Everything You Need to Know About a Commercial Roofing Built Up System

If you’re in the commercial/industrial sector and are involved in the planning and maintenance of commercial buildings, you likely know what a commercial roofing built up system is. Commonly referred to as a “BUR” system, this roofing type uses Bitumen is the first adhesive layer, with multiple layers built up over it as a base. At the top of this system, the final layer generally consists of stone, gravel, crushed slag, or other aggregates.

Longevity and other benefits

The benefits of a commercial roofing built-up system include longevity (anywhere between 15 and 30 years), as well as energy efficiency. BURs are especially cost-effective in areas where warm climates tend to heat up commercial buildings, particularly with flat, metal roofs. Specifically, this type of roofing choice cools the roof, along with offering multiple layers to decrease damage and the need for roof maintenance or repairs.

Types of built-up roofing systems

The concept of a built-up roofing system is not new. However, recently the two main types of BUR systems have been modified to increase efficiency and durability. Among these two main types are modified bitumen and ballast roofs. The primary difference between the two is how BUR systems are installed on a roof deck through the use of adhesives, which is usually a mix of rubber and asphalt.

A Ballast roofing system is not anchored or glued down, but ballasted with gravel. Membranes are added to this initial layer, keeping the layers fastened but able to expand due to hot or cold weather. Since the lower levels are not completely adherent to the structure of the roof and the top layers hold them down sufficiently, this type of roofing system holds stable even in high winds or extreme temperature shifts.

A Ballast roofing system is also resistant to fire damage, is environmentally sustainable, and is able to absorb heat without allowing it to pass through to the interior of the building. These features make it an affordable, forward-thinking choice for any commercial business owner who hopes to keep his or her commercial property secure against elemental damage or the cost of extended long-term maintenance.

Vegetative Roof Systems

One additional advantage that isn’t often considered by commercial building owners is the potential for a vegetative roof system built atop a built-up roofing system. Such roofs offer space for plant growth and can incorporate elements such as rainwater control, allowing for a self-sustaining growth system on the pre-existing roof structure.

This additional benefit to a commercial roofing built-up system allows a company to practice sustainable processes, including savings on energy costs. In marketing their “green” strategy through growing vegetative roof systems, companies can capitalize on their reduced carbon footprint.

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