Because it has many advantages over some traditional forms of roofing installations, torch on (also called torch down) roofing is becoming more popular for both commercial and residential building structures. If your roof has a low slope or is flat, learn why torch on roofing may be a great option for your home or business.
About the Torch on Roofing Installation
Professional roof installers place sheets of a modified compound of asphalt called bitumen on the roof. They use a propane torch to heat up the layers until they adhere to the roofing surface. That’s the short version. Overall, the installation is fast, yet the process enables the roofing to stay functional for decades.
The Common Types of Bitumen Torch on Roofing Materials
The bitumen contains mainly asphalt, but it also must have a polymer added and be modified in some way to give the material the ability to be torched and melted. The bitumen material has many layers. It will have a mineral surface, reinforced polyester, and two Atactic polypropylene (APP) layers, which is a form of plastic. Instead of APP, an alternative polymer that bitumen can be modified with is Styrene Butadiene Styrene, a type of rubber. A mineral surface layer is on one side of the multi-layer bitumen material. The other side of the multi-layer bitumen material has thermo-fusible film. In the sheet of modified bitumen, all the layers are sealed together in a tight roll ready to lay out in one unit.
Torch-on Roofing is Long-lasting and Simple to Repair
One great benefit of torch-on roofing is that it’s very sturdy. The multi-layer design adds thickness without being bulky. Torch-on roofs can last about 20, 25, or even more years with proper maintenance performed annually.
After an inspection, have the professional remove debris from the roof surface, unplug drains, repair flashing and take care of leaks. Check the caulking and replace it if it’s old. Pieces of the bitumen membrane can be heated up on sections that need repair for an airtight seal.
Provides Protection and Insulation from the Heat of the Sun
The lighter color of a torch on roof, the cooler the temperature inside your home. This is because the light colors reflect harmful UV rays. The roofing has a resistance to fire as well. Your family can better enjoy the air quality in the comfort of your home during heat waves. On those days, your home feels cooler inside. In that respect, insulation is the advantage. You’ll likely reduce the use of your air conditioner and possibly save money in that way too.
Speaking of saving, some torches on roof membranes are available for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. LEED products are rated for their sustainability and safety of the environment, among other things. Roofing projects and materials can be LEED-certified, indicating another level of caring for the Earth’s resources on the part of the builder and homeowner. Think of it as something similar to the concept of energy star-compliant appliances. It’s the same goal of doing what’s best for the environment but with building materials.
Sealing Off enables Torch on Roofs to be Waterproof
If you’re like many homeowners or businesses, the main reason to replace your roof is to see the presence of leaks. Rot and mildew are often the results of sustained roof leaks. Well, it doesn’t take long for these issues to develop. Another benefit of torch-on roofing is that it is heated during the application. The layers heat up to form an airtight seal to prevent leaks from occurring prematurely. When roofing is applied to a flat or sloped low type of roof, the water rolls off instead of weighing the roof down and weakening it.
Torch-on Roofing Material is Climate-Friendly
We mentioned that torch on roofing works great in hot climates, but it’s also suitable for cooler geographical locations and changing seasons. Therefore, the roofing is excellent for harsh weather where it snows heavily. Modified bitumen doesn’t crack under pressure from the cold, it contracts. In hot environments, it expands.
Less Overwhelming Odor
Leaving your home temporarily during the installation process can be an inconvenience for you and your family. Since torch on materials is installed using a torch as opposed to a lot of hot tar, there are fewer smelly fumes to emit out into the air. While the torch on application takes place, your family can typically stay in your home. Compare that to a gravel and tar installation where your family may be inconvenienced by having to stay away for half a month or so.
Materials are Economically Priced and Easy to Move Around
Although durable, torch on materials come available in a variety of price ranges to suit most budgets. They are made with a width no wider than a little over 39 inches or one meter. The advantage of a width limitation is in special cases where heavier systems won’t work; the lighter weighted torch on may fit perfectly.
Roof Modifications are Simpler Compared to Other Roofing Types
When you want to upgrade your roof by adding solar panels or skylights, the modifications are easier to make. The heat is applied to the roofing materials for a leak-proof connection between the solar panels or skylights and the existing roofing surface.
Versatile Torch On Roofing Materials are Suitable for Other Areas
Whether you want to beautify your deck or cover your garage’s rooftop to unify your home’s outer areas, torch on roofing Vancouver is an excellent choice. You can enjoy beautiful outdoor living spaces that are easy to maintain, safe to walk on, and long-lasting.
Torch-on roofing has many benefits. Among them are that it’s durable, waterproof, and perfect for all climates. That’s because the material and the heat sealing process has a dual purpose of protecting and insulating your home. The roofing also gives off very little odor compared to tar kettle asphalt.
This job is not for do-it-yourselves though. It’s important to seek out a professional company that is experienced in applying this type. They’ll need a fire permit because they’ll be using a torch with intense heat to properly seal the roofing membranes to the roofing system. The experts should also have worked with a variety of modified bitumen materials and know which one is best suited for your roofing needs.