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    How Long Will a Modified Bitumen Roof Last?

    Modified Bitumen Roofing

    The St. Petersburg, Florida area can have some rough weather which an do a number on rooftops and structures. From the hot summer sun to hailstorms and high winds that accompany hurricanes, a commercial structure needs the best roof protection possible. For many commercial structure owners, when they need a new roof, they choose modified bitumen roof replacement in St. Petersburg, FL. Does your roof need to be replaced? Give Super Roofs a call at 727-821-4332.

    What is a modified bitumen roof?

    A modified bitumen roof is a cousin to the BUR (built-up roofing system) that has been used for over 100 years. Ideal for low-sloped roofing, a modified bitumen roof replacement will consist of an asphalt layer, a polymerized plastic or rubber, and reinforcement of fiberglass that gives it a flexible, rugged, and waterproof membrane.

    How is a modified bitumen roof replacement installed?

    There are two basic types of modified bitumen replacement used today:

    • Atactic Polypropylene Bitumen (APP): This type uses a thermoplastic polymer that gives the asphalt a plastic-type of quality. It has high UV light protection and is water resistant. It is installed with the plastic being torched at 300 degrees and mopped on.
    • Styrene-Butadiene Styrene (SBS): The styrene-butadiene styrene is an addition to the basic modified bitumen roof replacement to provide a synthetic rubber-type modification that becomes sticky when heated. However, it doesn’t have a liquid flow that melts as the above-described type of modified bitumen. It can be cold-applied installed too, avoiding the danger of flame.

    How thick is a modified bitumen roof?

    The average weight of a modified bitumen roof is just over one pound per square foot. Each sheet of a modified bitumen roof replacement ranges between 120 mils and 180 mils thick.

    How long does a modified bitumen roof last?

    When a modified bitumen roof replacement is installed correctly and maintained as recommended, it can last up to 20 years. Fortunately, the maintenance of a modified bitumen roof is minimal, requiring routine cleaning and inspection. If the need for repairs is needed and addressed promptly, it can be a carefree roofing material.

    How is a modified bitumen roof repaired?

    The repair process of a modified bitumen roof replacement is one of the benefits of this type of roofing.  The repairs on a low-slope roof are typically at the seam sealing and flashing. These can be completed efficiently and quickly using bitumen patches.

    • Tear-Resistant – A modified bitumen roofing is tear-resistant, ideal when repairs to the HVAC or communication system are on the rooftop.
    • Flexible – A modified bitumen roof is flexible, impact resistant, and withstands temperature changes by contracting and expanding.
    • Energy-Efficient – Modified bitumen roofing can be installed with solar reflectance, creating a cool roofing treatment that will reduce the need for the air conditioning to run less.
    • Waterproof – A modified bitumen roofing is naturally waterproof, making it a top choice in commercial roofing materials.

    Is modified bitumen an alternative to built-up roofs?

    Yes, a modified bitumen roof replacement is a more modern choice in commercial roofing than the old-school built-up roofing material. It is more flexible with temperature changes, easier to install, and has a better aesthetic appearance.

    What are the disadvantages of bitumen roofs?

    There are 4 key disadvantages to a modified bitumen roof replacement, including:

    1. Absorbs Heat

    Historically, modified bitumen roof replacement has commonly been available only in a black material with minimal reflectiveness. The dark color will attract and absorb heat. However, manufacturers now offer this roofing material in more color options so that in sunny areas like Florida, building owners can choose a light color for reflectiveness.

    2. A High Risk

    Because a modified bitumen roof replacement is typically “torched down” using a propane torch, it puts the building at risk of fire. Fortunately, there is a cold application option today that removes that risk.

    3. Expensive

    A modified bitumen roof replacement is going to cost more upon installation, the more layers, the more expensive. This can be a positive though by being able to choose a minimum of 2 layers to help ease the expense.

    4. Ponding Vulnerability

    Low-slope roofing tends to hold rainwater, melting ice, and snow. It is important for the drains to be kept clear in order to avoid puddling. With monthly inspections as recommended, making sure the drains are clear of any blockage can minimize the chance of ponding.

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