Looking for a durable and high-quality roofing system? Knowing about a modified bitumen roof structure and long-term reliability for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings gives you insight into the value, strength, and longevity these roofing systems offer.

Modified bitumen roofing system professional installation

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information defining modified bitumen roofing anatomy, its benefits, and installation details.

Modified Bitumen Roofing System Anatomy

Modified bitumen roofing systems membrane torch down

A modified bitumen roofing system includes several fundamental components that work together to provide superior waterproofing and weather resistance:

Base Sheet – The base sheet is the roofing system’s foundation, providing a stable substrate for the modified bitumen membrane. It is typically fiberglass or polyester reinforcement coated with asphalt or polymer-modified asphalt.

Modified Bitumen Membrane – The modified bitumen membrane is the roofing system’s heart, offering exceptional waterproofing and flexibility. It is an asphalt and rubber or plastic modifier blend, which enhances its elasticity, durability, and resistance to temperature fluctuations.

Surfacing – Modified bitumen membranes may be surfaced with granules, reflective coatings, or a smooth finish to enhance durability, UV resistance, and energy efficiency. Surfacing options vary depending on the roofing project’s requirements and environmental conditions.

Adhesive or Heat Welding – Modified bitumen membranes are typically installed using hot asphalt (hot tar), cold adhesive, or heat welding techniques. Heated asphalt is applied to the substrate and the membrane is rolled out and pressed into place (while heat welding involves using a torch to melt the membrane seams together for a watertight seal).

Flashing and Sealants – Flashing materials like metal, plastic, or modified bitumen strips are used to waterproof roof penetrations, edges, and transitions. Sealants are applied to seams, joints, and penetrations to enhance waterproofing and prevent water intrusion.

Modified Bitumen Roofing System Benefits

Modified bitumen roofing systems waterproofing

Modified bitumen roofing systems offer numerous advantages that make them an attractive choice for various roofing applications:

Durability – Modified bitumen membranes are highly resistant to punctures, tears, and impact damage, making them ideal for high-traffic areas and regions prone to severe weather conditions.

Flexibility – The rubber or plastic modifiers in modified bitumen membranes provide enhanced flexibility and elongation properties, allowing the roofing system to accommodate building movement and temperature fluctuations without cracking or splitting.

Waterproofing – Modified bitumen membranes offer superior waterproofing capabilities, effectively sealing out moisture and preventing water intrusion into the building envelope. This helps protect the roof’s structural integrity and interior spaces from water damage and mold growth.

Energy Efficiency – Reflective coatings and surfacing options can help reduce solar heat absorption and lower cooling costs by maintaining lower roof temperatures. This can result in increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

Easy Maintenance – Modified bitumen roofing systems are relatively low-maintenance and require minimal upkeep to maintain their performance and appearance. Regular inspections and minor repairs can help prolong the roof’s lifespan and prevent costly damage or deterioration.

Read more about roof upkeep and maintenance plans at newimageroofingatlanta.com/roofing-services/roof-maintenance

Modified Bitumen Roofing System Installation

Modified bitumen roofing systems material installation

A modified bitumen roofing system installation typically follows these general steps:

Surface/Substrate Preparation – The roof substrate is inspected for damage, cleaned of debris, and repaired as necessary to ensure a smooth and even surface for membrane installation.

Base Sheet Installation – The base sheet is mechanically fastened or adhered to the roof substrate using asphalt or cold adhesive, providing a secure foundation for the modified bitumen membrane.

Membrane Application – The modified bitumen membrane is rolled onto the roof surface and positioned carefully to ensure proper alignment and coverage. The membrane is then adhered to the base sheet using hot asphalt, cold adhesive, or heat welding techniques.

Seam Sealing/Welding – Seams and overlaps in the modified bitumen membrane are sealed using heat welding, adhesive, or liquid sealants to create a watertight barrier against moisture intrusion.

Flashing Installation – Flashing materials are installed around roof penetrations, edges, and transitions to waterproof vulnerable areas and prevent leaks. Flashing components are secured with fasteners or adhesive and sealed with compatible sealants.

Surfacing Application – Depending on the desired finish and performance requirements, the modified bitumen membrane may be surfaced with granules, reflective coatings, or a smooth finish to enhance durability, UV resistance, and energy efficiency.

Final Inspection – Once the roofing system is installed, a final inspection is conducted to ensure all components are correctly installed, seams are sealed, and flashings are secure. Any necessary touch-ups or adjustments are made to ensure the quality and integrity of the roof.

Modified bitumen roofing system post installation inspection

ModBit Roofing Systems

In this article, you discovered how a modified bitumen roofing system is built, its benefits, and how they are installed.

