Built-up Roofing

This class of roofing material is the most popular material associated with roofing but in today’s market the less type of roof installed.  Built-up roofing is the oldest low-sloped roofing application that essential incorporates layers or plies of asphalt saturated sheet goods set in hot asphalt.   Asphalt is heated in a kettle located on the ground at temperatures between 400-450 degrees.  Once at the proper temperature the asphalt is pumped to the roof and temporarily stored until applied with a mop between each ply.  The number of plys along with the surface treatment, typically gravel, determines the life expectancy of the roof system.

The built-up roofing market has seen a sharp decline due to the danger of working with such hot material, obnoxious odors, and the decline in quality of hot asphalt available to the roofing industry.  Roofing asphalt was always produced with the remnants of what was left after refining gas and petroleum products, as refining methods improved what was left in the bottom of the barrel was not of the same quality.  The raw material costs were increasing and the quality of the product was decreasing.

The built-up manufacturer’s essential moved into the “modified” market were they can better control the quality of the product and eliminate the concept of manufacturing the roof on the roof top.  The industry was plagued with contractors who were looking for ways to be more profitable and started overheating asphalt so that it would spread further using less, made it easier to work with and omitting the gravel surface treatment.  A black asphalt based roof system should be covered with either gravel or a coating to protect it from ultraviolet rays; it is very similar to a black asphalt driveway, if you don’t apply and maintain a coating on a regular basis it will dry up and prematurely fail.

The roofing industry built a better mouse trap….move on