The Basics of Built-up Roofing

Built-up roofing is one of the oldest roofing processes in the modern era. That’s for good reason. Built-up roofs are effective at repelling water and resisting leaks. They also hold up well and look nice. If you are thinking about installing one of these flat roofs on your home or commercial building, you might have some questions about the roof installation process. Here are some basics of built-up roofing everyone should know.


The Process

Installation of built-up roofs occurs in four steps. First, contractors attach base sheets to the roof’s subsystem using roofing nails. Then, they use tar, concrete, adhesive, or asphalt to glue down felt over the top of the base sheeting. Next, roofers install a layer of gravel or cap sheets, which they then cover with a final layer of asphalt. When the process is complete, the house or commercial building has a virtually impenetrable covering to keep elements at bay.



 The four steps of built-up roof installation are probably sufficiently technical to deter even avid DIYers from tackling the project themselves. That’s a good thing. Not many homeowners have the equipment required to heat or spread adhesive. They also don’t typically have the skill to effectively distribute gravel. Nonetheless, the real deal breaker for most homeowners is the weight of the roofing materials. Without exaggeration, the adhesive, gravel, and asphalt required to install an effective built-up roof can weigh hundreds of pounds. Thus, the safest way to install a built-up roof is to ask for assistance for a skilled roofing contractor.



If you have a roof emergency, you might need immediate roofing help. If you have some time, though, try to plan your built-up installation. By picking a cool, dry season, you can make the installation process much more pleasant for your roofing crew.


If you need a built-up roof installation, you should keep a few basic things in mind. Most importantly, though, you should remember it probably isn’t the type of job you should do yourself.