Understanding how a Modbit roof is layered and installed and how it benefits your building helps you make well-informed decisions when seeking a roof-over or replacement.

Unfamiliarity with a roofing system’s assembly and benefits may lead you to install an improper roof on your residential, industrial, or commercial structure.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041

Looking for a durable, high-quality, and cost-effective roof? Knowing how hot tar is applied to built-up roofing systems gives you insight into the strength and longevity these roofing systems offer.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing with molten tar as an adhesive for roofing material

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information defining hot tar roofing, its benefits, and why finding a certified hot tar installer is crucial.

What Is Hot Tar Roofing

Used primarily in built-up roofing (BUR) systems and modified bitumen roofing, hot tar plays a vital role in protecting commercial, industrial, and residential buildings from the elements and extending the lifespan of roofing structures. However, applying hot tar requires specialized skills and knowledge, making it essential for roofers to be certified and insured specifically for working with this material.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing uses a torch to maintain elevated tar tempuratures

Hot tar roofing (molten asphalt or bitumen application) creates a waterproof membrane on a low-slope roof surface. The process begins by heating the asphalt to a liquid state, which is then applied to the roof substrate using mopping, spraying, or pouring methods. Multiple asphalt-saturated felt (or fiberglass) reinforcement layers are alternated with hot tar to build a durable roofing system.

Hot Tar Roofing Systems Benefits

Hot tar roofing systems offer several advantages that make them popular for commercial and industrial applications. Consider the following aspects:

Durability – Hot tar roofing provides excellent resistance to water infiltration, UV radiation, and thermal expansion and contraction, making it highly durable and long-lasting.

Versatility – Hot tar can adhere to various roofing substrates, including concrete, metal, wood, and insulation boards, making it suitable for multiple roofing configurations and designs.

Cost-Effectiveness – Compared to other roofing materials, hot tar roofing systems are relatively affordable to install and maintain, offering excellent value for property owners over the long term.

Seamless Application – Hot tar’s liquid nature allows for seamless application and tight integration with roofing components, minimizing leak and water damage risks.

Certification and Insurance

While hot tar roofing systems offer numerous benefits, their installation requires specialized skills, equipment, and safety precautions. Roofers must be certified and insured (specifically for working with hot tar). Here’s why:

Hot tar or hot mop roofing includes the application of molten tar to roofing materials

Technical Expertise – Installing and repairing hot tar roofing systems requires a thorough understanding of roofing principles, materials, and techniques. Certified roofers undergo extensive training and certification programs to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for working with hot tar safely and effectively.

Safety Compliance – Working with hot tar poses significant safety risks, including burns, fires, and fume inhalation. Certified roofers receive training in safety protocols, hazard awareness, and emergency procedures to mitigate these risks and ensure a safe working environment for themselves and others on the job site.

Note: Hydrogen sulfide can be produced from hot roof tar. However, the levels produced are not high enough to affect building occupants. Only levels inside an enclosed asphalt kettle may be high enough to pose severe health risks.

Quality AssuranceHiring a certified and insured roofer for hot tar installation or repairs provides quality work and adherence to industry standards and best practice assurances. Certified roofers are held to high professional standards and committed to delivering superior results that meet or exceed client expectations.

Liability Protection – Roofing contractors who are certified and insured carry liability insurance coverage to protect against unforeseen accidents, property damage, and personal injury claims. This safeguards property owners from financial liability if accidents or mishaps occur during the roofing process.

Manufacturer Warranty Compliance – Many roofing material manufacturers require installation by certified contractors to validate product warranties. Hiring certified roofers ensures that your hot tar roofing system is installed according to manufacturer specifications, preserving warranty coverage and protecting your investment over time.

Finding a Certified and Insured Roofer

When selecting a roofing contractor for hot tar installation or repairs, it is essential to research and vet potential candidates carefully. Here are some tips for finding a certified and insured roofer:

Check Credentials – Verify the roofing contractor is certified by reputable industry organizations, like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or the Roofing Contractors Association of America (RCAA).

Review Insurance Coverage – Ensure that the roofing contractor carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to protect against property damage and injuries on the job site.

Tip: Reputable roofing contractors will provide a COI (certificate of Insurance) for your roofing project upon request.

Request References – Ask for references from past clients and review online reviews and testimonials to gauge the roofer’s reputation and track record of quality work.

Get Written Estimates – Obtain detailed written estimates from multiple roofing contractors, including the scope of work, materials, timeline, and concise pricing breakdown. Compare proposals carefully before making an informed decision.

