Roofing Pro Spokane

Built-up Roofing Material: A Comprehensive Guide for Spokane

Built-up roofing material, also known as BUR, is a popular choice for low-slope or flat roofs in Spokane, usually on commercial applications. It is made up of multiple layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar pitch) and reinforcing felts.

BUR systems have been used for over 100 years in the United States and are known for their durability and affordability.

The layers of bitumen and felts are applied in a process called “plying,” where each layer is laid down and then hot-mopped with asphalt or cold-applied with an adhesive.

This creates a thick, waterproof membrane that can withstand harsh weather and heavy foot traffic. BUR systems typically have three to five plies, but can have more depending on the specific needs of the building.

One of the benefits of BUR systems is their versatility. They can be installed on a variety of roof decks, including concrete, wood, and steel. They can also be customized to meet the specific needs of the building, such as adding insulation or reflective coatings to improve energy efficiency.

Built-up roofing (BUR)

Overview of Built-Up Roofing Material

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a popular roofing material that has been used for over a century. It is a system of layered fabric roofing panels that are applied and sealed with an industrial adhesive such as asphalt. It is placed on top of the flat roofing structure of a building and covered in aggregate material.

BUR is an inexpensive and effective roofing material that can last for up to 40 years.

The layers of BUR consist of alternating layers of bitumen (either asphalt or coal tar) and reinforced fabric or matting. The layers are built up to create a solid, continuous roof covering or “membrane.” The number of layers depends on the specific needs of the building, but typically ranges from three to five layers.

One of the benefits of BUR is its redundancy. Built-up roofs provide many layers of protection, so if the top layer is damaged, the additional layers below will continue to protect the building from water intrusion.

Another benefit is its resistance to foot traffic and punctures, making it a popular choice for commercial buildings.

BUR can be installed in a variety of ways, including hot or cold application. Hot application involves melting the bitumen and applying it to the roof surface, while cold application involves using an adhesive to bond the layers together.

Gravel or other aggregate material is then added to the top layer to protect the roofing material from UV rays and weathering.

Built-Up Roofing is Great in Spokane Area Climate

In the diverse and often challenging climate of the Spokane area, homeowners and business owners alike are in a constant search for durable and efficient roofing solutions.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) systems emerge as a standout option, offering robust protection and a multitude of benefits tailored to the local weather conditions.

Exceptional Durability Against Varied Weather

Spokane’s climate is marked by a mix of moderate to heavy rainfall, snow in winter, and warm summers. The multiple layers of a BUR system, including bitumen and reinforcing fabrics, create a waterproof barrier that is highly resistant to water penetration.

This multilayer approach not only ensures that moisture from rain and snow does not seep into the building but also contributes to the roof’s longevity by protecting against the elements over time.

Superior Insulation Properties

The composition of Built-Up Roofing systems offers superior insulation properties, which is a significant advantage for the Spokane area. The varying temperatures, from hot summers to cold winters, demand efficient thermal regulation within buildings.

BUR’s insulation layer helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the need for heating in winter and cooling in summer. This thermal efficiency can lead to noticeable energy savings, making BUR an economically attractive option in the long term.

Resistance to Thermal Shock

Spokane experiences considerable temperature fluctuations between day and night, especially in the spring and fall. These rapid temperature changes can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, leading to what’s known as thermal shock.

Over time, thermal shock can weaken roofs, causing cracks and splits. Built-Up Roofing’s multiple layers and bitumen’s flexibility make it resistant to the effects of thermal shock, ensuring the roof remains intact and functional through temperature changes.

Cost-Effectiveness Over Time

While the initial installation cost of a BUR system may be higher than some other roofing options, its durability and low maintenance requirements make it a cost-effective choice over time.

The long lifespan of a BUR, often exceeding 20 years with proper maintenance, means fewer replacements and repairs. This longevity is particularly valuable in the Spokane area, where the roof must withstand a variety of weather conditions throughout the year.

