Modified Bitumen Systems

The Two Main Types of Bituminous Roofing Systems Explained6 min read

With so many kinds of construction materials accessible to contractors worldwide, it can become challenging to choose which ones you need, especially when you don’t do proper planning. Using faulty construction materials can cause significant issues that can ruin the entire project, and you don’t want that happening.

One construction material that usually needs extensive planning is the building’s roof. However, you can find that many contractors use bituminous roofing systems because of the many benefits they can provide, such as longer life, effective waterproofing, and reliability.

But did you know that there are two types of bituminous roofing systems? The two types are called multi-ply, polymer-modified bitumen, and Built-Up Roofing (BUR).

Read More: What Is Lean to Roof | Lean to Roof Design | How to Build A Lean to Roof | Lean to Roof Plan


What are Modified Bitumen (ModBit) Systems?

The first bitumen roofing system is the ModBit System. It consists of a cap sheet and base plies, which share similar reliable waterproofing benefits with BUR Systems. In addition, roofing contractors can customize Modbit Systems extensively, ensuring it meets their specific needs.

Roofing manufacturers surface the cap sheets within the ModBit Systems with a mineral granule to expand the system’s weather ability.

They also utilize cool roof coatings and granules to reflect UV rays, significantly increasing the roof’s long-time performance and reducing the building’s energy costs. If you want to add more features like fire safety on the roof, consider installing smoke vents.


What is a Built-Up Roofing (BUR)?

Many contractors in the United States have used BUR Systems for decades because of its overall reliability and efficiency in protecting a building’s interior. The system has alternating bitumen-coated membranes, and oxidized bitumen usually called felt or ply sheets.

You can reinforce the ply sheets with a firmly stable, high tensile strength fiberglass mat. Roofing manufacturers also surface the system with a roof coating or aggregate to increase the weatherproofing capability.

The multi-ply approach assures the system has dependable waterproofing, which is why the roofing can last for many years.


What are SBS Membranes?

While the main two types of bituminous roofing systems are BUR and ModBit Systems, you will notice that the current market has two primary polymer-modified bitumen membranes, specifically the APP and SBS Membranes.

The first type currently famous in the market is SBS membranes, constructed with bitumen that manufacturers modified using Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) polymers. It forms an asphalt coating that has a rubbery texture.

Roofing contractors apply the coating to a reinforcing carrier of fiberglass for dimensional stability and high tensile strength. You will also find polyester to achieve superior elongation and tear strength or a compound of the two.

If you want to learn the benefits, SBS membranes can provide great flexibility, especially during cold seasons. It is also self-adhering, but roofing contractors usually install it with cold adhesive or mopping asphalt.

Read More: Sustainable Homes | Eco-Friendly House | How to Build A Sustainable House


What are APP Membranes?

The next polymer-modified bitumen membrane in the market is APP membranes, which have bitumen modified with plastic Atactic Polypropylene (APP) polymers, which results in a coating with a high-temperature range, better durability, and toughness.

You can generally apply the coating to a polyester carrier mat, but a tiny amount of fiberglass products also exist. Most contractors torch-apply APP membranes because it melts quickly because of the plasticized bitumen.


Benefits of Using Bituminous Roofing Systems

Since you now know about the two types of bituminous roofing systems, you have to learn about the many benefits they can provide to your commercial building. It’s necessary to know its benefits to ensure you install and use it effectively on your building. Some benefits include,

1. High Resistance to Physical Damage

One benefit that you might like about bituminous roofing systems is their high resistance to physical damage. It’s ideal for areas susceptible to hail storms or tall trees with falling fruits that land on top of the roof.

If you constantly call your roofing contractors because of dents or damage on your roof, you have to switch over to a bituminous roofing system. And since the bituminous roofing system has a low slope, it doesn’t collect rainwater.

You have to know that stagnant water on the roof will slowly damage the material, which will lessen its lifespan and require you to do more repairs and maintenance. But with the low slope, water will not stay on the roof even when your area experiences heavy rain.


2. Low-Maintenance Roof

Another benefit of the roofing system is you don’t have to maintain it constantly. It’s the best roofing system if you want to reduce your commercial building’s maintenance budget. Calling a roofing contractor and monthly

You can use the information mentioned above to help you choose the right bituminous roofing system for your building. Note that you will have to call a professional roofing contractor if you need them to do the maintenance, and it will cost you money.

Sometimes, you won’t have enough funds to conduct the maintenance, which can cause internal building problems.


3. Easy to Install

If you want to replace your old roofing with a new one, you can expect a fast and easy installation process with a bituminous roofing system. Any experienced roofing contractor can install it without any complications, and you can expect a new roof at a moment’s notice.

Read More: Loss on Heating Test of Bitumen | Procedure & Result


4. Energy-Efficient

Are you planning to reduce energy consumption within your commercial building? You might have a hard time achieving that because of the many machines, devices, and appliances that need to operate throughout the day. A good example is the HVAC system that never stops because it has adequate cooling within the building.

Fortunately, you can install cooling features, including thermal emission or solar reflectance, on bituminous roofing systems to prevent heat transfer. It blocks out the sun’s heat waves and reflects them off the roof, ensuring your building’s interior stays cool.

Your HVAC and other cooling systems won’t have to work twice as hard since the temperature inside is level. Out of the different roofing systems of today, you have to set your eyes on getting the bituminous roofing system.

Many commercial building owners prefer it more than other roofing systems because of its different benefits, such as high resistance to physical damage and ease of installation.


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