Ask About Warranty – Inquire about materials and installation warranty coverage, and ensure the roofing contractor stands behind their work with a written warranty or guarantee.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing uses heated tar to adhere roof materials

Hot Tar Roofing Systems

In this article, you discovered defining information about hot tar roofing, its benefits, and how to vet certified and insured roofers.

Hiring a certified and insured roofer (specifically trained in working with hot tar) is essential to ensure the roofing system’s safety, quality, and longevity.

Failure to understand hot tar roofing applications and properly vet roofing contractors may leave you with a poorly installed roof with a significantly reduced lifespan.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041

Prevent sweltering summer heat from damaging your low-slope (flat) roofing system. Understanding how summer heat adversely affects low-slope roofing will help you take steps to prevent cracking, peeling, leaks, and structural water damage.

Low slope roof summer protection includes annual inspections and repairs

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information about how extreme summer temperatures can damage your low-slope roofing system and what you can do to protect and preserve it.

Low-Slope Roofing System Vulnerabilities in Hot Summers

Low-slope roofing systems (TPO, EPDM, PVC, BUR, Duro Last) are inherently more vulnerable to issues during hot summers. The intense heat, prolonged exposure to UV radiation, and thermal expansion and contraction can contribute to multiple challenges, including the following:

1. Thermal Expansion and Contraction – High temperatures can cause roofing materials to expand, and during the cooler evenings, they contract. This constant thermal cycling can lead to stress on the roofing materials, potentially resulting in cracking, warping, and other structural issues.

2. UV Radiation Damage – Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can accelerate the aging of roofing materials. UV rays can cause shingles, membranes, and other components to deteriorate, lose flexibility, and become more susceptible to damage.

3. Heat Absorption – Low-slope roofs, especially those with dark-colored surfaces, can absorb and retain heat. Excessive heat absorption can lead to elevated indoor temperatures, increased energy costs, and potential damage to roofing materials over time.

dark roofing material in hot summer weather

4. Membrane Degradation – Membrane roofing systems, commonly used in low-slope roofs, may experience degradation due to high temperatures. This can result in reduced waterproofing effectiveness and an increased risk of leaks.

5. Flashing and Sealant Issues – Extreme heat can cause flashing and sealants to soften and lose their effectiveness. This compromises the waterproofing capabilities of the roof, leading to potential leaks and water infiltration.

Tip: A roof maintenance program with annual inspections allows for early issue detection and repair.

Low-Slope Roofing System Protection in Hot Summers

Protecting low-slope roofing systems in hot summers requires a proactive approach. By understanding your roof’s vulnerabilities and implementing preventive measures, you can safeguard your property from potential severe damage. Consider the following measures:

1. Reflective Roofing Materials – Choose reflective roofing materials with a high solar reflectance index (SRI). Light-colored or reflective surfaces can help minimize heat absorption, reducing the impact of high temperatures on the roof.

Reflective roof material is recommended for hot summers

2. Cool Roof Coatings – Apply cool roof coatings to existing low-slope roofing systems. These coatings have reflective properties that can deflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption. Cool roof coatings also provide additional protection against UV radiation.

3. Proper Insulation – Adequate insulation beneath the roof can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce heat transfer to the building’s interior. Proper insulation contributes to energy efficiency and minimizes the strain on cooling systems.

4. Enhanced Ventilation – Improve roof ventilation to facilitate air circulation and reduce heat buildup. Adequate ventilation helps dissipate trapped heat and minimizes the risk of thermal stress on roofing materials.

5. Regular Roof Inspections – Schedule regular inspections to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Look for signs of wear, damage, or deterioration in roofing materials, flashings, and sealants.

6. Shade Structures – Consider installing shade structures, like awnings or pergolas, to shield your low-slope roof from direct sunlight. These structures relieve extreme heat and offer additional protection against UV radiation.

7. Roof Coatings for Membranes – For membrane roofing systems, apply coatings designed to protect against UV radiation and enhance durability. These coatings create a barrier that shields the membrane from the harmful effects of the sun.

8. Solar Reflective Shingles – If your low-slope roof is shingled, opt for solar reflective shingles with reflective granules. These shingles are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, helping to maintain a cool roof.

Tip: Severe summer storms can cause extreme temperature fluctuations. When such a storm passes, schedule a roof inspection to identify and repair any damages.

When to Call Your Roofer

Low slope roofing repairs and maintenance in hot summer weather

1. Visible Signs of Damage – If you notice visible signs of damage like cracked or warped shingles, blistering membranes, or deteriorating flashings, it’s time to call your roofer. Prompt attention to visible damage can prevent further issues.

2. Leakage and Water Infiltration – Water leaks inside the building during hot weather are urgent issues that require immediate attention. If you observe water stains on ceilings or walls, contact your roofer promptly to identify and address the source of the leaks.

