Wisconsin Flat Roof Terminology

Commercial and Industrial Roofing in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Commercial and Industrial Roofing Glossary

Roofed Right America is your number one resource for roofing information and commercial roofing services in Milwaukee. Our roofing contractors utilize years of experience and great customer service skills to provide the best flat roof systems. We conduct roofing inspections for a wide variety of businesses and flat roof systems to customize a plan for roof maintenance.

Our major roofing services include Milwaukee flat roof repair, green roof design and installation, and flat roof waterproofing. Whether you need a brand new roof installed or a minor roofing repair, our Milwaukee flat roof contractors have you covered. We are committed to providing Wisconsin commercial buildings with functional and dependable roofing systems to last years. Make an appointment for a roof inspection today and receive a free commercial roofing quote

Roofed Right is committed to educating our customers on the details, terminology, and applications of our various Milwaukee commercial roofing services. Our glossary below consists of commonly used terms in the flat roof repair industry. Reference this list of important terms when you require more information for choosing the best Wisconsin commercial, industrial, or flat roofing repair and installation option.

This commercial roofing glossary covers the most useful and common roof repair and replacement terms.

If you still have more questions or concerns regarding our commercial roofing services, contact the Waukesha flat roof repair contractors at Roofed Right America.


Asphalt: A black, tarrish material which largely consists of bitumen compounds. Asphalt can be found naturally or can be produced through petroleum processing. Asphalt is the basis for many flat roofing systems, such as modified bitumen roofing.


Asbestos: a family of natural, fibrous, and impure silicate-based materials. Asbestos, originally used to reinforce roofing materials, has been outlawed due to health concerns and is no longer used in construction jobs.


Ballast: Heavy materials, such as stone aggregate or precast paver blocks, used to hold commercial roofing membranes in place.


Bitumen: An unstructured, semi-solid mixture of complex hydrocarbons created from organic materials. Asphalt and coal tar products are composed of bitumen materials and comprise two of the most commonly used roofing systems in the industry.


Creep: Deformation of a commercial or industrial roofing system caused by the slow shifting and settling of the roof membrane.  that results from continuous thermal stress or loading.


Degradation: The eventual collapse and breakdown of the physical properties and appearance of a commercial or industrial roofing material due to exposure and elemental damage.


EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, commonly called “rubber roofing”, is a strong material highly resistant to damage, weathering, and water intrusion.


Felt: Felt materials are used as a base for many commercial and industrial roofing systems. Felt fabrics are manufacture from vegetable-based fibers, asbestos fibers, or fiberglass products.


Flashing: Flashing consists of sealing components designed to weatherproof and close a flat roof roof system along the edges to prevent water intrusion and damage. Flashing usually consists of a metal sheet and can be bent and formed to cover openings and cracks.

Heat Welding

Heat Welding: A technique for melting and fusing overlapping edges or sections of modified bitumen, thermoplastics, or various thermoset roofing membranes through the application of heat and pressure. Heat application usually consists of using open flames to melt and bond the products.

Low Temperature Flexibility

Low Temperature Flexibility: The flexibility of a roofing membrane system after it has been cooled to a low temperature.

Mechanically-Fastened Membranes

Mechanically-Fastened Membranes: Some commercial roofing membranes are attached at regular intervals using plates, battens, fasteners, clips, or other systems.


Membrane: A pliable, flexible, or semi-flexible roof covering system, often used as a waterproofing layer.

Mineral Granules

Mineral Granules: Natural or synthetically colored stone aggregate compounds often used as for granule-surfaced sheets and roofing shingles. Allows for extra traction and texture.

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen: composite sheets consisting of a polymer (e.g., atactic polypropylene (APP), or styrene butadiene styrene (SBS)) often reinforced and sometimes surfaced with various types of mats, films, foils and mineral granules.

Puncture Resistance

Puncture Resistance: Materials designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and capable of resisting sharp objects. Commonly used around rooftop machinery, such as AC units and venting structures.


PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride, a thermoplastic single ply roof membrane system commonly used for commercial and industrial roofs.


Reflectivity: The level of resistance a roofing material possesses to infrared and UV light sources.

Reinforced Membrane

Reinforced Membrane: A commercial or industrial roofing system strengthened by the addition or incorporation of reinforcing materials. These materials include fiberglass products, polyester-based mats or scrims, nylon, and polyethylene materials.

Self –Adhering Membrane

Self –Adhering Membrane: A commercial and industrial roofing membrane capable of quickly and efficiently adhering to a surface through the removal of a release paper.

TPO Roofing Materials

TPO Roofing Materials: TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) membranes are a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene polymers. TPO membranes can be blended with colorants, flame retardant materials, UV resistant/absorbing materials, and other substances designed to increase the product’s lifespan. TPO roofing materials are 100% recyclable.

Alt text for #0 Alt text for #0 Alt text for #0 Alt text for #Delaware vt