If your building needs a new roof, consider a built-up roof (BUR). These roofs are made of durable membranes covered in thick layers of bitumen, a material similar to asphalt.
1. Fire Resistance
Fire can be a real concern, particularly in densely populated industrial settings or in more rural settings with wildfire risks. In this case, BUR systems are ideal because the thick layer of asphalt provides protection from blowing sparks and embers. It simply won't ignite easily. Even if fire isn't a major risk, choosing a fire-resistant roof may result in lower insurance costs.
2. Energy Efficient
If energy efficiency is a concern, then the BUR is an excellent choice. The thickness of the built-up layers provides ample insulation to the roof on top of any other insulation you have installed. The aggregate layer on top of the roof can also be customized to a highly reflective option that will prevent heat absorption on sunny days. The less heat the roof absorbs, the cooler the building and the lower your energy costs in the summer months.
3. Easy Maintenance
A BUR system only requires minimal maintenance like keeping the drains clear and removing any debris that collects. It is best to manage birds on the roof, though, as their droppings are acidic enough to cause damage to a BUR system if given enough time. An annual inspection is also recommended so any developing issues, such as cracks in the asphalt covering or worn aggregate layers can be repaired.
4. Weather Protection
Leaks are rare with a BUR system due to the thickness of the roof. Even if there is a crack, it is rare for it to become deep enough to cause a leak if regular maintenance is scheduled. The roof is also resistant to wind damage, especially when compared to membrane roof alternatives that can suffer uplift in high winds. The aforementioned sun protection and reflectivity is also a key benefit when it comes to weather protection.
BURs are one of the more cost-effective options for a roof. Some of the cost savings are seen at installation, but many of the savings will be realized over time as the roof saves on energy expenses and continues to perform well with minimal low-cost maintenance. If the roofing budget is tight, you can also minimize the cost at installation by opting for thinner roofs or selecting lower costs aggregate coatings.
Contact a built-up roofing contractor to learn more.