Friday, January 27, 2012

What Are Built-Up Roofing Systems?

Although you must have heard the term 'built-up roofing' quite a few times, it traces its origins to the early 1840s. This roofing system is commonly termed as 'tar and gravel' and is the predominantly used in low slope roofs or flat roofs.
This specific type of roofing system, in today's world, consists of multiple layers of materials to reinforce insulation and strength. some of the materials that are now used include fiberglass, polyester, organic felts that are inter-layered with bitumen, asphalts or coal tar while the finishing is completed with decorative rocks, gravel and even mineral surfaces. Due to energy saving concerns, most of the inter-layered built-up systems have a layer of board for insulation, helping retain the heat in winters and keeping the heat out in the summers.
As one of the most durable roofing systems, built-up systems provide flexibility and strength due to numerous layers. For structural strength and better adaptability as per the local terrain and climate, this specific type of roofing can use a variety of materials and piles. This ensures comprehensive adaptability and better aesthetic concerns. And it is able to withstand abuse better than other roofing systems.
Today most of the ply sheets consist of organic fiberglass mats which reinforce other materials. The standard size of ply sheets is 35-36 inches in width. However there are a myriad of built-up roofing alternatives that can be installed easily. Bitumen is a common element that is oftentimes used. Some of the built-up roofs are Ballasted asphalt and asphalt built-up (hot and old).
Some variants of the bitumen that are widely used in the roofing industry include tar, asphalt and coal tar as cold applied adhesive. Due to the vast gap in the prices and costs of each project that is undertaken, if you are looking for an average price range of built-up roofing system, it will totally depend upon the customized design and the budget of your project. Due t its excellent finish and versatility, ballasted asphalt has grown prominence. Additionally, it has fir resistance properties which makes it one of the most affordable and smart roofing solution.
Other forms of built-up roofing systems include 'Cold Built-Up' roofing which instead of using hot asphalt which can be applied with a squeegee or spray applied. As it does not release toxic fumes, it is a good ecologically friendly alternative, perfect for green projects. Comparing the two, cold Built-Up does not depend on the weather and has better performance.
But just like each coin has two sides, there are advantages and disadvantages of Built-Up roofing. Some of the advantages include:
- Excellent protection from water due to its waterproofing qualities
- Protection from Ultra violet rays
- Little or no maintenance roofs
- Low quality, inexpensive gravel or minerals can be used for surface materials
- Ability to withstand extreme weather conditions
But some of the disadvantages include:
- Slow installation
- Toxic fumes and vapors while it is installed
- Costs are high for installation
- Chances of damage from water and wind are high
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