DFW's Roofing Pros: Modified Bitumen Masters
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Is it worth it to install Modified Bitumen on your roof in Dallas-Fort Worth?
The short answer is it depends.
It is most suitable for roofs that are flat or low slope; applicable to most commercial or industrial buildings and, in sporadic instances, residential.
According to Polyglass, modified bitumen has been used for flat roof options for the past 100 years!
But is it the right choice for your business and its long-term objective?
At American Dream Construction, we can help you determine which roofing system best suits your property and its requirements.
Contact us at +1 844-893-7326 for a no-charge inspection of your property.
Or, book an appointment quickly.
Overview of Modified Bitumen
Modified bitumen in short form is known as ‘Mod Bit”.
They were introduced in the 1960s as an upgrade of the old built-up roofing systems (BUR) that had been popular since the 19th century.
The BUR installation process is messy, emits pungent odors, and poses safety hazards during installation, repair, and removal. It is also highly susceptible to damage.
Later, manufacturers created modified bitumen roofing systems as flexible sheets to eliminate the need for hot-mopping asphalt onto a roof like BUR.
Mod bit asphalt is combined with polymerized rubber or plastic, reinforced with fiberglass, to create a durable and flexible sheet.
They are available in two different membranes: APP & SBS.
APP-modified bitumen membranes are a type of torch-down roofing material.
These membranes consist of elastomeric compounds and generally include a type of plastic called atactic polypropylene.
APP is the most cost-effective solution, boasting 20 years or above longevity if installed and maintained correctly.
And SBS membranes are made of styrene-butadiene-styrene synthetic rubber.
It offers greater flexibility and can be installed using heat, cold adhesives, or a self-adhering membrane.
Compared to APP, SBS is more resistant to harsh weather elements and high-temperature fluctuation.
Nonetheless, both membranes are commonly installed using the touch-down applied system.
Images of what torch-down applied system looks like.
Layers and Components
Before installing a new roofing system, we ensure previous materials are removed.
It does add a bit to the cost of the overall project.
But, it is essential to start on a new foundation.
Afterward, all the debris should be cleared out of the way to start the replacement or installation work.
Before installing a roofing sheet, we place insulation on the deck beforehand.
It acts as a thick layer to prevent heating and cooling issues. It can help to improve the energy efficiency of a building.
It can be installed quite easily using screws and plates or special fasteners.
A vapor barrier is placed right above the insulation board.
It is crucial to averting the accumulation of moisture caused by condensation.
This moisture has the potential to compromise structural integrity or foster the development of harmful mold.
Insulation installation currently in progress.
Base & Cap Sheet Installed
The base sheet is considered the first layer of the mod-bit membrane.
Later, we secure the roof deck with a base sheet or ply.
Afterwards, crafted from fiberglass or polyester.
This layer offers a stable surface for bitumen adhesion and functions as an extra safeguard for the structure.
Afterward, we installed the modified bitumen membrane.
In most cases, only one cap sheet is enough.
The type of installation for the cap sheet will depend on the membrane: APP or SBS.
In applying APP-modified bitumen, we employ the torch-down technique.
This process entails heating the lower surface of the bitumen sheet with a torch while it is being rolled out.
It liquefies the asphalt, facilitating its adhesion to the base sheet.
In the case of SBS-modified bitumen, we apply the sheets through hot-mopping (utilizing hot asphalt), cold application (using adhesive), or self-adhesion (peel-and-stick)
What a completed Modified Bitumen project looks like.
After the installation, we add a top layer to protect against harsh weather conditions and high UV radiation.
Advantages of Mod Bit
Mod bit asphalt is a durable material with a high tensile strength.
It resists physical damage from foot traffic and falling debris.
Making it an ideal choice for roofs requiring regular maintenance or heavy equipment.
Also, it is highly resistant to harsh weather elements.
However, if the roof has multiple layers, one leakage can cause damage and puncture to the rest.
That’s why up to two layers of mod-bit roofing sheets are recommended by us, one smooth and another granular.
Mod-bit roofs are more flexible than other membranes with the addition of polymers.
It reduces the risk of cracks, leaks, and damage during high temperatures where non-flexible materials fail to deliver.
Longevity & Easy Maintenance
Based on our expertise, when we install a modified bitumen roofing system, it can last 25 years or more with proper maintenance.
It is also straightforward and less expensive to maintain compared to other options.
It would help if you got it inspected after any weather calamity.
Also, occasional cleaning can keep the roof neat and clean from debris.
If not installed correctly, the mod bit can deteriorate rapidly. As you can observe, it is weathering off over time.
Problems with Mod Bit
Modified bitumen is most commonly available in dark colors.
Unfortunately, dark-colored membranes don’t reflect much of the sunlight.
The membrane absorbs a lot of heat, when the insulation isn’t installed correctly.
It leads to high energy and air-conditioned bills.
Also, it produces a lot of heat in the interior of the building due to high heat absorption.
Off Gassing & Strong Odor
During the job, modified bitumen roofing can emit an unpleasant odor for building occupants.
Simultaneously, the roofing sheets are applied using a touch-down system, producing potentially harmful fumes and fire risks.
The emitted vapors may pose health and environmental hazards without proper safety equipment.
Additionally, from an aesthetic standpoint, modified bitumen is not the most visually appealing roofing membrane.
Lastly, it offers limited color options.
But not to worry, we take all precautions to ensure none of the occupants is affected by it.
Potential Risk of Damage
A successful modified bitumen roofing project requires a skilled contractor.
Not to worry, we have a decade-long experience with commercial roofs in this local area.
The process is relatively easy, but executing requires a lot of experience.
And we certainly do possess that.
If installed improperly, the roof may be vulnerable to various damages and issues in the future.
Afterall, unforgiving weather conditions in Dallas-Fort Worth pose a significant challenge.
In case of immediate roofing assistance, contact us for our emergency roofing service.
Last Few Words: Mod Bitumen is Suitable for Dallas-Fort Worth
Modified bitumen can be suitable for commercial and industrial buildings based in Dallas-Fort Worth.
It is durable, long-lasting, and cost-effective for business owners.
At American Dream Construction, we have served thousands of residential and commercial property owners with proper roofing solutions.
Contact us for a free-of-charge consultation to assess your property needs.
External Link Sources:
According to Polyglass, modified bitumen has been used for flat or low roof options for the past 100 years! (Source: Polyglass)