Modified Bitumen 101: What to Expect from a Top Notch Roofing Service

a roof covered with modified bitumen

The material you choose to roof your building influences the value and integrity of your home or business. When you want your roof to protect the building from the weather as well as other hazards like fire, you may want to consider a material that is crafted in part with synthetic materials like asphalt and rubber. Modified bitumen provides that extra layer of protection from the elements, fire, and other dangers that could compromise or destroy your home or business. Find out if modified bitumen is the best choice for your roofing needs and budget by learning more about its uses, advantages, and disadvantages.

What Is Modified Bitumen?

a big chunk of refined bitumen

Modified bitumen in its simplest term is a type of asphalt used for roofing purposes. Modified bitumen roofing has been used in both commercial and residential building for more than 50 years. It was actually invented in Europe but made its way into the American roofing industry during the 1960s. Two primary types of modified bitumen roofing are used most often today on commercial and residential structures. APP-polymer modified bitumen involves applying the roofing membranes with heat welding or torching. Because it involves the use of high heat to apply it to a rooftop, it is not recommended for use on buildings or structures made out of wood.

The other modified bitumen option is called SBS modified bitumen. This type of modified bitumen roofing system is typically self-adhesive and is simpler to apply and maintain. It also is recommended more often for use on commercial and residential buildings. Because of its consistency and durability, modified bitumen proves to be ideal for using on homes or businesses with flat or semi-flat rooftops. The bitumen prevents water from soaking into the roof and the building. It also encourages the water to runoff onto the ground.

Pros and Cons of Modified Bitumen

Advantages of Modified Bitumen

Synthetic materials like asphalt and rubber go into the creation of a modified bitumen roofing system. Therefore, you get unique advantages from a modified bitumen roof like:

  • Durability.
  • Longevity of use.
  • Lower energy bills because it reflects the sun and heat.
  • Water resistance.

Another noteworthy plus that comes with putting a modified bitumen roof on your home or business centers on the fact that one can apply it in both cold and warm weather. Unlike some types of roofing, SBS modified is self-adhesive and resistant to cold weather. You can have this type of roof applied even during the fall and winter months without having to wait for warmer weather.

Disadvantages of Modified Bitumen

However, modified bitumen roofing also comes with a number of disadvantages about which you should be aware. The primary concern lies in the fact that APP-polymer modified bitumen rooftops require the use of heat to apply to the top of your building. This type of bitumen roof ups the fire risk during its installation.

Other disadvantages that come with modified bitumen include:

  • A lack of color (bitumen only comes in one color, black).
  • Requires high-quality insulation used inside the home for maximum weather resistance.
  • More expensive than other roofing material choices because you have to apply it in three layers.
  • Requires granules for the highest heat resistance and performance.
  • Roofs that puddle or hold water can prematurely age the bitumen.

Some people want a roof that offers maximum visual appeal. Also, they want one that can fit within the most modest of roofing budgets. In this case, bitumen roofing may not be the best choice for you and your building. Likewise, if you are not willing to invest in high-quality insulation for your attic or home, you should consider another type of roofing material.

What to Expect from Modified Bitumen

What exactly can you expect from your modified bitumen roofing installation? Out of all of the advantages of this type of roofing, you can expect to enjoy a roof that lasts for years. In fact, roofing experts say that bitumen roofs can last upwards of 25 to 30 years. This happens only with proper installation and care. Despite being more expensive to buy at first, you get a good return on your investment because you do not have to replace your roof for several decades.

You also should expect to enjoy a roof that is easy to take care of. Moreover, the best ones are those that require little maintenance during the time that you own your home or business. You should watch for signs of water damage, thinning, cracks, and other rare damages. By taking prompt preventative or remedial actions, you can ensure your roof’s longevity and usefulness. You also prolong the amount of time for when you will have to pay for a new roof that you want to put on your building.

Finally, you should anticipate solid performance out of your roof even if you must sacrifice visual appeal in return. Your rooftop will feature a one-dimensional flat black color. However, it will provide superior protection from weather elements like heat, cold, and humidity. You should expect to pay lower heating and cooling bills with a bitumen roof. You also will lower your carbon footprint with this type of roof on your building.

In Conclusion

The type of roof that you put on your home or business influences what kind of value and integrity you get in return. I assume you want the best return on your investment. Therefore, you may want a┬ároofing material that will last for decades rather than two or three years at a time. Bitumen roofs are very durable. They can last for up to 25 years. Despite their initial higher cost, they give you the performance you need to ensure your building’s integrity and value. You also avoid the worry of water, heat, cold, and other destructive elements infiltrating through your rooftop and damaging it .

Image sources: 1, 2