Your Spokane based roofing contractort will be able to answer your questions about the built-up roofing systems and if this is the best solution for your roof.

Components of Built-Up Roofing Systems

Built-up roofing systems are composed of several layers of materials that work together to provide a durable and long-lasting roof.

These layers include bitumen, roofing felts, surfacing materials, and insulation layers. In this section, we will discuss each of these components in detail.

Bitumen

Bitumen is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It is the primary material used in built-up roofing systems. Bitumen is applied in multiple layers to create a waterproof barrier that protects the roof from water damage. It is typically heated to a liquid state and then applied to the roofing felts.

Roofing Felts

Roofing felts are layers of fabric or matting that are saturated with bitumen. They are used to reinforce the roofing system and provide additional strength and stability.

Roofing felts are typically made from organic materials such as cellulose or fiberglass and are available in various thicknesses.

Surfacing Materials

Surfacing materials are used to protect the roofing system from damage caused by UV rays, weather, and foot traffic. These materials include gravel, slag, mineral granules, and other materials that are embedded in the top layer of bitumen.

The surfacing material also provides a non-slip surface for maintenance workers who need to access the roof.

Insulation Layers

Insulation layers are used to provide thermal insulation for the building. They are typically made from rigid foam boards or fiberglass batts and are installed between the roof deck and the roofing felts.

The insulation layer helps to reduce heat loss and keep the building comfortable throughout the year.

In summary, built-up roofing systems are composed of several layers of materials that work together to provide a durable and long-lasting roof. These layers include bitumen, roofing felts, surfacing materials, and insulation layers.

Each of these components plays a critical role in the overall performance of the roofing system.

Types of Built-Up Roofing

When it comes to built-up roofing (BUR), there are three main types to consider: asphalt, coal tar pitch, and cold-applied. Each of these types has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.

Asphalt Built-Up Roofing

Asphalt built-up roofing is the most commonly used type of BUR. It consists of layers of asphalt-saturated organic or fiberglass felt that are alternated with layers of asphalt.

The top layer is typically covered with gravel or a cap sheet made of mineral granules or fiberglass.

One of the main advantages of asphalt BUR is its affordability. It is also relatively easy to install, and can be used on a wide variety of roofs, including flat and low-slope roofs.

It is not as durable as some other types of roofing materials, and may require more maintenance over time.

Coal Tar Pitch Built-Up Roofing

Coal tar pitch built-up roofing is similar to asphalt BUR, but uses coal tar pitch instead of asphalt. Coal tar pitch is a byproduct of the coal manufacturing process, and is known for its durability and resistance to weathering.

One of the main advantages of coal tar pitch BUR is its longevity. It can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. However, it is also more expensive than asphalt BUR, and may not be suitable for all types of roofs.

Cold-Applied Built-Up Roofing

Cold-applied built-up roofing is a newer type of BUR that uses a solvent-free adhesive to bond the layers of roofing material together. This eliminates the need for hot asphalt or coal tar pitch, making it a safer and more environmentally-friendly option.

One of the main advantages of cold-applied BUR is its ease of installation. It can be installed quickly and efficiently, without the need for hot materials or special equipment.

It may not be as durable as other types of BUR, and may require more frequent maintenance.

Installation Process

When it comes to installing built-up roofing (BUR), there are several key steps that need to be followed to ensure a successful installation. These steps involve the installation of the base sheet, interply sheet, and cap sheet, as well as the use of either a hot or cold application method.

Base Sheet Installation

The first step in the installation process is the installation of the base sheet. This sheet is typically made of fiberglass or organic felt and is attached to the roof deck using a layer of hot asphalt or cold adhesive.

The base sheet is then nailed or screwed to the roof deck to ensure a secure attachment.

Interply Sheet Application

Once the base sheet is installed, the interply sheet is applied. This sheet is also made of either fiberglass or organic felt and is attached to the base sheet using a layer of hot asphalt or cold adhesive.

