For large commercial properties that have low slope or flat roofs, built-up roofing (BUR) is an excellent option. Built-up roofing remains one of the most common commercial roofing materials used today. BUR also has a history of success, dating back way to the early 1800. It is a roofing method that has been tested thoroughly. Especially with the technological advances that have been made, it remains an efficient and effective choice for large building structures.
What is it exactly?
Built-Up roofing is made up of laminated layers of material. These are generally made with four basic components, but there are many combinations and layers possible:
- Base sheet – Asphalt coated venting sheets, asphalt coated organic sheets, and more.
- Felts or fabrics – burlap, cotton fabric, tar saturated organic felt, coal (upwards of three or four layers may be used).
- Bitumen – Lap cement, coal tar, asphalt.
- Surfacing component – Coatings, mineral, asphalt, or gravel.
Advantages of built-up roofing
- Versatile – As long as the proper substrate is used, a build-up roof can be installed on almost any type of roof deck.
- Thermal Reflectivity – It is possible to coat BUR surfacing materials to reduce the effects of heat and UV radiation. This makes it a solid ‘cooling’ option.
- Longevity – The reason a BUR roof often significantly exceeds service life is because of the multiple plies sandwiched and combined between layers of water-resistant asphalt. That produces a roof that simply lasts longer.
- Durable – Built-in roofs can withstand high foot traffic and can deal with plenty of surface punishment.
- It offers protection –When you have several reinforced layers, it means more overall protection. This means there are several opportunities to prevent leaks.
Maintenance and repair
Even though they traditionally require very little maintenance, in the event that something were to happen, these built-up roofs can easily be repaired. Repairs can be performed with time-proven, conventional materials. This means that these roofs often come with an extended service life.