Built-Up roof construction details from Wisconsin commercial roofer
BUR or built-up roofing is a flat roof made of multiple layers of ply sheets (also called plies or felts) laminated and adhered with bitumen for waterproofing. Built-up roofs have been in use for over 150 years and provide reliable protection from extreme weather. Built-up roofing systems are commonly called “asphalt and gravel” or “tar and gravel” roofs.
Advantages of built-up roofs for Wisconsin commercial buildings
- Low maintenance and simple repairs
- Multiple layers increase protection
- High tensile strength (meaning it won’t fracture with extreme temperature changes)
- High thermal value for energy-efficiency
- Foot traffic will not damage membranes
- Proven track record time-tested in every climate
- Versatile material and installation options work with practically any type of roof deck and insulation
With a built-up roof installed by Infinity Exteriors, you’re getting a great value. When you take into account the longevity and low maintenance of built-up roofs, the initial investment more than pays off with a low cost-per-year.
Built-up roof life expectancy
How long your built-up roof lasts depends in part on whether you have a 3-ply, 4-ply or 5-ply roof. On average, built-up roof systems should last for at least 20 years. The best way to maximize the lifespan of your built-up roof is by choosing Wisconsin’s best commercial roofer for installation and following the recommended inspection and maintenance schedule.
Installation of built-up roofs in Wisconsin
Built-up roofing systems are typically constructed with either coal tar or asphalt-saturated fiberglass felts mopped with asphalt. Multiple layers of felts are installed overlapping like shingles. Surfacing consists of a flood coat of asphalt or coal tar mixed with mineral aggregate such as gravel.
The experienced roofers at Infinity Exteriors do not take shortcuts. Our roofing contractors will install your new built-up roof perfectly, meeting exacting manufacturer specifications. Don’t risk the integrity of your commercial building by going with a lesser company. Infinity has the lowest prices of any reputable commercial roofer.
Built-up roofing system components
Every BUR consists of three basic components:
- Waterproofing component -The bitumen used to waterproof the roofing materials is either asphalt or coal tar.
- Reinforcing component - Layers of roofing felts (plies) are reinforced with base sheets made of organic material or glass fiber. Multiple layers provide additional strength, waterproofing and puncture resistance.
- Surfacing component - A final layer of bitumen is topped with gravel or other material to protect the roof membranes from UV damage and wind exposure.
Materials for flashing, caulking, fasteners and insulation are also used.
Experienced commercial flat roof contractors at Infinity Exteriors will determine the best built-up roofing materials for your building based on the architectural design, size and budget.
Infinity Roofing offers free repair estimates, competitive pricing, and transparent costs. Other roofing contractors in Wisconsin wish they could do what we do! Our company has locations across the state -- including Appleton, Madison, and Milwaukee -- and we’ve roofed more Wisconsin homes and businesses than anyone else.
Built-up roofing vs. single-ply
Compared to TPO and EPDM, built-up roofing usually costs more per square foot to install and takes longer. Some people also decide against built-up roof installation because of the hazardous fumes and vapors.
However in the long run built-up roofing is much more durable. Single-ply roofing is more susceptible to punctures, tears and leaks. If you want to minimize cost-per-year and need frequent roof access, BUR is a smarter choice.
Built-up roof vs. modified bitumen
Modified bitumen roofs are made of the same components as a built-up roof, but the layers are put together during the manufacturing process instead of on the rooftop. This means installation goes more quickly on the job site without the harmful vapors produced by built-up roofing construction. Polymers can also be introduced when manufacturing modified bitumen roofing materials to make the material more flexible or weather-resistant. SBS modified bitumen and APP modified bitumen each have their advantages.
Creating multiple layers when installing a built-up roof provides superior waterproofing. The extra redundancy and thickness of a built-up roof can save you time and money down the road.
Built-up roofing weight
Built-up roofs are made up of multiple layers and often topped with gravel or crushed stone, making them very heavy. The weight of the layers also makes BURs good insulators for reduced heating and cooling costs.
If you’re thinking of replacing your flat roof with a built-up roof, call Infinity Exteriors to have one of our experienced roof installers evaluate the strength of your roof structure and provide a free quote.
Built-up roof repairs
Built-up roofing systems are known for being very reliable and durable. If your BUR has a leak or needs other repair work, it was likely installed by an inexperienced or bad roofing contractor.
The commercial roofing specialists at Infinity Exteriors are professionally trained full-time employees you can trust to install or repair your built-in roofing system correctly. Hire Infinity Exteriors to fix another roofer’s mistakes, or better yet hire us to install your built-up roof right the first time.
Built-up roof inspection
Call Infinity Exteriors the first time you suspect your built-up roof may be compromised. Our expert commercial roofers are extensively trained with a minimum of ten years of experience. We know what to look for and where potential problems are likely to pop up.
After your BUR inspection, we’ll give you a free flat-rate repair quote for any recommended roof repair or maintenance work. A professional roof inspection could save you many thousands of dollars by preventing minor problems from becoming major damage.