A Modified Bitumen Systems Guide

Roofing Tips

modified bitumen systems

We are beginning to see more and more modified bitumen systems being installed. Previously, they were generally only used for commercial roofs but many homeowners are also opting for this system. They are durable and hold up well against all weather conditions, meaning that they have a substantial lifespan.

What Is A Modified Bitumen System?

This roofing system is asphalt-based and also includes solvents and rubber modifiers. This single-ply or multi-ply roofing membrane is used for flat roofs. The different layers are welded together. Flat roof structures have previously not had the best reputation in terms of longevity and durability when compared with pitched roofs. But modified bitumen systems are changing this.

Simply put, there are three key aspects to this type of roofing system. It consists of an outer membrane covering the roof, sealants to ward off leaking, and flashing which prevents damage to the roof. It also includes insulation and a base sheet.

Styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) and atactic polypropylene (APP) are the most common polymer variants for this roofing system. They both offer impressive durability, resistance and waterproofing. APP ages better, is best used in hotter climates like South Florida, and has more UV resistance. But the synthetic rubber additive in the SBS type provides improved flexibility.

They can use hot or cold applications and some of the newer systems even have self-adhering sheets. This roofing system is available in a variety of performance levels, depending on your needs.

Pros Of Modified Bitumen Systems

As with other types of flat roofs, modified bitumen systems are relatively quick and easy to install as they are prefabricated and made in sheets. But unlike most flat roof designs, this system is stronger, thicker and more durable, providing a longer lifespan and less of a strain on your wallet. It is also energy efficient and provides heat resistance which means you save even more money. Usually, the outer layer has been treated and is protected from harmful UV rays.

Modified bitumen systems also require less maintenance. If anything does go wrong, repairs are generally very easy and can be done without solvents or adhesives. The flexibility of the design allows the material to expand and contract without risk of it tearing or experiencing too much strain.

A multi-ply system increases strength and durability. Modifiers provide stability and flexibility.

Commercial vs Residential Uses

Because this roofing system is so versatile and durable, it can be used for both residential and commercial uses. But it is more common for a commercial roof to be flat, while residentials roofs are often steep-sloped. If you’re opting for a flat roof, a modified bitumen system is probably your best bet!

As far as flat roof options go, modified bitumen systems are an excellent choice. They are tough, long-lasting and weather-resistant, providing you with absolute peace of mind. It is best to speak to a roofing professional to find out what your best option is and to ensure that you get top quality materials and installation. There are many components to a modified bitumen system. As always, routine inspections and preventative maintenance are ideal.

Contact AABCO Roofing for more information on a Modified Bitumen System for your flat roof.

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