Modified Bitumen Roofing – What Is It?
Modified bitumen roofing has been used on small and large roofs for over a century. The roofing system consists of one or more layers of polymer bitumen membranes. Bitumen membranes are made of bitumen compund with polymers added to them and have reinforcement, usually from polyester or fiberglass.
Modified bitumen roofing has many fields of application, such as no access roofs, terraces, multi-story parking areas, green roofs, etc. In addition, commercial roofs with modest slopes or flat surfaces typically use modified bitumen membranes.
Making Modified Bitumen
Polymeric additives (synthetic rubber or plastic) are added to raw asphalt to create a mod bit, which is used to enhance the pavement’s strength, flexibility, and durability. The finished product may include between 3 and 15% synthetic rubbers or plastics.
Mod bit retains a more uniform strength and endurance over various climatic conditions than the unmodified asphalt used in built-up roofs. Modified asphalt is applied in layers more than a reinforcement material to create sheets of modified bitumen roofing. Fiberglass, polyester, or a mixture of the two is used to make the reinforcing fabric.
The final mod bit panels usually are offered in rolls and are 39 inches wide. The length of the rolls ranges from 25 to 33 feet (10 meters), on average.
Pros and Cons of Modified Bitumen Roofing
The Pros of Modified Bitumen Roofing
These roofs are tearing and can withstand foot traffic well because of the combination of fiberglass or polyester reinforcement layers. Modified bitumen should be on your list of membrane options if your low slope roof receives a lot of traffic. It withstands foot activity quite well because it is a more conventional roof membrane with numerous layers. The truth is that people frequently treat flat roofs like a deck, even though no roof membrane should be used as a patio or a work platform. Modified has a better chance than other systems of withstanding foot traffic with a granulated cap layer.
The five-layer construction of modified bitumen roofing systems allows them to survive rigorous exposure to all weather conditions and other hazardous environmental factors.
Modified bitumen roof material comes in rolled sheets for each layer. Each sheet is up to 36 feet long and 3 feet broad. Experts lay down each sheet over a base membrane on top of the roof deck. Bitumen patches make it simple to restore the sheets if they are damaged.
Modified bitumen is a roofing material that Energy Star can rate according to their system as this roofing uses light equipment. The cool-roof options for modified bitumen can reflect sunlight upward and keep your interior rooms cool. You may significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency or commercial structure by selecting a modified bitumen system that has been certified by ENERGY STAR and installed by skilled roofers.
Variety of Colors
Modified bitumen roofing can be utilized for both residential and business roofs because it is a versatile material. It’s compatible with other roofing materials, and it’s most frequently used in buildings with concrete decks. In addition, this roofing system can be composed and applied in different colors.
The Cons of Modified Bitumen Roofing
Modified bitumen roofing has specific drawbacks, just like any other product. For example, the color of a modified bitumen roof membrane might be black or hardly reflect. The dark tint of the roofing draws heat from the sun and absorbs it rather than reflects it away from areas.
However, modified bitumen roofs come in a variety of colors besides black. The color spectrum includes black, sienna, and white. The roofing material will absorb lesser heat if you choose a lighter hue. Numerous suppliers also offer modified bitumen top sheets near as reflective as white thermoplastics.
Following installation, you’ll probably smell something strongly. The area covered during installation determines how far the smell spreads, how strong it is, and how long it lasts. When you are prepared to temporarily relocate or put up with the scent for a few days, think about having your roof installed.
Additionally, bitumen roofing has several thicknesses, including 1, 2, and 3 ply materials. The bitumen material’s breakdown can cause problems with the single ply due to its lack of durability. However, two and three-ply bitumen material roofing are significantly more expensive, making them among the most costly flat roofing options available. Mineral slates are an essential component of the finishing layer as they prevent the roofing system from the sun’s impacts and give mechanical protection.
Application with Torch
Using a blow torch to apply the sheets and heat them to a very high temperature is one of the well-known and trustworthy ways to install Modified Bitumen. However, if the connection is not prevented, this could produce toxic vapors that could be hazardous.
Esthetics or Improper Repairs
The fact that the homeowner employed someone to complete the task makes this one of the worst violations. Unfortunately, beyond making sure whomever you hire is trustworthy, it isn’t much you can do to stop it. Too many dubious contractors bid on a task, complete it and then make corners since they will still get paid, and it will be a while before anyone finds out what they did.
Which Types Of Roofs Are Best For Modified Bitumen Roofing?
Two types of Modified Bitumen roofs can be used in your commercial building:
Atactic Polypropylene Bitumen or APP
The thermoplastic polymer used in this style of modified roofing provides the asphalt’s plastic-like characteristics. As a result, APP-modified bitumen improves your roof’s resistance to water and its protection from exposure to ultraviolet light. This type of modified bitumen is used on small roofs, like those of residential properties and the flat roofs of commercial structures, due to its simplicity in melting.
SBS or Styrene-Butadiene Styrene
Bitumen is modified to resemble synthetic rubber by the addition of styrene-butadiene. SBS creates a sticky type of melt that gets thicker as it gets hotter rather than melting the way APP does. In other terms, SBS requires less heat to install than APP since it lacks the fluid movement that APP possesses.
How To Decide If Modified Bitumen Roofing Is The Right Choice For You?
Because of its ability to tolerate lower and higher temperatures, a modified bitumen roof is a reliable commercial roofing technology. Furthermore, simple cleaning and maintenance are needed to keep the roof in top functioning order because it is a low-maintenance roofing system. Other polymers can also be added to a modified bitumen roofing system to broaden its flexibility and physical robustness.
Since bitumen has very high strength, it is unlikely to have the same kind of cracks typical of flat roofs and other membrane roof types. They are also highly rated in a severe storms against hail, fire, and wind, making damage extremely improbable. In addition, with a bitumen roof, a very long manufacturer’s warranty typically supports the roof’s durability.