The interply sheet is then nailed or screwed to the roof deck to ensure a secure attachment.

Cap Sheet Installation

The final step in the installation process is the installation of the cap sheet. This sheet is typically made of granulated asphalt and is attached to the interply sheet using a layer of hot asphalt or cold adhesive.

The cap sheet is then nailed or screwed to the roof deck to ensure a secure attachment.

Hot vs. Cold Application Methods

When it comes to installing BUR, there are two main application methods: hot and cold. The hot application method involves heating the asphalt to a high temperature and then applying it to the roof surface using a mop or sprayer.

The cold application method, on the other hand, involves using a cold adhesive to attach the roofing materials to the roof surface.

Overall, the installation process for BUR is relatively straightforward, but it is important to follow the proper steps to ensure a successful installation. By following the steps outlined above and using the appropriate application method, we can ensure that our BUR installation will be durable and long-lasting.

Advantages of Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a popular roofing material that has been in use for over a century. Here are some of the advantages of using BUR for your roofing needs:

Durability

One of the biggest advantages of BUR is its durability. BUR is made up of multiple layers of materials, including asphalt, felt, and gravel. These layers provide excellent protection against weathering, UV rays, and other environmental factors.

BUR roofs can last for up to 30-40 years with proper maintenance.

Fire Resistance

Another advantage of BUR is its fire resistance. The multiple layers of materials used in BUR provide excellent fire resistance, making it a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings. BUR is also easy to repair in case of damage from fire.

Thermal Benefits

BUR can be installed with additional insulation layers, which can help improve the overall efficiency and thermal performance of a building. This can help reduce both heating and cooling costs, making it an energy-efficient option.

Cost-Effective

BUR is a cost-effective option compared to other roofing materials. The materials used in BUR are readily available and can be installed quickly, reducing labor costs. BUR also requires minimal maintenance, which can save you money in the long run.

Overall, BUR is a reliable and cost-effective roofing option that provides excellent protection against environmental factors and fire. Its durability, thermal benefits, and fire resistance make it a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings.

Disadvantages of Built-Up Roofing

While built-up roofing has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages that should be considered before choosing this type of roofing material.

Expensive

One of the main disadvantages of built-up roofing is that it can be expensive. The cost of materials and labor can be higher than other roofing options, such as asphalt shingles or metal roofing.

Heavy

Another disadvantage of built-up roofing is that it is heavy. This can be a problem for some buildings, especially older ones that may not have been designed to support the weight of this type of roofing material.

Maintenance

Built-up roofing requires regular maintenance to ensure that it remains in good condition. This can include inspections, repairs, and cleaning to prevent the buildup of debris and other materials that can damage the roof.

Installation

Installation of built-up roofing can be complicated and time-consuming. It requires skilled professionals to ensure that the layers of roofing materials are properly installed and sealed to prevent leaks and other problems.

Environmental Impact

Built-up roofing can have a negative impact on the environment. The use of hot asphalt and other chemicals can release harmful fumes and contribute to air pollution. Additionally, the disposal of old roofing materials can also be a problem, as they may contain hazardous materials that can harm the environment.

Overall, while built-up roofing has many benefits, it is important to consider the potential disadvantages before making a decision. By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine if this type of roofing material is the right choice for your building.

Maintenance and Repair

Maintaining and repairing a built-up roofing system is essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Here are some tips to help you keep your roof in good condition:

  • Regular inspections: Inspect your roof regularly to identify any issues early on. Look for cracks, blisters, or other signs of damage that could lead to leaks or other problems.
  • Clean the roof: Keep your roof clean by removing any debris, such as leaves or branches. This will prevent water from pooling on the roof, which can cause damage over time.
  • Repair any damage promptly: If you notice any damage during your inspection, repair it as soon as possible. This will prevent the damage from getting worse and potentially causing more serious issues down the line.
  • Use the right materials: When repairing your roof, make sure you use the right materials. This includes the right type of bitumen material, ply sheets, and coating material. Using the wrong materials can lead to further damage and reduce the effectiveness of your roof.
  • Hire a professional: If you’re not comfortable inspecting or repairing your roof yourself, hire a professional. A roofing contractor can help you identify any issues and provide the necessary repairs to keep your roof in good condition.

