Built-Up Roof Vs. Modified Bitumen: Which One Is the Best for Commercial Building

Posted on October 13th, 2021 by Applied Roofing Services

Built-up and modified bitumen roof systems are usually designed for low slope or flat roof structures. While both can withstand harsh weather conditions and harmful UV rays, the two are different in terms of design, application, advantages, and life expectancy.

Read on to learn more about these roofing systems and evaluate the best option for your commercial building.
built up roof

Built-Up Roof Systems

Also known as tar and gravel roofs, built-up roof systems are made of alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt) and reinforcing fabrics. The top layer of the roof is finished with stone or gravel coating to create a continuous sealed surface.

Modified Bitumen Roof

This is an asphalt-based roofing system designed with two layers, namely a base sheet and a cap sheet. While the cap sheet is torched down, self-adhered, or cold-adhered, the base sheet is self-adhered to the roofing substrate.

Modified bitumen BUR can be of two types,

  • Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS)– Being elastomeric, it can stretch to provide greater flexibility (contraction and extraction capabilities).
  • Atactic Polypropylene (APP) – Being plastomeric (made flexible with elastic plastic) means it can resist harmful UV rays, improving your roof’s stability with time.

Pros and Cons of Flat-roofing Systems

There are 3 types of flat roofing systems for commercial buildings – modified bitumen roofs, single-ply roofs, and built-up roofs. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each roof type to make the right decision for you.

Roofing System Pros Cons
Built-Up Roof
  • Fire resistant
  • Looks appealing
  • Cost-effective
  • Very heavy
  • Requires professional installation
  • Gravel can clog scuppers and gutters
Modified Bitumen Roof
  • DIY installation is possible
  • Energy efficient
  • Inexpensive
  • Not tear-resistant
  • The torch-down application creates a fire hazard
Single-Ply Roof
  • Tear and scuff resistant
  •  Easy to install and repair

 

  • Expensive
  • Susceptible to punctures

Built-Up Roof System and Other Options for a Commercial Roof

There are two main types of built-up roofing systems, including:

  1. Modified Bitumen BUR

Made of rubber and asphalt, this roof is finished with gravel on top. The modified BUR can be installed on the roof deck using adhesives.

Modified bitumen BUR roofs have three layers, including:

Base Asphalt Layer

This acts as a primary waterproof layer and is modified with synthetic rubber to create a uniform matrix. While strengthening the asphalt, the synthetic rubber improves puncture resistance and elasticity.

Ply Sheets

These sheets can be made of plastic core materials, felt, reinforced fabric, polyester, or fiberglass. They offer weather resistance, stability, and tensile strength to the final finished roofing structure.

Top Surface

While protecting the lower layers from rain and debris, the top surface holds and releases sunlight to prevent moisture and heat damage.

  1. Ballast Roofing

A ballasted roof has a loose-laid bottom-most sheet on the roof deck that separates the roof membrane from the decking material. Though not adhered or anchored, the top layer of the roof is ballasted with gravel stones to keep the roof membranes in position.

In order to prevent excess movement, roof membranes are fastened at certain places on the deck. While providing an aesthetically pleasing look, the ballast roof remains durable by contracting and expanding during cold and hot weather. These roofs are also fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and easy to repair.

What Are Built-Up Roof Systems Made of?

A built-up roof system is made of three layers:

Base Sheet

The asphalt in the base sheet is fastened to the insulation or roof deck to prevent blisters (soft bubbles) and allow vapor movement. You can use industry-standard fully adhering base sheets to prevent the membrane from tearing.

Roofing Felts

These are reinforcing fabrics (organic mats or fiberglass) that increase the roof’s durability while resisting thermal shock and moisture.

Surface Layer

The surface layer with stone, gravel, or mineral granules is finished with aluminum roof coatings, hot asphalt, or elastomeric sealants to withstand dampness and UV rays.

Built-Up Roof System – Repair and Maintenance

Generally, BUR roof systems are prone to the following defects:

  • Cracks – Small cracks may form on the roof surface due to asphalt shrinking.
  • Blisters – Moisture can cause soft bubbles in the roof membrane.
  • Damages – Thermal expansion or detached insulation can damage the roof.

Regular roof maintenance by a professional roofing contractor can help detect these repairs before they aggravate. This way, you can fix the repairs on time and maintain your roof in top condition.

Built-Up or Modified Bitumen: Which Is Better?

While both roof types have advantages and disadvantages, deciding which one is the best for your commercial property depends on your requirements, the building’s condition, and your roof’s pitch.

Therefore, consider hiring a commercial roofing contractor to determine the best roof for your building.

Why Choose Applied Roofing as Your Commercial Roofing Contractor?

With over two decades of experience in the roofing industry, our team at Applied Roofing Services specializes in commercial flat roofing systems, low slope roofs, and green roofing solutions. All our roofing systems are of high quality, ensuring low maintenance and durability. We also have experienced and highly trained roofing professionals who can install your commercial roof in an efficient and non-intrusive manner.

If you are looking for the best commercial roofing contractor in California for installation, repair, and maintenance services, contact Applied Roofing Services today at 714-632-8418 or get a quote online.

About Applied Roofing Services

Applied Roofing Services is a full service roofing company located in CA. We offer durable and high quality residential and commercial flat roofing. We provide roof installation as well as roof repair services, roof maintenance and inspection services. We specialize in low slope roofs, energy efficient, zero maintenance, and green roofing. We have 20+ years of experience in the roofing industry.


