Modified Bitumen Roofing
Modified bitumen (MB) provides an excellent alternative for commercial units such as multi-family apartments, but works just as well on commercial units. It is a flexible and extremely economical roofing system that works on flat and low-slope roofs. When we look at the “modern” roofing methods we use, it is amongst the oldest, meaning that it has been used for years and it is time-tested. Thanks to new technological advances, it is a safe and long-lasting roofing material for single and multi-family residences.
What is it?
Modified bitumen is asphalt, but with modifiers added to it. This makes it much more durable by giving it rubber or plastic-like properties. Modified bitumen is made up of six basic layers that are assembled in a number of different ways:
- Flashing – Provides protection around the perforations in the roof (vents, AC/Heating units) and the edges of the roof.
- Surfacing – Not only does this offer cool-temperature roofing options, but it also protects against the elements and UV rays.
- Insulation – This will help keep the heat OUT during the summer, and IN during the winter months. It provides a stable base for the other layers as well.
- Adhesive – This is the bonding agent that is going to hold all the layers together (applicable both hot or cold).
- Modified Bitumen Membrane – A reinforced sheet of modified bitumen with a composite carrier, fiberglass, or polyester.
- Base sheets – These modified or unmodified plies or sheets are used underneath the membrane.
What are the benefits?
There are a number of benefits to using modified bitumen roofing.
- Low or no maintenance – Over an average 20-year lifespan, modified bitumen requires very little maintenance. After 20 years, it is possible to apply a coating to extend the possible life of your roof even further.
- Cost – Not only are the labor costs lower because it is easy to install, but when it comes to commercial roofing applications, this is among the lowest cost per square foot material that is available.
- Durable – modified bitumen will resist thermal shock and splitting and provides very high tensile strength. With the right coating and surfacing, it is possible to make it extremely resistant to hail, wind, and fire.
- Resistant – It has superior waterproofing and fire resistance characteristics.
While it may have been available for some time, do not consider this old-fashioned. The technological upgrades made and the many benefits it provides make modified bitumen a tremendous option for your roof.