Regular maintenance and prompt repairs can help extend the life of your built-up roofing system and prevent costly damage down the line.

Performance and Durability

When it comes to performance and durability, built-up roofing (BUR) is a top contender. Here are some key factors to consider:

Weather Resistance

One of the primary benefits of BUR is its excellent weather resistance. The multiple layers of fabric and adhesive provide a strong barrier against rain, snow, wind, and other types of weather.

The aggregate material used to cover the roof helps to protect it from UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause damage over time.

Lifespan and Service Life

With proper maintenance and installation, BUR can last for up to 40 years or more. This makes it an excellent long-term investment for commercial and industrial buildings.

BUR is resistant to mechanical equipment and foot traffic, which can help to extend its service life even further.

Energy Efficiency

BUR is also a good choice for those looking to improve the energy efficiency of their building. The multiple layers of fabric and adhesive provide excellent insulation, which can help to reduce heating and cooling costs.

The reflective properties of the aggregate material used to cover the roof can help to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the building.

Overall, BUR is a durable and effective roofing material that is well-suited for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Its weather resistance, long lifespan, and energy efficiency make it a smart investment for building owners looking to protect their property and save money on energy costs.

Environmental Considerations

When it comes to Built-up roofing (BUR) material, there are several environmental considerations to keep in mind. In this section, we will discuss two important factors: recyclability and sustainability, and energy code compliance.

Recyclability and Sustainability

One of the most significant environmental benefits of BUR is its recyclability. BUR is made up of layers of asphalt and reinforcing fabrics, which can be separated and recycled at the end of the roof’s life.

This process reduces waste and conserves natural resources. Additionally, BUR is made from renewable materials, such as asphalt and felt, which are readily available and easy to produce.

Energy Code Compliance

BUR is an energy-efficient roofing material that can help building owners comply with energy codes and standards. BUR roofs have high thermal mass, which means they can absorb and store heat during the day and release it at night. This property can help regulate indoor temperatures, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems.

BUR roofs can be coated with reflective materials, which reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof. This property can help reduce cooling costs and improve energy efficiency.

Overall, BUR is a sustainable and energy-efficient roofing material that can help building owners reduce their environmental impact and comply with energy codes and standards.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to Built-up roofing material, cost is an important factor to consider. In this section, we will discuss the initial installation cost and the long-term cost benefits of Built-up roofing.

Initial Installation Cost

The initial cost of installing Built-up roofing can vary depending on the quality of the roofing materials, the quality of the workmanship, and the roofing company charges.

A built-up roof can cost between $4.00 and $5.55 per square foot. This means that a 10,000 square foot roof will cost between $40,000 to $55,500.

Keep in mind that the initial installation cost of Built-up roofing can be higher than other roofing materials. However, it is important to consider the long-term cost benefits before making a decision.

Long-Term Cost Benefits

Built-up roofing is known for its long lifespan, minimal maintenance, and thermal benefits. This makes it a cost-effective option in the long run. In addition, Built-up roofing is also known for its durability and resistance to weather conditions, which can save money on repairs and replacements over time.

Built-up roofing can also provide energy savings by reducing heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable indoor environment.

While the initial installation cost of Built-up roofing may be higher than other roofing materials, the long-term cost benefits make it a worthwhile investment.

Safety and Health Considerations

When it comes to installing Built-up roofing material, there are several safety and health considerations that we must keep in mind. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important safety measures and health concerns that are associated with Built-up roofing material.

