Get Your Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Built-Up Roofing

Interested in learning more about asphalt products and applications? Our answers to these frequently asked questions may be helpful. If you have other questions not addressed here, please contact us.

What is a Built-Up Roof?

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) systems have been in use in the United States for more than 100 years and have a solid reputation for long-term performance and durability. BUR systems are generally composed of alternating layers of asphalt and reinforcing felts (four plies) creating a monolithic waterproofing membrane that is highly resistant to moisture and rooftop damage. The surfacing typically includes gravel, slag or mineral granules. In addition, numerous types of aluminum or even elastomeric coatings can be used to increase the surface reflectivity of the BUR system.

“Four plies” denotes a four-ply roof membrane construction consisting of at least four plies of reinforcement and numerous layers of waterproofing asphalt. In some instances, a base sheet may be used as the bottom ply and is often mechanically attached to the approved substrate.

Are BUR systems still popular today?

Yes. They represent approximately 10% of all low-slope commercial roofing systems in North America. In fact, asphalt-based roofing systems that include BUR, APP (Atactic Polypropylene) and SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene) make up approximately 40% of all commercial roofing systems.

Can BURA (Built-Up Roofing Asphalt) be used for other applications?

Yes. Asphalt has many viable end uses and can be used to:
• Adhere SBS base and cap sheets
• Adhere various approved insulations
• Adhere fleece-backed single-ply membranes

Does BURA meet any LEED® requirements?

Yes. Because we have so many BURA facilities across the country (13 total plants), we often can meet the LEED® Credit Category within the Materials & Resources (MR) Credit 5, regional material: "Materials/products extracted and manufactured (or fraction thereof) within 500 miles of project site for a minimum of 10% (1 point) or 20% (2 points) based on cost of the total materials value."

Can a Built-Up Roof meet Cool Roof rating requirements?

Yes. The beauty of a Built-Up Roof is that the surface can be finished with a number of products, including naturally colored pea gravel, coated with a reflective coating or even finished with a granule surfaced cap sheet like SBS or TPO (fleece-backed).

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