residents a convenient and accessible recreational space. It eliminates the need for residents to travel to off-site swimming facilities and provides a private oasis within the building. The convenience factor can be a major selling point for potential tenants seeking a high-end multi-living experience.
However, it requires careful planning, collaboration with multiple professionals, and attention to structural and waterproofing considerations. Installing a rooftop pool is actually a complete renovation of the building’s upper portion rather than a roof replacement.
As we explore the exciting trends and innovative possibilities in apartment roofing, it is also essential to learn about the outdated roofing practices that you should avoid.
Outdated Methods and Materials to Avoid During Apartment Roof Replacement
While these practices may have been commonplace in the past, climate change and technological advancements have rendered them less effective or unsafe for the residents.
Here are a few examples:
#1 Using Outdated Roof Insulation
An older apartment or roof may have unsuitable or damaged roof insulation material, leading to high energy consumption and discomfort for the occupants in peak summer and winter. Today, you have the option to use advanced insulation materials and techniques for maximum comfort and reduced power consumption.
#2 Limited Ventilation
One crucial aspect of apartment roof replacement is ensuring proper roof ventilation. An old building or roof is most likely to have inadequate ventilation, leading to issues like moisture buildup, mold growth, and poor air quality. You should use contemporary roofing designs and vents to prioritize proper air circulation in your apartment building to extend the lifespan of the roof and the space as a whole.
#3 Use of Outdated Roofing Materials
Some older roofing materials had asbestos and have been phased out due to health and safety concerns. Asbestos is commonly used in older flat roofing systems and poses significant health risks if disturbed or deteriorated. Today, safer alternatives, such as synthetic membranes or sustainable roofing materials, are preferred. So don’t resort to cheaper materials that are harmful and even illegal to use in residential settings.
#4 Lack of Sustainability
A few decades back, roofing materials and techniques often did not prioritize environmental sustainability. Modern trends in apartment roofing focus on eco-friendly solutions, including solar panels, green roofs, and recycled materials, to minimize the ecological impact and increase energy efficiency.
If you are looking to upgrade your apartment’s roof in Pennsylvania, you can trust your local experts at Hepler Contracting.
Get a Free Consultation and Estimate on Your Roof Replacement Project
When it comes to upgrading the roof of your residential property, you and your tenant deserve the best results. The team at Hepler Contracting understands the importance of a roof that not only provides protection but also adds beauty and longevity to your apartment complex. As experienced apartment roofers, we specialize in catering to the unique challenges faced by the roofs of multi-living buildings in our area. With us, you can trust that your apartment’s roof can help attract high-quality tenants.
Call us at (412) 694-8785 for a free consultation and estimate from your local, reliable apartment roofing contractor in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania. Let us be your partner in transforming your property into a safe and stunning haven for your residents.