Up on the Rooftop
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Up on the Rooftop

The next time you walk outside, take a moment to gaze up at your roof. What do you see? Do you see even shingles that are all laying flat? Or do you see shingles that are starting to curl and that are covered in moss? You can tell a lot about the condition of your roof just by looking at it. If you are at all concerned about the state of your roof, then your first call should be to a roofing contractor. They can evaluate the situation and recommend repairs or replacement as needed. Learn more about roofing and roofing contractors here on this website.


Up on the Rooftop

How A Roofer May Fix A Leak In Built-Up Roofing

Lori Silva

If your building has an old built-up roof that's leaking, talk to a commercial roofing contractor about your options. Repairs might be possible, or the roofer might suggest a new roof. While these were once the most popular flat roofing options, new roof materials have gained in popularity, so if you need a new roof, you might want something other than a built-up roof. Your contractor can help you make a good choice. Here are options for repairing built-up roofing.

Search For The Damaged Area

A BUR roof is considered one of the more leak-proof options in commercial roofing. That's because there are several layers involved in its construction that overlap each other. Plus, tar is added between the roofing layers. Also, the materials are installed over insulation boards. So, for a leak to happen, a hole has to penetrate several layers and the insulation boards.

The first step in repairing this type of leaky roof is to find the hole. This isn't always easy since many BUR roofs are topped with a layer of gravel. The roofer may take core samples or use an infrared camera to search for the wet area on the roof. Once they find that, they can look for the hole.

Remove Wet Areas Of The Roof And Patch The Damage

When a commercial roofer makes repairs, they don't want to cover up wet insulation boards. Instead, they'll identify the wet area and cut it all out. Then they can put in new dry insulation boards and build the roof back up. They'll patch in new layers of roofing and tar to cover the damaged area. They'll use hot or cold tar depending on how the roof was originally built.

Apply A Coating To The Roof

Your commercial roofer might recommend a coating if the BUR is old and at risk of further leaking. They'll still need to find and remove wet insulation boards, but they can go a step further and apply a foam and silicone coating to your roof. They'll need to remove gravel from the surface of the roof and then clean the roof so the foam will adhere well.

Then the foam is sprayed on the roof to create a watertight surface. The foam wraps around protrusions and seals problems with loose flashing too. The foam creates a continuous barrier for the roof, but the foam needs protection. It's necessary to top the foam with a silicone coating so the sun doesn't degrade it. When finished, your roof is waterproof and reflective so it keeps your building cooler too.