Installation Safety Measures

During the installation of Built-up roofing material, it is important to take certain safety measures to ensure the safety of the workers. Here are some of the most important safety measures that must be taken during installation:

  • Workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats.
  • Workers must be trained on how to use ladders and scaffolds safely.
  • Workers must be trained on how to handle and use hot asphalt safely.
  • Workers must be trained on how to use tools and equipment safely.
  • Workers must be trained on how to work safely in confined spaces.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Built-up roofing material contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to human health and the environment. VOCs are released into the air during the installation of Built-up roofing material, and they can cause a range of health problems such as headaches, dizziness, and respiratory problems.

To minimize the exposure to VOCs, it is important to take the following measures:

  • Workers must wear appropriate respiratory protection such as respirators.
  • The work area must be properly ventilated to reduce the concentration of VOCs in the air.
  • Workers must be trained on how to handle and dispose of materials that contain VOCs safely.

In conclusion, safety and health considerations are crucial when it comes to the installation of Built-up roofing material. By taking the appropriate safety measures and minimizing the exposure to VOCs, we can ensure the safety of the workers and protect the environment.

Regulations and Standards

When it comes to built-up roofing (BUR), there are several regulations and standards that must be followed to ensure safety and quality. In this section, we will discuss the building codes and industry standards that apply to BUR.

Building Codes

Building codes are regulations that dictate the minimum standards for construction in a given area. These codes are put in place to ensure that buildings are safe and structurally sound. There are specific codes for BUR that must be followed to ensure that the roofing system is installed correctly.

The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) both have sections that address BUR. The IRC section R905.9 and the IBC section 1507.10 outline the requirements for the installation of BUR. These codes cover everything from the materials that can be used to the installation process itself.

Industry Standards

In addition to building codes, there are also industry standards that must be followed when installing BUR. These standards are put in place by organizations such as the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

The NRCA has several standards that apply to BUR, including the NRCA Roofing Manual: Membrane Roof Systems and the NRCA Roofing Manual: Architectural Metal Flashing.

These manuals provide detailed information on the installation and maintenance of BUR.

ASTM also has several standards that apply to BUR, including ASTM D312, which covers asphalt used in roofing, and ASTM D2626, which covers the installation of BUR.

These standards provide guidelines for the quality of materials used and the installation process.

When installing BUR, it is important to follow both building codes and industry standards to ensure that the roofing system is safe and structurally sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the typical life expectancy and durability factors for built-up roofing systems?

Built-up roofing systems have a typical life expectancy of 20 to 30 years, but can last up to 40 years with proper maintenance and care. The durability of built-up roofing systems is due to the multiple layers of roofing felt and asphalt that make up the system. This layered approach provides a strong and reliable barrier against the elements.

How does built-up roofing compare to modified bitumen in terms of installation and performance?

Built-up roofing and modified bitumen are both popular choices for flat and low-slope roofs. Built-up roofing requires more labor and time to install, but offers better long-term durability and protection.

Modified bitumen is easier and faster to install, but may require more maintenance over time.

Can you outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of built-up roofing?

The primary advantages of built-up roofing are its durability, long lifespan, and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing materials.

The primary disadvantage is that it requires more labor and time to install than other roofing materials.

What are the cost considerations when opting for a built-up roofing solution?

The cost of a built-up roofing solution depends on several factors, including the size of the roof, the number of layers required, and the type of materials used.

While built-up roofing is generally less expensive than other roofing materials, it may be more expensive to install due to the labor-intensive nature of the process.

What are the key differences between built-up roofing and rolled roofing materials?

Built-up roofing and rolled roofing materials are both used for flat and low-slope roofs, but they differ in their composition and installation process.

Built-up roofing is made up of multiple layers of roofing felt and asphalt, while rolled roofing is a single layer of material that is rolled out and installed in a single layer.

How suitable is built-up roofing for residential low slope roofs?

Built-up roofing is a popular choice for low-slope residential roofs due to its durability, long lifespan, and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.

While it may require more labor and time to install than other roofing materials, it offers superior protection and longevity.

Leave a Comment