In the ever-evolving world of construction and home improvement, roofing methods have come a long way from the traditional materials and techniques. Flat roofs have been a popular choice in the UK for centuries due to their architectural advantages and space-saving benefits. Over time, advancements in technology and materials have given rise to modern flat roofing methods, such as fiberglass and rubber roofing. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the transition from traditional to modern flat roofing techniques and explore the benefits they bring to the table.

Traditional Flat Roofing Methods

  1. Built-Up Roofing (BUR):
    Built-up roofing, also known as tar and gravel roofing, is one of the oldest flat roofing methods used in the UK. It involves layering multiple plies of asphalt and roofing felt to create a waterproof membrane. The process requires skilled labor and can be time-consuming.
  2. Asphalt Roll Roofing:
    Asphalt roll roofing is a simplified version of built-up roofing. It consists of one or two layers of asphalt-impregnated felt rolled onto the roof and then sealed with hot asphalt or adhesive.
  3. Modified Bitumen Roofing:
    Modified bitumen roofing is an improvement on traditional built-up roofing. It involves combining asphalt with rubber or plastic modifiers, making it more flexible and durable.

Traditional flat roofing methods have their merits, including cost-effectiveness and ease of repair. However, they also have their downsides, such as susceptibility to weather damage, shorter lifespan, and the need for regular maintenance.

Modern Flat Roofing Methods

  1. Fiberglass (GRP) Roofing:
    Fiberglass roofing, also known as Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) roofing, has gained popularity in the UK for its exceptional durability and longevity. It involves layering fiberglass matting saturated with a liquid resin to form a seamless, watertight surface. This lightweight and robust material can withstand various weather conditions and requires minimal maintenance.
  2. EPDM (Rubber) Roofing:
    Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofing, commonly known as rubber roofing, is another contemporary flat roofing option. It comes in large sheets, reducing the number of seams and potential leak points. EPDM is UV resistant, highly flexible, and has a long lifespan, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Benefits of Modern Flat Roofing Methods

  1. Longevity: Fiberglass and EPDM roofing materials offer exceptional durability, with a lifespan that can exceed 30 years when properly installed and maintained.
  2. Waterproofing: Modern roofing methods provide seamless, waterproof membranes, reducing the risk of leaks and water damage significantly.
  3. Low Maintenance: Compared to traditional roofing methods, fiberglass and rubber roofing require minimal maintenance, saving homeowners time and money in the long run.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Both fiberglass and rubber roofing materials offer good insulation properties, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and potentially lowering energy bills.
  5. Environmentally Friendly: Modern roofing materials, especially EPDM, are considered eco-friendly as they can be recycled and reused.


The transition from traditional flat roofing methods to modern alternatives like fiberglass and rubber roofing has brought significant advancements to the construction industry in the UK. While traditional methods served their purpose, modern roofing techniques offer improved durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. When considering a flat roof installation or replacement, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each method, keeping in mind factors like budget, climate, and desired lifespan. Engaging professional roofing contractors for installation ensures a quality and watertight roof that will protect your home for years to come.