When it comes to commercial roofing systems, two major categories dominate the industry: asphalt roofing and single ply membrane roofing. Both systems have their unique advantages, and the choice between them often depends on the specific needs of a building. Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of these two roofing systems.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing systems, commonly known as BUR, have a rich history that spans over a century. The essence of this system lies in its structure, which comprises alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt) and ply sheets. These layers culminate in a gravel surface or a mineral cap sheet, providing robust protection.

A contemporary variant of BUR is the Modified Bitumen (MB) system. The distinction between traditional BUR and MB is the addition of a chemical polymer to the asphalt in the latter. This inclusion enhances the system’s flexibility and resistance to temperature variations. These modified bitumen membranes undergo manufacturing in specialized facilities, ensuring they are reinforced to offer a robust, asphalt-based roofing solution.

The hallmark of both BUR and MB systems is their durability. Their multi-layered structure coupled with a coarse surface effectively reflects the sun’s ultraviolet rays, ensuring longevity even in extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, their granulated surface makes them resilient to heavy foot traffic. The redundancy offered by these systems, thanks to their multiple layers, ensures optimal protection for buildings.

Maintenance Insights: It’s imperative to have a professional inspect and maintain the roof surface biannually. Locating the source of leaks can be challenging due to the gravel top layer and the multiple underlying layers.

Warranty Information: Modified bitumen roofing systems typically come with warranties ranging between 20 to 30 years.

Single Ply Membrane Roofing

Single ply membranes have carved a niche for themselves in the commercial roofing landscape. These membranes can be broadly categorized into elastomeric systems like EPDM (rubber roofs) and thermoplastic systems like TPO and PVC.

The EPDM roofing membrane, crafted from industrial-grade synthetic rubber, has been a staple in commercial roofing for over half a century. These rubber rolls, which can span vast areas, are known for their adaptability to temperature fluctuations. EPDM’s resistance to ultraviolet light further enhances its durability.

On the other hand, TPO, a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, stands as the most prevalent single-ply membrane system in the U.S. The PVC system shares similarities with TPO, but its top layer boasts additives that bolster its resistance to chemicals.

Maintenance Insights: Regular inspections and cleaning are paramount for single ply roofs. Ensuring proper drainage is crucial for all roofing systems. Moreover, for buildings with single-ply systems, it’s advisable to trim overhanging trees to prevent potential damage from falling branches.

Warranty Information: With proper maintenance and installation, single ply membrane roofing systems can have warranties extending up to 30 years.

Making the Right Choice: BUR or Single Ply Membrane?

At San Diego County Roofing & Solar, we understand the nuances of commercial roofing. Whether you’re considering an asphalt-based roofing system or a single ply system, our team of experts can guide you. With our deep expertise in low slope roofs, we assess your current system and recommend the most suitable solution for your commercial building, be it BUR, modified bitumen, single ply, or other advanced roofing systems.

Key Insights

  • Asphalt roofing systems, including BUR and Modified Bitumen, are characterized by their multi-layered structure, offering durability and a redundant roofing solution.
  • Single ply roofing membranes, such as EPDM, TPO, and PVC, are lightweight, UV-resistant, and can be molded to fit the unique contours of a roof.
  • San Diego County Roofing & Solar stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of roofing in San Diego, offering unparalleled expertise and guidance in choosing the right roofing solution.

Choosing the right roofing system is pivotal for the longevity and safety of a building. Whether you’re leaning towards asphalt roofing or single ply membrane, it’s essential to consult with roofing contractors in San Diego to make an informed decision.