Modified bitumen roofing has been a popular choice for commercial companies since it was first developed in the 1960s. In some ways it resembles built-up roofing, an even older type of roofing: Both use bitumen, a tar-like material that’s also found in asphalt and shingles. However, modified bitumen materials are more compact and carry different advantages – think of them as something between shingles and built-up roofing. Here’s why that can be a winning formula.
Easy to Install and Repair
Modified bitumen comes in large rolled sheets, much like flexible shingle material, which can be up to three feet wide and 36 feet long. During installation, a base sheet-like membrane is installed and the bitumen layer rolled on top of it. Some versions are self-adhesive and glue into place as they are rolled, while other versions are heated to adhere them to the surface beneath.
This process makes modified bitumen very easy and reliable to install. In fact, it’s one of the quickest ways to install commercial roofing – and this also helps reduce labor costs even more when compared to something like built-up roofing. However, professional labor is still required for proper installation.
The bitumen sheets that this roofing system uses are very durable, regularly lasting more than 20 years. One reason is that the seams are typically melted together to help reduce the likelihood of leaks or damage points, which is difficult to do with other materials. This, combined with a very high tensile strength, makes the material ideal for lasting a long time without developing cracks or other problems.
Good for Harsh Weather
Modified bitumen is particularly good for harsh weather conditions, especially when compared to options like built-up roofing. It’s more flexible and resistant to cold than many materials, which lowers the likelihood of cracks or other problems happening over winter. The high tensile strength is excellent for preventing damage from hailstorms or debris blown by the wind as well. If your rooftop is exposed to the elements and you need material that can withstand a lot, this can be an excellent option.
Can Help Save On Cooling Costs
Modified bitumen rooftops can use a number of techniques to become “cool roofs” or rooftops that resist thermal energy from the sun. One of the most common is a process during production where the rolls are coated with a special extra layer to make the sheets lighter in color and able to reflect the sun more effectively. That means less heat enters the building, and cooling costs go down in warmer days. If your rooftop gets a lot of sunlight, especially in the summer, when ambient temperatures are already higher, a modified bitumen roof designed to reflect sunlight could be an ideal solution for you.
Do you have more questions about modified roofing, or would you like to schedule an inspection for your roof? Contact MG Roofing today to schedule your commercial roof inspection, talk about alternative roofing materials, and get estimates for the projects that you have in mind!