We can break down roofing into two main categories. These categories are low slope roofing and steep slope roofing.
Steep slope roofing has a slope on the roof which allows water to flow off of your building with ease.
Low slope roofing is what you find on many of your larger buildings where the roof decks are flat or near flat.
While shedding water from your building is very easy on steep slope roof decks, it does take a little more planning and engineering to remove water from your low slope roof deck. We do this by adding slope while we insulate your roof deck, making your drains, gutters, or scuppers the lowest point on your low slope roof.
The following are different types of low slope roofing we install. Most low slope roofs have rigid insulation and tapers to the drainage point. The following describes the different roofs that rest on top of that insulation.
BUR (Built up roofing)
BUR roofing consists of multiple layers of reinforcing fabrics (roofing rolls) and bitumen. The roof is then covered with a layer of bitumen and a surfacing product, usually aggregate. These multiple layers and aggregate surfacing produces a continuously sealed roof on your building.
The bitumen can be applied either hot or cold. Hot applied bitumen involves a roofing kettle heating the material on the ground and then pumping it to the roof in a liquid state to be applied. Cold applied bitumen is delivered in a liquid state and can be installed by spraying or by using a squeegee. Most roofs use asphalt, but coal tar is used on roofs where it is very difficult to engineer positive drainage. Coal tar has the ability to heal itself once it is damaged, which makes it a great solution when you know you have areas that will be resting under water.
The aggregate layer that is adhered to the new roof surface has many benefits. It adds protection from foot traffic, dropped items, and debris that may be flying around on your roof. It also provides ultraviolet protection. The sun constantly breaks down your roof, so you can think of the aggregate layer of BUR as a type of sunscreen.
Modified, like BUR, is applied using bitumen. It also can be applied either hot or cold. Many of the components and processes are the same as BUR. Modified does not receive a layer of aggregate, mainly because the cap rolls of modified are designed with polymers that allow it to move with the building more easily and to withstand elements from the environment.
Like BUR, this type of roof is installed in multiple layers. This also makes it another great option for roofs with high traffic.
KEE (Ketone Ethylene Ester)
This is a single ply roof membrane that is a very soft and flexible polymer. It is designed for flexibility, to repel against chemicals that your roof may come in contact with, resist breakdown, and to withstand against weather.
The strength against tears and breaking down is greater than other single roof membranes. Kee roofs can either be mechanically fastened, or fully adhered in place. The laps are sealed with a hot air weld.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
PVC is a single ply roofing membrane. PVC offers flexibility to your single ply roof. PVC offers a more durable single ply roof than others may offer, think of PVC pipes and their durability for instance. PVC has a reflective surface that helps fight against ultraviolet rays. It withstands the elements, offers resistance against certain chemicals. KEE can also be found in PVC.
Once the KEE is over 50%, it is no longer classified as PVC, but KEE. This roof system can also be installed mechanically or fully adhered. Laps are sealed with a hot air weld.
TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin)
TPO is a single ply roof made up of synthetics and reinforcing scrim. TPO offers a reflective sheet that protects against ultraviolet rays. It does not have as much flexibility as a KEE or PVC, but is ideal for roofs that do not see much foot traffic and do not have any possible chemical spells on the roof surface. TPO can be mechanically fastened or fully adhered. Laps are sealed with a hot air weld.
EPDM is more commonly known as rubber roofing. This is a single ply system that uses a synthetic sheet of rubber. EPDM can be installed in both black and white rolls. It offers flexibility, and stands up against weather. EPDM can be mechanically fastened, fully adhered, or ballasted. Ideal for minimum foot traffic and warehouses.
There are several different types of roof coatings on the market today. Whatever type of roof you currently have installed, a coating exists to cover that roof and prolong the life of your investment.