Green Roofing: Torch-On vs Flexstone


Green roofing and the “green deck” eco-movement are a growing trend in North America. The increased utilization of valuable square deck and roofing footage while creating a ‘green friendly’ social space for tenants, the public, or strata members just makes sense.

There are billions of square feet of underutilized flat roof and deck space all across Canada that could be used with a green roofing solution, and we hope to play a leading role in helping to make these spaces a little greener, and a little more useful to the building owners and their tenants.

Green Roofing with Flexstone
Green Roofing using Flexstone vs Torch-On

Flexstone is a water-based urethane manufactured with no solvents in it. What this means, is that the material will not in any way dissolve the surface below it, allowing it to form a strong adhesion with almost any substrate. This feature allows Flexstone to be applied over existing torch-on roofing which is a big money saver for a green roofing solution decision. Let’s look at an example…

Let’s say you have a torch-on roof that is wearing down and needs replacement. Any other approved roofing system would require a tear-off/disposal, which costs money and harms the environment. Then, in order to torch down a new roof, you would have to pay the exorbitant fire insurance fees associated with it and high labour costs. Not the best option for a green roofing solution.

Today, with our shiny new approvals, we can use Flexstone for your flat-roofing restoration and re-roofing without any objection from building inspectors or engineers; a fantastic option if you are considering a green roofing alternative. The liquid-applied product does not require any heat or open flame and provides a seamless, thick, UV-stable, flexible, and entirely winterproof membrane in a zero-fire-risk application. So right out of the gate, you are saving money. But the savings don’t stop there. Flexstone has several light coloured finish options. This reflects the heat of the sun and saves you money on air conditioning costs.

Finally, with a torch-on or tar & gravel roof system, the appearance is not one of a functional deck, so in order to utilize the space for a social or space, concrete pavers or tiles are often applied on top of the roof membrane. This adds an enormous amount of weight to your roof and also makes leak repairs down the line very difficult to repair.

With Flexstone’s system of CCMC approved waterproof coatings, you get a stunning deck finish that is 100% waterproof, fully approved for the harshest Canadian climate and one that does not require any decorative products atop it.

So let’s review what we’ve learned about Green Roofing

  1. Torch-on roofing is the most commonly used membrane for flat roofs. It is flame-applied, expensive, absorbs heat, and can not be applied over existing coatings.
  2. In order to re-roof a torch-on roof, the old membrane must be torn off and disposed of which costs money and harms our environment.
  3. Torch-on is not an attractive finish, so heavy pavers or tiles are often placed on top which makes leak repairs very difficult.
  4. Flexstone is fully CCMC approved for flat roofs and can be applied directly over top of existing torch-on membranes.
  5. Flexstone reflects heat which saves on energy costs.
  6. Flexstone is cold applied so there are no high insurance costs associated with the application.
  7. Flexstone boasts a variety of stunning finish options which serve as a waterproofing membrane and attractive deck, so there is no need for heavy pavers to be placed on top. This also makes repairs a breeze.

Finally, with all the costs associated with labour, removal/disposal, and insurance; Flexstone is comparable in price to torch-on without taking into account the aforementioned costs. Thus, Flexstone is more affordable, eco-friendly, more flexible, and more attractive.

Sounds like an easy decision to me.