If your commercial building has a flat roof, you have special considerations when it's time to have a new roof put on. Flat roofs don't drain in the same way as sloped roofs, so shingle roofing isn't a good match. Instead, built-up roofing is an option to consider. This type of roofing has been used for many decades, and it's a popular choice for commercial flat roofs. Here's how built-up roofing systems are installed and their benefits.
How Built-Up Roofing Is Installed
A built-up roof has several layers composed of bitumen, fabric membranes, and a surface topping. There are different options for the membranes. They are generally made of fiberglass reinforced materials and coated with bitumen, asphalt, or minerals. The membranes can be black or white depending on what the roofer is trying to achieve. For instance, a white membrane layer can be used on the surface to reflect the sun and keep the building cooler.
Bitumen is a thick and sticky tar-like material that causes the membranes to adhere to the roof. Bitumen can be applied hot or cold. The hot application process creates strong odors while the cold installation process doesn't. The built-up roofing contractor starts with a base of bitumen and adds the membranes in layers to build up the roof. Then, a top layer is added which might include a membrane or rocks. A top membrane has to be adhered to the roof while rocks can be used for a walking surface and to hold the roof in place.
Why A Built-Up Roof Is A Good Choice
When a built-up roof is installed properly, it creates a seamless covering for your roof that does an excellent job of keeping rain from penetrating the building. The top layer protects the roof from the weather and UV exposure so a built-up roof can have a long life. Plus, when the top layer is gravel, the gravel provides fire protection for the building. One advantage of a built-up roof is the lower cost when compared to other types of commercial roofing. Built-up roofing systems are among the most affordable roofing choices.
This type of roofing also has an attractive appearance, especially when covered with gravel or rocks. This could be a plus if taller buildings look out over the roof. Repairs are usually easy to do with this type of roofing since the roof can be patched or new membrane can be added. However, repairs should be minimal since the layer of rocks protects the membranes from damage that might be caused by foot traffic or falling debris. For more information, contact built-up roofing contractors.