When it comes to commercial properties, there are a number of different types of roofing options available. One option very commonly used in low-rise commercial buildings is called built-up roofing.
Popularised in the 1970s, the built-up roofing technique is a bit more expensive than other roofing techniques and may also involve more efforts.
So is it worth the extra investment? Is it right for your commercial property?
In this article, we will be answering these questions and helping you make an informed decision about the appropriateness of built-up roofing for your property.
Let’s begin by understanding what built-up roofing is:
What is built-up roofing?
Commonly known as tar and gravel roofs, built-up roofs consist of three main components that are layered on top of each other.
The first layer is that of bitumen which can be applied ‘hot’ in its liquid state or ‘cold’ in its adhesive state. The ‘cold’ adhesive state of bitumen is most commonly used as it does not release any toxins at the time of application and performs better than its ‘hot’ counterpart.
The second layer is made of up ply sheets that are made of up special fabric coated with either fiberglass or organic materials. Depending on the needs, built-up roofing may use multiple alternating layers of bitumen and ply sheets.
The topmost layer of a built-up roof consists of small stones or fine gravel which are also known as surfacing material. The purpose of this layer is to provide the roof with a finished look and provide the other two layers with protection from natural elements and debris.
Now that we know what is a built up roof let’s look at some of the advantages it offers:
Benefits Of Built-Up Roofing
As mentioned earlier, built-up roofing is one of the most commonly used roofing techniques. This is because of the following advantages of this roofing technique:
- Easy maintenance
As compared to shingle roofing, built-up roofing has fewer components and hence, is much easier to maintain. Even when a built-up roof gets damaged, it is easy and inexpensive to fix, usually with some patching and replacement of some material that was used.
The average lifespan of a built-up roof is said to be between 15 and 30 years. However, many constructions have been found standing strong even after four long decades. The durability of built-up roofing is one of the most pressing reasons behind its popularity.
- Efficient heating and cooling
With multiple layers acting as protection against natural elements, built-up roofing is a great insulator, especially in warmer climates. This means, with built-up roofing, your property’s temperature control will be easier and more uniform.
- Protection Against Fire
The material used in built-up roofing, especially those roofs that use the ‘cold’ version of bitumen, along with ballasted asphalt, that is commonly used in the topmost layer of the roof, is a natural fire insulator, providing additional protection in case a fire breaks out.
The only obvious downside of a built-up roof is that it is relatively more expensive than shingle roofing and requires more time and effort to build. However, the advantages offered by built-up roofing are well worth the extra investment of money, effort, and time.
A built-up roofing system is a great alternative to shingle roofing. However, the durability and insulation properties of a built-up roof depend heavily on the kind of raw materials used. Hence, it is important to conduct thorough research and ask your roofing contractor about the raw materials before the construction begins.