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Union County Roofers: Article About Built Up Roofs

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Most contractors report that the roofing industry is in a constant flux of growth and innovations. However, built up roofing (BUR) systems are the exception, since it has remained the same for decades. BUR systems consist of alternating sheets of bitumen and strengthening fabrics that create a complete membrane.

The built up roofing system relies on two types of bitumen: coal and asphalt. Coal tar is the most resilient of the two, whereas asphalt is the most common and least expensive of the two types. An asphalt adhesive is a byproduct of manufactured petroleum, which is less sturdy and can cause hazardous fumes to be emitted during installation.

BUR systems also contain various types of strengthening fabrics or sheets. For example, roofers will use venting felts in areas that are moisture cured substrates, and regular base layers with plywood decks. Manufacturers determined the variances between the sheets by the kinds of reinforcement products used. For example, a polyester sheet surpasses fiberglass, and fiberglass fabrics outperform organic layers.

Moreover, homeowners should know that built up roofs are not for the DIY carpenter. When speaking to Union County roofers, the owner will find that built up systems are relatively labor intensive to install. For a BUR system to work correctly, the owner will need to haul hundreds of pounds of sheets, hot tar and gravel to the rooftop.

Have a question regarding residential roofing or commercial roofing? Please ask the roofing contractors from Peter W Smith Construction of Union County today.

The hours spent assembling in the hot sun and the exposure to the fumes are drawbacks worth considering.

On the other hand, an advantage of a built up roofing system are the energy savings of cold applications. Cold built up roofs can be applied with a squeegee instead of hot asphalt. This method of installation eliminates toxic fumes and is environmentally safe. The installation of the reflective spray is where the energy saving comes to play. The reflective glaze does not absorb the sun's ray or its heat. Thus, the home will remain at a steady temperature and can reduce the home's energy bills by 70 percent. Furthermore, if the BUR meets Energy Star standards, homeowners are eligible for a tax credit.

Homeowners should know that, despite the benefits of installing a BUR, the system is susceptible to prolonged sun exposure that can cause small cracks to form in its surface. However, the built up roofing repairs costs are low and maintenance is usually minimal. Depending on the number of layers the roofer applies during installation, BURs have a lifespan of up to 20 years and can withstand fire damage and harsh winds.

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