Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) is an excellent option for flat or low slope roofs and is particularly effective for large commercial properties. One of the most common commercial roofing materials in use today, it is also one of the oldest of the “modern” roofing options, dating back to the early 1800. It is a time-tested and true roofing method, especially now with all the advances in technology that make it an even more effective and efficient solution for large building structures.

Built-Up roofing consists of multiple layers of material that are laminated together. BURs are generally created with four basic components in many layers and combinations:

  • Base sheet – fiberglass, asphalt coated organic sheet, or asphalt coated venting sheet, etc.
  • Felts or fabrics – coal or tar saturated organic felt, cotton fabric or burlap (three or four layers may be used)
  • Bitumen – asphalt, coal tar, lap cement
  • Surfacing component – gravel, asphalt, mineral and/or coatings

Advantages of Built-Up Roofing

  • Versatile: Built-up roofs can be installed over just about any type of roof deck as long as the proper substrate is used. In addition, built-in roofing can be used as part of a fire, wind, and/or hail-rated roofing system
  • Thermal Reflectivity: BUR surfacing materials can be coated with paint or other reflective materials to reduce the effects of UV radiation and heat, making it a strong “cool roofing” (link to cool roofing page or blog) option.
  • Longevity: When multiple plies are combined and sandwiched between layers of water-resistant asphalt, the result is a longer lasting roof, often significantly exceeding service life.
  • Durable: Built-in roofs can tolerate plenty of surface punishment and can withstand high foot traffic.
  • Protection: Multiple layers of reinforcement offer more protection, and multiple opportunities to prevent leaks.

Repair and maintenance of built-up roofing:
While generally requiring little maintenance, built-up roofs are easily repaired with conventional, time-proven materials, resulting in extended service life.


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