Torch on roofing, Modified Bitumen Roofing Tips

Modified Bitumen Roofing Tips

What is Modified Bitumen Roofing?

Modified Bitumen Roofing is made from asphalt and a variety of rubber modifiers and solvents. It is the next evolution of asphalt roofing. In an application process the seams are heated to melt the asphalt together and create a seal. There is also hot-mopped application, similar to how conventional roofs are installed.

How Modified Bitumen Works

Modified bitumen can be installed overtop of an existing tar roof unlike rubber flat roofing, which can be eaten away. It is also very rugged and can sustain a fair amount of foot traffic.
Modified bitumen roofs involve some traditional materials, but use modern fabrication methods, and traditional or more contemporary installation techniques. Modified bitumen roofs are made from prefabricated rolls of modified asphalt or coal tar reinforced with a fiberglass or polyester reinforced mat. Rubber-modified asphalts, such as styrene-butadiene-styrene materials, are granular surfaced and are normally installed in two or more plies using mopping asphalt, cold adhesives, or torch welding. Plastic-modified asphalts such as atactic polypropylene systems are smooth or granular surfaced and can be heat welded or laid in cold adhesive.

Modified bitumen membranes combine the features of a built-up roof with the added strength from its polymer modification. Using a reinforced sheet that is prefabricated in the plant, modified bitumen systems require a less labor-intensive application than other types of roofing and can be applied in both commercial and residential roofs.

A modified bitumen roof is composed primarily of polymer-modified bitumen reinforced with one or more plies of fabric such as polyester, fiberglass or a combination of both. It can also include mineral granules, aluminum or copper. The bitumen determines the membrane’s characteristics and provides primary waterproofing protection, while the reinforcement adds strength, puncture resistance and overall system integrity.

A roofer will ensure modified bitumen membranes undergo strict quality control standards to ensure uniform thickness and consistent physical properties throughout the membrane. The finished roofing is usually two to four layers of modified bitumen membrane and a base sheet, with additional plies for added strength if needed. Usually if more layers are applied, the roof will last longer.

How to Identify Modified Bitumen

The best way to identify a Modified Bitumen roof is to look at the material edges. Modified bitumen roofing is thicker, and its edges are sealed by heating with a torch. You should see a little runout of melted bitumen at the material seams. If there is no runout the roof may have been adhered using some other method. But if it was “torched” it was not heated sufficiently and may be less durable.
Secondly, , it also is better at resisting tearing and breaking. If you find that it is easy to tear into the roof material edge it’s probably roll roofing not mod-bit.

Properties & Installation Methods

Most modified-bitumen roofs are torch-applied, although there are also self-adhesive and cold-process systems. The waterproofing membrane, sometimes called “single-ply modified,” consists of asphalt bitumen reinforced with a polyester or fiberglass fabric. And modified with polymers to give it greater strength, flexibility, resistance to UV degradation, and resistance to heat and cold.
A variety of different chemical formulations have been tried over the years. It is best to stick to a product with an established track record. In general, modified-bitumen roofs can be applied to slopes as shallow as 1/4 inch per foot.
There are two main forms of modified bitumen roofing installation: the torch-down installation method, and a peel-and-stick installation.

Installation Methods for Modified Bitumen Roofs

A torch-applied, or torchdown, roof starts with a non-flammable base sheet made of asphalt-saturated felt or fiberglass that is mechanically attached to the roofing deck. In residential construction, the base sheet is usually attached with roofing nails driven through metal caps.
The second layer is the waterproofing membrane. This is heated with a torch as it unrolls, fusing it to the base sheet, to itself at seams, and to penetrations such as skylights. Installers must learn to heat the membrane so it is hot enough to fuse but not so hot as to burn through.
Membranes may be either smooth or have a granular surface like roll roofing. Smooth-faced membranes need a third coating, which has colored or reflective pigments to protect against UV radiation. The smooth type is preferable where foot traffic is expected or where decking is going over the roofing.
Torchdown roofing is self-flashing and uses no adhesives or solvents to seal around openings. The material can be run up parapets and abutting wall. And patches are used to seal around metal skylight curbs and similar openings. A special patching compound is used to seal to PVC stacks. If applied correctly, the torchdown membrane is essentially seamless.

Pros and Cons

Bitumen roofs are very durable and are one of the longer lasting types of flat roofing materials, easily lasting 20 years or more. They are also easily repaired without solvents or adhesives, making it less expensive to maintain. It is compatible with asphalt shingles and asphalt compounds, although patching with roofing cement is not recommended. The reinforced fabric layer isolates the membrane above from building movement and gives the material enough strength to support occasional foot traffic.
The main drawback of modified bitumen roofing is the risk of fire during installation. While the risk of fire is low in the hands of trained installers, care must be taken when using torchdown on a wood-frame structure. A number of fires have started with sawdust that has accumulated in empty cavities, such as crickets and parapets.
Inspection of the roof for sawdust pockets while it is being framed is advised.

