Low Slope


Independent Roofing Company’s committed Commercial Roofing department has many years of experience working with many different types of low slopes material, as well as different manufacturers. Our team understands the additional strain that is added when dealing with a commercial roof. They are able to combine both experience and problem solving skills to come up with a unique solution for each individual project. No project is too big or too small, as we have a wide array of experience including malls, schools, office buildings, factories, retail stores, churches, and warehouses.

Every year Independent Roofing Company strives to provide our clients with the best quality roof possible. With our dedication, comes many awards. Some of the awards we have received in the past include:

  • Firestone Quality Award Winner 1996-Present
  • Sika Sarnafil project of the year award in 2007
  • MRCA McCawley award winner in  2008
  • MRCA member since 1951

Over the last 94 years that Independent Roofing Company has been in business, low slope roofing evolved to suit the needs of many different types of buildings. It is important that our customers are knowledgeable about the differences in products in order to choose the best fit for their building’s demands. Some of the products to consider include:

Built Up

There are basically two types of built up roofing (also known as BUR). The difference is that either a coal tar pitch or asphalt waterproofing could be used as the waterproofing element between plies of reinforcing felt. Built up roofing is usually installed with three or four courses of felt with interply moppings of asphalt or coal tar pitch. The top layer is then flood coated and gravel installed to protect against UV degradation or coated with a reflective coating.  Coal tar pitch is used in a very low slope or no slope roof system where ponding water could occur, where asphalt can be used on a steeper slope.  Instead of gravel as a coating, systems today combine the plies of a built up roof with a cap sheet of modified bitumen to create a hi-bred system.  This type of roof system is ideal for a building with a lot of roof traffic or equipment.

Modified Bitumen

Membranes are hybrids of the built up system, only pre-manufactured in the factory. The products come in rolls, and are modified asphalt or coal tar systems with a rubber added for low temperature and elongation characteristics. Systems are usually installed with modified base sheets and a modified cap sheet to give the owner a very tough roof system. Modified bitumen membranes can be torch applied, self-adhered or mopped in place with hot or cold bitumen. They are always surfaced with colored granules, gravel or a reflective coating. Membranes today can come with a highly reflective coating to give the owner a tough but energy efficient roof system.

Single Ply

Single Ply roofing systems are just that, a single ply of a roofing material which can be made from several types of polymer plastics and rubbers.

Types of Single Ply


Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is one of the fastest growing commercial roofing products because of the performance and installation advantages over BUR.  TPO is a very good energy efficient roof system and provides resistance to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure.  TPO can be installed in many different ways as in a mechanically attached system, fully adhered system, and with a fleece backing in hot or cold asphalt or adhesive.  Seams are heat welded normally to give the owner a monolithic roof system.


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) sheets are manufactured into rolls, and can be adhered or mechanically fastened to a roof deck assembly. PVC got a bad rap many years ago when manufacturers made sheets without any reinforcement.  That has changed and PVC is a good solution in single ply when resistance to harsh chemicals and industrial pollutants are necessary for the owner. PVC can come in a variety of colors to help the owner with visually impressive roof systems.

EPDM (Rubber)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is one of the longest single ply systems in the market. “Rubber roofing” has been the main single ply since customers wanted to move away from BUR systems.  EPDM can be installed in a variety of ways with the most popular today being a fully adhered system.  With many of today’s buildings being anything but square or rectangle, epdm offers the versatility to waterproof today’s buildings with a variety of options.

Specialty Garden Vegetative Roofing Systems

Vegetative Garden, a version of “Green Roofing”, is a relatively new concept in the United States. Vegetative Garden Roofing Systems have been used for centuries in Europe as a way to reduce the need for power for air conditioning in buildings, reducing the demand for energy, and the temperature of the city at the same time. Most important, these roofs slow roof water drainage down, allowing storage to take place on the roof, relieving our combined underground sewer and drainage systems during times of heavy rainfall.

The ‘overburden’ for these vegetative roof systems is either hand placed and layered soil growing media, or pre-fabricated trays, with growing live plants delivered to the roof for placement by roofing contractors to specifications.

Garden Roofs may also meet code requirements for reflectivity of roofing in urban area, reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect.