Whether you need a new roof for your home or commercial premises or re-roofing to include a new room addition, there is no better company to call in the Tucson area than West Coast Roofing. Tucson roofing contractor Ryan R. McDaniel, who owns the business, talks here about the benefits of a built-up roof, and the proper maintenance involved to keep it in good shape for longer. Built-up roofing is a roofing system that is popular for both residential buildings as well as commercial premises. There are a lot of different types and different materials used in the process. Built-up roofs are primarily used for flats roofs and low-pitched roofs, and are best when installed in warmer climates, not colder ones. In cold climates, there is ice built up in the drainage areas and pond water, or water that pools on the roof, which can cause roof failure and can lead to a faster deterioration of the roof. As a Tucson roofing contractor, we recommend built-up roofs for installation only in warmer climates like here in Tucson, in Southern Arizona, and in the entire southwest.
Used for Specific Structures We use the built-up roof system for specific roof structures – on flat roofs, specifically the three-ply fiberglass roof systems with Elastomeric coating. We use them when we have tear-offs and re-roofing, and on roofs that are under construction. It can be used for any application, and it’s built up because it has multiple layers of waterproofing membranes, which are traditionally applied using hot tar. On top of that, it is a cool coating, which is where we get a variety of energy-efficiency advantages, helping our customers save a lot of money on their cooling and heating bills. Usually the coatings are white in color and are manufactured to have high reflectivity of the solar reflectance, which means they reflect visible infrared ultra violet wavelengths from the sun. That, in turn, reduces the heat transfer into the building from the roof. This means that the home stays cooler – and you save on your cooling bills, which is important here in Arizona in particular! Current technology means they are up to 80 or 90 percent reflectivity in terms of solar reflectance.
Huge Cost-Savings on Cooling Bills The major benefit of using these built-up roofs is a huge cost-savings to the customer. The majority of our customers are now beginning to recognize that energy-saving products – in particular ones that are Energy Star rated – are worth having. Usually, a built-up roof will save you up to 10 to 20 percent off your cooling bills on hot days. Here in Arizona, from May through September, we probably average about 93 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit during the summertime during the day, so installation of these roofs can make a lot of sense – and cents. Installation of these built-up roofs is fairly straight-forward. The typical roof, from a full tear-off to a re-roof, will take, on average, from three to four days for a residential roof. It is done with minimal disruption to the customer, and homeowners can stay in the residence while the built-up roof is being installed. We will be working on the rooftop and just have one area where we will have our truck and a dumpster for the tear-off. As a Tucson roofing contractor, we do built-up roofs for commercial facilities as well.
Don’t Walk On It! The other thing to note is that built-up roofs are not designed to be walked on. A built-up roof membrane consists of piles of felt – saturated and coated – and mats, between which layers of bitumen are applied. If you are walking on the roof, you can cause the membrane to contract and tear the roof quicker, or have a membrane leak. Usually, the roof is where people have their cooling and heating systems located, so always have a roofing contractor come out afterward to inspect and make sure there are no punctures in the membranes or cracks which the workmen have made when they were up there. And when you look for a roofing contractor, always play it safe and look for a licensed, bonded and insured roofing contractor.