Typical Slopes for Modified Bitumen Roof Systems

Modified bitumen roofing is normally installed on low-slope roofing, up to 3 inches in slope. Or depending on the application method, up to six inches of slope per foot may be permitted. Because there are quite a few approved installation methods. Manufacturers typically use a alphameric roof application method name that encodes the basics of how the roof covering should be installed.

Best Asphalt Shingles

Best Asphalt Shingles

What Are The Best Asphalt Shingles?

It can be a challenge knowing what the best type of asphalt shingle is out there. There are so many different types and styles to choose from and everybody seems to be promising the moon.
In this blog post we’re going to show you Best Asphalt Shingles in the market and then you can decide what is best for your home.

The Key Components of Every Shingle

The major factors that are important to a homeowner and builder when choosing a roofing shingle are: price, wind ratings, life expectancy, and colour selection. These are all extremely important issues, but there are other things to consider as well such as how was the shingle made, the weight of the material, how wide is the nailing strip, pitch of the roof the shingle will be installed on, what type of warranty does the shingle carry, and what type of wind rating does it carry. When you purchase a new roof you want a shingle that is going to be aesthetically appealing on your home, but will also perform well in the type of weather your particular city or region experiences.
There are two primary types of asphalt shingle, fiberglass and organic. Both are popular choices that should satisfy the needs of most homeowners. Here’s what you need to know about each one.

Organic Asphalt Shingles

Organic shingles consist of formerly living materials such as paper, wood, and cellulose that are melded with adhesive asphalt to create a solid core. These shingles are tremendously durable in snow and cold weather, so they’re a popular choice in Canada, northern United States, as well as higher elevations. The reason for this durability is their composites which includes more asphalt than fiberglass, which makes them heartier. The major downsides are that they’re prone to warping. They’re more expensive, and they’re heavier.
Organic shingles are the more traditional roofing solution with fiberglass ascending in popularity in recent years. The layman won’t notice much difference between the types, especially when you stare at your roof from ground level. The basic appearance is still the same despite the underlying chemical compound.

Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are a newer roofing solution. These Fiberglass glass mats compose the makeup of these shingles. In addition to being cheap to manufacture, they are remarkably durable and a higher quality than most shingles. This makes sense, because fiberglass at its core is a highly compressed type of glass filament woven into huge patterns to create incredibly dense material. A fiberglass shingle is lighter, thinner, and more eco-friendly. It’s also more resistant to fire if disaster ever strikes in your home. The primary negative is that they contain less asphalt since the composition is structured to take advantage of the fiberglass.

Different Colours of Shingles

You can choose any style and colour which can reflect your personality and individual tastes, but keep in mind the resale value of your home is always a priority. Don’t pick something that doesn’t fit in with the rest of your home or neighbourhood. When you list your house, if you have something not in style, it can make it more difficult to sell.
Choosing classic colours such as white and black may seem boring, but each has a hidden purpose. If you’re living in a colder area, you can enhance the energy efficiency of your home through something as simple as shingle colour scheme. By picking black, you’ll have to run your heat less frequently in the winter.
Similarly, people in warmer climates should buy white shingles to reduce their dependency on air conditioning. You also have other colours to choose from like brown and gray. Choose a colour that complements your exterior paint colour, not one that you’ll regret in a couple of years.

Different Shingle Styles

With considering shingles, evaluate the overall design of your home. If you have a simple, elegant style with your exterior home design, your shingles present an opportunity to add some splash to the proceedings. On the flipside, if your home is a bit busy, you should dial back your roof cover to prevent distracting from the other, more daring choices.
No matter what you decide in terms of colour and style, there’s one aspect to keep in the back of your mind. You should examine your potential shingles in all manners of light. You don’t want to pay for the installation only to realize that your roof looks less attractive during certain parts of the day. At that point, you’re stuck with it no matter how much the situation bothers you.

So Which One Is Best?

Organic and fibreglass shingles look the same. They’re both made from asphalt and granules and they’re installed exactly the same way too. Fibreglass shingles usually hold up better if a roof has poor ventilation.
Proper ventilation means the temperature difference is minimized between the attic and air outside. This prolongs the life of your roof. It also eliminates moisture that can get trapped inside the attic. If moisture stays there, it can lead to rot and mold.
There are plenty of different shingle products out there. Most homeowners choose based on their budget, but like everything else, you get what you pay for so be careful.
Compared with other shingle materials, asphalt is inexpensive which makes them popular. Most roofs have them but they’re not as durable as other types of shingles.
Some fibreglass shingles come with a 50-year warranty. They’re also more fire-resistant than organic Consider hiring a professional roofer before making a final decision. They have decades of experience, so they can aid you in avoiding rookie mistakes when you choose the colour, style, and type of shingles.


The undertaking of building a new roof is substantial. There are a lot of pitfalls to avoid, but if you use the information above, you should have no problem finding the shingle type, style and colour that best suits your house. While price is always a key consideration in such massive home renovations, the reality is that the cost of shingles is relatively static, especially by the ordinary standards of exterior equipment. This liberates you to go with your heart rather than your wallet during the decision-making process.