Exploring the Benefits of Built-Up Roofing

When it comes to your roof, make sure you have the best solution for your needs, including structure, budget, and aesthetic appeal. You don’t have to sacrifice functionality for your cost restraints with solutions like built-up roofing.

Understanding Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a traditional yet effective waterproofing of flat or low-sloped roofs. It consists of multiple layers of bitumen, reinforced with ply sheets like fiberglass or felt, and finished with a protective coating of gravel or mineral granules. This construction creates a durable, weather-resistant barrier that withstands harsh elements and foot traffic. BUR systems offer longevity and cost-effectiveness, making them famous for commercial and industrial buildings.

Components of a Built-Up Roofing System

A built-up roofing system includes several essential components:

  • Base sheets
  • Ply sheets (or ply membrane)
  • Bitumen (either asphalt, coal tar, or a cold-applied adhesive)
  • A surfacing material like gravel or a highly reflective coating

Each layer of bitumen is alternated with ply sheets, eventually forming a multilayered, durable roof surface.

How the BUR Process Works

The process begins with installing the base sheet to the roof deck, a steel deck, or other material. Bitumen is then applied, followed by a ply sheet. This sequence is repeated multiple times, resulting in a robust, multiple-layered roofing structure. The final step involves adding a surfacing layer to protect against the elements and UV rays.

Critical Advantages of Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing (BUR) offers numerous benefits for commercial and industrial buildings. Its multilayered construction provides exceptional durability, effectively waterproofing flat or low-sloped roofs. BUR systems are highly resistant to harsh weather conditions, including UV rays, extreme temperatures, and heavy rainfall.

The gravel or mineral surface adds an extra layer of protection against physical damage and fire. Additionally, BUR roofs are known for their longevity and can be cost effective over time due to their minimal maintenance requirements and extended lifespan.

High Durability and Long Lifespan

Built-up roofing systems are celebrated for their durability and longevity. The multiple layers provide a high level of protection from physical damage, contributing to a longer lifespan than other roofing systems. Properly installed, a built-up roof can last 20 to 30 years or longer.

Waterproofing and Ultraviolet Protection

The unique construction of built-up roofs offers excellent waterproofing capabilities. The multiple layers are a barrier against water infiltration, making them ideal for areas prone to heavy rainfall. The surfacing layer, often highly reflective, offers superb protection against ultraviolet light, further extending the roof's life.

Low Maintenance Requirements and Cost Effectiveness

Once installed, built-up roofing systems require minimal maintenance, saving owners on upkeep costs over the roof's life. Although the initial installation might be higher in price than other options, BUR's durability and low maintenance result in significant cost effectiveness over time.

Looking for a commercial roofing contractor can be a stressful endeavor. With so many to choose from, be sure to keep in mind a few things during your search for the perfect match.

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Comparison of BUR with Other Roofing Types

Built-up roofing (BUR) distinguishes itself by its multilayered construction, combining bitumen and reinforcing materials for superior durability. Its ability to withstand harsh weather and foot traffic and provide long-term protection makes it a popular choice for flat or low-sloped roofs in commercial and industrial settings, offering longevity and cost effectiveness.

BUR vs. Single-Ply Roofing Systems

Compared to single-ply roofing systems, built-up roofing provides superior durability and redundancy thanks to its multiple layers. While single-ply systems might offer a quicker, more straightforward installation process and are lighter, they do not match the protection level, especially against physical damage and water infiltration, that BUR systems provide.

BUR vs. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is known for its durability and longevity, similar to built-up roofing. However, BUR offers better waterproofing capabilities and is less susceptible to leaks than metal roofing, which can suffer from fastener issues over time. The multiple layers of a BUR system also provide enhanced insulation compared to metal roofs.

BUR vs. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is similar to BUR, involving layers and bitumen material. However, modified bitumen usually involves fewer layers and incorporates polymer-modified bitumen for improved flexibility and strength. With its multiple layers, BUR typically offers a more robust barrier against water and is preferred for its traditional, time-proven effectiveness.

Choosing the Right Roofing for Specific Needs

Considerations for BUR include architectural style, climate, and budget, with weight considerations for older structures. Professional installation is vital, ensuring proper material selection, code adherence, and maintenance guidance. BUR is common in commercial buildings but offers residential benefits like durability and weather protection for flat roofs.

Considerations When Opting for BUR

When considering BUR, key factors include the building's architectural style, climate, and roofing budget. The weight of a BUR system might require additional structural support, especially for older buildings. Additionally, evaluating the expected lifespan and maintenance requirements against other systems can guide decision-making.

The Role of Roofing Professionals in Ensuring Optimal Installation

Employing experienced roofing professionals is crucial for successfully installing a built-up roofing system. Their expertise ensures the proper selection of materials, adherence to safety and building codes, and skillful application of each layer. A reliable contractor can also provide valuable guidance on maintaining the roof to extend its lifespan further.

BUR for Residential vs. Commercial Buildings

Built-up roofing is more commonly used in commercial buildings due to its ability to efficiently cover large, flat, or slightly sloped surfaces. However, residential applications might benefit from BUR's durability and waterproof nature, especially for homes with flat roofs or those requiring high weather protection.

Experience Built Up Roofing as Your Next Roofing Upgrade From Trinity Construction

When you need reliable roofing solutions for your home or business, contact the experts at Trinity. As Denver’s premiere roofing contractor, we have the experience and the drive to complete your projects with care and precision. Don’t hesitate—contact us today for a free consultation.