Modified Bitumen Roofing

If you are looking for an excellent roofing alternative that is often used on many different commercial properties that vary from multi-family apartments to retail centers, you need to look no further than modified bitumen (MB). It offers a flexible and economical roofing system for flat or low-slope roofs. It has been around for a long time, making it time-tested. However, this is not the same modified bitumen that was used decades ago; new advances in technology have made it a safe and long-lasting roofing material.

What is it exactly?

When you break down the composition of modified bitumen, you find that it is asphalt, but with a twist. It has modifiers added to it that give it rubber or plastic-like properties. This makes the modified bitumen much more durable. There are a number of different combinations possible with these six basic layers:

  • Insulation – This layer is there to keep the heat IN during the winter months and keep the heat OUT during the summer months. Not only does it help regulate temperature, but it also provides a stable base for the remainder of the layers.
  • Base sheets – Either unmodified or modified plies or sheets used under the membrane.
  • Modified bitumen membrane – This sheet of modified bitumen is reinforced with a composite carrier, fiberglass, or polyester.
  • Adhesive – You need a bonding agent that will keep the layers together.
  • Flashing – This provides protection against the perforations in the roof (heating units, A/C, vents) and the edges of the roof.
  • Surfacing – This surface coat offers cooling roofing options and protects against weathering and UV rays.

The benefits

  • Resistance – Modified bitumen roofing has waterproofing and fire-resistant characteristics.
  • Flexible – It can be applied in a number of different ways, including hot asphalt, cold adhesive, and heat welded.
  • Durable – It can resist thermal splitting and shock and has a very high tensile strength. With the right coating and surfacing, it can be made resistant to hail, wind, and fire.
  • Cost – When it comes to the available commercial roofing applications, it is amongst the lowest cost per square foot material available. Labor costs remain less expensive than other available options because it is so easy to install.

Low or no roof maintenance

You should expect little maintenance when you invest in modified bitumen. You can realistically expect a lifespan of two decades. Toward the end of the two decades, you can apply coating to extend the serviceable life even further.

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