THE ORIGINAL ROOFING SYSTEM
A built-up roof, most of the time referred to as BUR, is a time-tested roofing system typically comprised of hot tar and gravel. It is made up of many layers and typically the top layer is where the tar and gravel lie. This is a system that has been around and in demand for ages. The tar and gravel system comes out looking very clean and it is an aesthetically pleasing roof. It is also a very strong roofing system which allows it to be more useful as it can handle more foot traffic and other structures on the roof surface. This allows it to be additional space on your building rather than a place you only go to repair something. Of all the flat roof options available today, BUR has been around the longest.
Because of its simplicity, BUR is also very inexpensive. This is a huge selling point for the system, as it may not be as strong as other roofing materials in other factors, but it helps you, the facility manager, to save some cash. On top of its low price, it also looks great. As mentioned above, the gravel roofing system tends to come out looking very clean and is a nice visual feature for your roof.
Thanks to the layers, BUR roofs are great insulators. They can save you money on energy because they are very good at keeping your hot or cold air inside. That great insulating power comes with a price, though.
Because they are made up of so many different layers and are such a good insulator, Built-Up roofs are also extremely heavy. This can lead to problems on your roof if it is not supported properly. If you currently do not have a BUR and are considering installing one to replace your flat roof, you may want to think again as you will most likely have to add significant reinforcements to your roof structure prior to installing this system. This is an added cost that doesn’t add much value.
BUR roofs are also not recommended to be installed over a building with any occupants in it due to the dangers of installing. Due to the fact that the building must be empty, any delay in construction time means increased delays in your operations.
While Built-Up roofs can be very aesthetically pleasing and are an inexpensive option, there is an old saying that should be considered: “You get what you pay for.” These roofs are inexpensive for a reason, there isn’t a lot of quality material in them and they aren’t in high demand. This is because they are dangerous, require reinforcing your building, and don’t have many significant advantages.