Why Single-Ply Roofing Systems Are Ideal for Commercial Buildings

Posted on February 18th, 2020 by Applied Roofing Services

The roof of a commercial building is one of its most important structural elements. Before you invest in commercial roofing systems, you must know the pros and cons of different types of roofing systems. Here is some essential information on single-ply roofing systems.

single ply roofing system for commercial buildings

What is Single-Ply Roofing?

Single-Ply roofing is generally used for flat and low-sloped buildings. Single-Ply roofing is made of flexible sheets of compounded plastic-derived materials. These sheets are more flexible, reliable, and durable when compared to traditional roofing solutions.

Types of Single-Ply Commercial Roofing

There are mainly two types of single-ply commercial roofing.

  • TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Single-Ply Roofing System
  • TPO single-ply roofing systems consist of a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim. They have natural reflective surfaces that can reflect UV rays. It has a natural white color.

  • EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) Single-Ply Roofing System
  • EPDM single-ply roofing systems are made up of a flexible synthetic rubber compound. If you are using EPDM for your commercial building, you get to choose a black or white color in different thicknesses, unlike TPO, which is available only in white color. Using a darker shade for your roof is helpful in colder weather as they can retain heat.

Advantages of Single-Ply Roofing

There are numerous benefits of installing a single-ply roofing system. Some include:

  • Over 50 years of proven track record
  • Different application methods
  • Class A fire-rated
  • Choice of color (white or black) for UV reflection or heat retention
  • High-tensile-strength
  • Easy to install

Also Read – 7 Tips for Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing Company

Single-Ply Roofing Maintenance

To ensure maximum life for your single-ply roofing system, make sure to examine it periodically. Check for loose terminations and ensure that seams are intact. Also, there should be no punctures in the flashings or field membrane. Ideally, such maintenance inspections should be made at least twice a year. It is also advised to check your roofing system after every major storm so that any small issues can be identified and dealt with before they become a significant problem.

Also Read – How to Find the Best Roof Options for Commercial Roofing

Repairing Your Single-Ply Roofing System

Even though the warranty on your single-ply roofing system can last as long as 30 years, you will need to repair it in between as they are susceptible to punctures. If you want, you can hire a contractor to do the repair work for you. Contact us today for expert advice on the single-ply roofing system or call us today at 714-632-8418

About Applied Roofing Services

Applied Roofing Services is a full service roofing company located in CA. We offer durable and high quality residential and commercial flat roofing. We provide roof installation as well as roof repair services, roof maintenance and inspection services. We specialize in low slope roofs, energy efficient, zero maintenance, and green roofing. We have 20+ years of experience in the roofing industry.


Avoid Commercial Roofing Mistakes to Prevent Water Leakage

Posted on April 7th, 2016 by Applied Roofing Services

The roof on a large, commercial building can require specialized treatment to keep it from leaking or becoming compromised in any way. There are several things to remember when caring for the roof that will keep the membrane in good condition and also prevent leaks from occurring.

Commercial Roofing Repairs
 

  • Always use compatible materials – Always use materials that work well with one another. For example, you can’t fix a single-ply membrane roof with plastic cement. They aren’t compatible. If you have questions about what types of materials work well together, call a roofing professional and ask before trying to use them for repairs.

  • Use sprays sparingly – Too much spray coating can result in excess weight. Not only is weight dangerous for a slightly sloped or slanted roof, it can actually damage areas where it is applied heavily. If you use too much spray, the damage you cause may work against you if you file an insurance claim.

  • Keep drains clear – Always keep debris away from drains and gutters. When you apply spray coatings, cover the drains to prevent them from being sealed shut. Every time the roof is inspected, make sure to clear away any twigs, leaves or other debris that may have accumulated since the last inspection.

  • Keep sections of conduit, electric cords and receptacles clear – Never spray or spread coating on areas that may need to be accessed later. Lightly apply around them and as close to them as possible, but never cover or compromise them.

  • If something needs repaired, fix it right the first time – Don’t just apply coatings or seal holes. Make sure all of the proper steps are taken to clean and seal the area appropriately.

About Applied Roofing Services

Applied Roofing Services is a full service roofing company located in CA. We offer durable and high quality residential and commercial flat roofing. We provide roof installation as well as roof repair services, roof maintenance and inspection services. We specialize in low slope roofs, energy efficient, zero maintenance, and green roofing. We have 20+ years of experience in the roofing industry.


Friendly Roofing

How to protect your roofing investment by selecting the right roofing contractor?

Locations

APPLIED ROOFING SERVICES

Orange County Office:

3152 E. La Palma Ave Unit H
Anaheim, CA 92806
Phone: 714-632-8418 or
(800) 895-9589

Get Directions

Los Angeles Office:

1055 West 7th Street
33rd Floor Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-255-3677

Get Directions

 

San Bernardino Office:

8333 Foothill Blvd
PMB # 411
Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730
Phone: 909-361-6119

Get Directions

e-brochure

Need To Know More?
Download our E-Brochure

Customer Review...

ARS has been my only foam roofing contractor nearly 15 years. There service is excellent and price competitive. I would recommend them highly

Dave A
ESRI

crrc energystar bbb bestroof