As their name would suggest, built up roofs are made out of several layers of tar, fabric sheets, and gravel that forms a waterproof and durable seal over the roof of your property, which is then usually covered with a material to seal it against the elements – commonly gravel, but sometimes other types of broken up rocks and materials. Built-up roofs an extremely distinctive type of roofing solution, and as such it carries a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding just what a built-up roof can offer your property can help you figure out if you should install one or not.
Advantages of Built-Up Roofing
Durability: One of the largest advantages associated with a built-up roof is the fact that it is able to withstand a great deal of physical pressure, weather exposure, water exposure, and temperature fluctuations without becoming damaged or springing a leak. The multiple layers of tar and fabric sheets ensure that even minor damage to the roof will not be enough to allow water to seep into your property.
Access: The top layer of gravel or a similar material over top of your roof means that you can easily get on top of your property and walk around if necessary, which is essential if you have appliances like your HVAC system up there or simply want to expand the amount of usable space in your building by creating a deck or rooftop patio.
Low Maintenance: Once the tar has been set, there is very little maintenance that you actually have to do to keep your roof in good working order. In fact, the only real thing that has to be done to maintain a built-up roof is applying more gravel in the event that some from the top layer is removed due to foot traffic or heavy weather conditions.
Disadvantages of Built-Up Roofing
Weight: The largest drawback of built-up roofing is that it is an extremely heavy solution, since multiple layers of tar are used. This means that they can only be installed on properties that have the necessary supports and reinforcements in place. Properties that don't have them may find it prohibitively expensive to install a roof and the necessary supports.
Cold Weather: Since the primary material used in built-up roofing is tar, these roofs do not hold up well in cold weather. Tar will shrivel up and become brittle, increasing the risk of cracking and damage occurring which can undermine the structural integrity of your roof and increase the risk of leaks developing.
For more information, contact your local roofing services today.