Why You Should Choose a Built-Up Roof (BUR): Benefits of Built Up Roof Systems

Built-up roofs are sometimes referred to as “membrane roofs” because they usually have some membrane layer (such as tar paper, or modified bitumen ) between the various layers of the roof deck. It is a type of roofing system consisting of multiple materials.

Types of Built-up Roofs

A built-up roof is a type of flat roof system consisting of multiple materials. The most common type of built-up roof is tar and gravel, also sometimes called a built-up asphalt roof. The built-up roofing system consists of a hot asphalt layer, a durable top layer, and a substrate.

This roofing method has been used for over a century, and though it has been improved throughout the years, the basic process remains the same. Built-up roofs comprise alternating layers of bitumen (usually asphalt) and reinforcing fabric that creates a finished membrane.

The hot asphalt layer is an essential part of the built-up roof, as it provides waterproofing and insulation for the roof. The top layer is made of tough and durable material, such as fiberglass or PVC, which helps protect the asphalt layer from weathering and wear. The substrate is usually made of plywood or metal and provides a solid foundation for the roofing system.

There are four types of built-up roofs: asphalt, coal tar, gravel, and thermoplastic.


built up roofing installation


BUR System Vs. Modified Bitumen Roof System

There are two types of bitumen roofing systems: BUR (built-up roof) and modified bitumen. Both systems have a layer of asphalt, but BUR has multiple layers of fabric reinforcement that make it much stronger. Modified bitumen roofing is less expensive than BUR, but it does not last as long.

Layers of BUR Roofing System

The number of layers (or “plies”) in a built-up roof system can vary, but most have between three and five plies. The first layer in a built-up roof is called the base sheet, installed over the insulation or decking material. The base sheet provides a layer of protection against wind and weather damage and a surface to which subsequent layers can adhere. The next layer is called the interplay sheet, which helps to bond the base sheet to subsequent layers. 

Once the interplay sheet is in place, a reinforcement layer is installed. This reinforcement layer can be made from fiberglass, organic mats, or a combination of both for a BUR roof. Cold-applied UV built-up roof systems 

The final layer in a built-up roof system is the top ply or surfacing, which protects the underlying layers from ultraviolet radiation and provides additional weather resistance.

Advantages of a Built Up Roof

Because a built-up roof is a roofing system consisting of multiple layers of roofing material, usually alternating between hot-mopped asphalt or tar and gravel, this type of roof is standard on commercial buildings. Due to its durability and can last many years with proper maintenance. Built-up roofs are also less expensive than some other types of roofs, such as metal roofs.


built-up roofing system


Disadvantages of a Built-up Roof System

There are a few disadvantages of BUR systems that should be considered before installation.


How long do built-up roofs last?

A built-up roof can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on the materials used and the quality of installation. Regular maintenance and inspection can help extend the lifespan of a built-up roof.

How Much Does a Built-up Roof Cost?

The average cost for a built-up roof is $4.50 per square foot. This includes the cost of materials and installation. However, depending on the roofing contractor and the types of roofing membranes to be installed, the price may go up or down.

How to Get a Roofing Estimate for a Bur

When you need a new roof, the first thing you’ll want to do is get a roofing estimate. This will help you know what to expect in terms of cost and give you a starting point for negotiating with roofing contractors. To get an accurate estimate, you’ll need to provide the roofing contractor with some basic information about your home, such as the square footage of the roof and the type of materials you’re interested in using. 

It would help if you also had a good idea of your budget to let the contractor know what you’re willing to spend. Most roofing contractors will be happy to come to your home to look at your roof and give you an estimate, but you can also get an estimate by phone or email if you prefer. 

Once you have an estimate, be sure to ask questions so that you understand all of the costs involved in Roof Replacement. This will help you avoid any surprises down the line. Roof insulation is based on the building owners.

How to Find the Right Roofing Contractor

It’s essential to select a roofing contractor that is experienced in the installation of built-up roofs. You can ask the contractor for a list of references and call each to verify that the customer was satisfied with the work. 

Be sure to ask about the contractor’s experience installing built-up roofs and their knowledge of the materials and application process.