Commercial Roofing Materials Part 2: What is Modified Bitumen?

Commercial Roofing Material - Modified Bitumen RoofingThere are several types of industrial and commercial roofing materials. In this 5 part series we will cover each of the following: EPDM, thermoplastic, built-up, modified bitumen, and metal. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages and any of them can be the right choice depending on your building, climate, and budget. In this installment, we look at Modified Bitumen Roofing.

In case you missed it, the first part of this series can be found here.

What is Modified Bitumen Roofing?

Modified bitumen roofing was first developed in Europe in the 1960s and was introduced to the United States in 1972. The unique design focusing on incorporating polymer chemistry into the benefits of a modern built up roof. One of the more popular commercial roofing systems in North America, modified bitumen is designed for buildings with low-slope or essentially, flat roof structures.

Advantages of Modified Bitumen Roofing

There are several advantages to modified bitumen roofing. Here are a few:

  • Combines the durability of a built-up roof with the elasticity of a single-ply
  • No gravel surfacing
  • Inspection is easy
  • Leaks are easier to find and repair
  • Maintenance cost is reduced because granule surface doesn’t require coating
  • Weather resistant

These advantages are what make modified bitumen roofing very popular in built up roofing situations.

Disadvantages of Modified Bitumen Roofing

The modified bitumen roofing system is extremely popular and for good reason. While there are many benefits, proper installation of these roofs are required, or the following can occur:

  • Poor installation drastically reduces durability (find an expert)
  • Torch applied installation includes danger element of fire
  • Installation in low temperatures can cause material to be less weather resistant

Although there are some negative aspects of the modified bitumen roofing system which you should be aware of, the general opinion is that these are great roofs for the right building.

The Installation of Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen Roofing can be installed in four different ways.  Each method may be the correct choice under the right circumstances.

  • Hot applied
  • Cold applied
  • Torch applied
  • Self-applied

There are several reasons you may choose one of the methods, it depends on your location, roof access, style and use of facility, insulation type, and climate are just some. Make sure your roofer is an expert in modified bitumen and is qualified to make the correct choice.

When you are deciding what material to use for your commercial building you should consult with an experienced, licensed roofing contractor. All Weather Tite of Marlborough MA, is a GAF Master Elite® certified roofing contractor, which guarantees that we are fully licensed, fully insured, have a proven reputation for quality, and are committed to ongoing professional training. Check out the commercial roofing section of our website or contact us to talk to our expert team. You can request a free estimate and we will be happy to explain your options regarding recoating your roof. Our expert services cover all aspects of roofing from new roofs to minor repairs.

Posted in Commercial Roofing.