Built-up Roofs Are Inexpensive and Make for Fairly Efficient Roofing Protection
Roofs that have a low slope or were mainly flat, were often damp-proofed with the use of tar and gravel over their other components that made up the roof. These were referred to as built-up roofs and this system of roofing has been in practice for over 150 years.
Present day built-up roofing uses multiple layers of materials that add to the strength of the roof and help to insulate it from heat and cold. Among these materials, you will find organic felts layered with bitumen, coal tar or asphalt. Felts can also be made of polyester or fiberglass to take advantage of the better properties of those materials. This built-up roof material is then decorated with gravel, rocks, and other minerals that help to give the roof better aesthetics. Energy savings can be further enhanced in these roofs by adding boards of insulation material. This insulation keeps out heat in summers and retains the heat in winters.
As built-up roofing systems are made of a number of layers, they are flexible and will have added strength. It is customary to make up the materials that are part of built-up roofs, with those that are easily available locally, and well suited to the local climate and terrain. This makes for a roofing system that is well adapted to the environment and can be more durable. Modern-day built-up roofing consists of mats, 36 inches wide, made of organic fiberglass that is built up with layers of bitumen. The last layer of asphalt or bitumen is then protected with small sized gravel to present a uniform appearance. The tar compounds, bitumen, and asphalt can be applied in both cold and hot forms.
Built-up roofing gives a lot of protection to a roof from water, as its components have very good waterproofing qualities. The covered roof also affords the needed protection from the ultra-violet rays of the sun. These roofs require a minimum of maintenance. The surface materials that make up the outermost layer of gravel is often locally available and is thus inexpensive. These roofs can protect a home under extreme weather conditions. They are also roofing solutions that can be fairly inexpensive and affordable.
On the other hand, the installation of such roofs is a long drawn out process that can require a fair amount of times, as each layer needs to be started and finished before the next one is added. This can add to the labor cost of such installation, and does require skilled workers, proper safety gear, and an ability to work at heights. There can also be toxic fumes from the material used in the installation and cause discomfort and possible respiratory and health problems. The materials used in built-up roofing can suffer damage from rain and wind. Built-up roofs are considered high maintenance roofs.
Flat roofs can also be given a built-up roof treatment that can be quite effective in resisting the weather elements. These roofs require greater care to be taken for joints caused by any punctures to roofs for vents or other needs. Built-up roofs do not take kindly to human traffic on them.