3. Flashing and Sealant Concerns – If you have concerns about the condition of flashings and sealants on your low-slope roof, consult with your roofer. These components are critical in maintaining a watertight seal, and any issues should be addressed promptly.

4. Structural Integrity Issues – Call your roofer when you suspect structural integrity issues (sagging, bowing, or ponding). Structural concerns pose significant risks and should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

5. Regular Maintenance and Repairs – Schedule regular maintenance with your roofer, especially after periods of extreme weather. Professionals can identify potential issues early on and recommend preventive measures to protect your low-slope roof.

For more information about commercial and residential roof maintenance, visit newimageroofingatlanta.com/roofing-services/roof-maintenance

Heat Stress on Low-Slope Roofs

In this article, you discovered how low-slope roofs are vulnerable and can be damaged by brutal summer heat, measures to protect them, and when to call your roofer.

Understanding how low-slope roof membranes react to summer heat and extreme temperature variations allows you to install preventive measures to ensure your roof’s integrity.

Neglecting your low-slope roof through the summer months can lead to leaks and severe structural damage from cracks and fissures in your roof membrane.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041

Avoid letting freezing temperatures, snow, and ice severely damage your low-slope (flat) roof in winter. Knowing how to protect your flat roofing system during the winter months will help extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.

Low slope roof winter protection includes annual inspections and repairs

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information on how your commercial or residential low-slope roofing system is vulnerable to winter weather, the actions you can take to protect it, and when you should call your roofer.

Low-Slope Roofing System Vulnerabilities

Low-slope or flat roofing systems (TPO, PVC, EPDM, BUR, Duro-last) are inherently more susceptible to issues during freezing weather. Unlike steep-slope roofs that allow snow and ice to naturally shed, low-slope roofs can accumulate snow and ice, creating potential hazards. Here are some vulnerabilities that low-slope roofing systems face:

Ice Dams – Low-slope roofs are prone to the formation of ice dams, where melting ice or snow refreezes at the roof’s edge. This can trap water and lead to leaks, potentially causing damage to the roofing materials and the underlying structure.

Low slope roof winter protection includes preventing ice dams

Snow Accumulation – Low-slope roofs may struggle to shed snow effectively, leading to heavy snow load accumulation. Excessive snow buildup can exert significant pressure on the roof structure, posing structural damage risks or collapse.

Condensation Issues – Low-slope roofs may experience condensation issues during a freeze (especially with inadequate ventilation). Condensation can contribute to ice dam formation, compromising roof material integrity.

Brittle Roofing Materials – Cold temperatures can make roofing materials more brittle and prone to damage. Low-slope roofs may be more susceptible to cracking, breaking, and other issues caused by material contraction and expansion during freeze-thaw cycles.

Protecting Low-Slope Roofing Systems in Winter

Even though winter weather may pose multiple challenges, you can take measures to minimize roofing emergency risks before they slow your business down. Consider the following:

Regular Inspections – Schedule regular low-slope roof inspections before winter sets in. Identify and address any existing issues like:

  • Damaged or deteriorating roofing materials
  • Flashing problems
  • Potential drainage issues
  • Ponding

Ensure Proper Drainage – Adequate drainage is crucial for low-slope roofs. Clear debris from drains, gutters, and scuppers to ensure unobstructed water flow. Proper drainage helps prevent water ponding and reduces ice dam formation risks.

Low slope roof winter protection includes keeping debris from drains

Roof Insulation and Ventilation – Enhance insulation in the roof structure to minimize heat loss and reduce ice dam formation likelihood. Ensure proper ventilation to maintain a consistent temperature and minimize condensation issues.

Install Ice and Water Shields – Consider installing ice and water shields along the eaves and critical areas of your low-slope roof. These shields provide an additional protective layer against ice dam formation and water infiltration during freezing conditions.

Snow Removal – Safely remove accumulated snow from your low-slope roof using snow removal tools, like snow rakes. This helps prevent excessive snow loads and reduces structural damage risks.

Use Heated Roofing Systems – For extreme cold environments, consider installing heated roofing systems to prevent ice dam formation. These systems use heating elements to melt snow and ice, promoting safe and efficient drainage.

Apply Reflective Coatings – Reflective coatings can be applied to low-slope roofs to reduce heat absorption from the sun. This helps prevent ice dam formation and protects roofing materials from the damaging prolonged effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Prevent Foot Traffic – Keep any rooftop foot traffic to a minimum. Walking on a frozen membrane can cause breaks and tears, resulting in leaks when the roof thaws.

Tip: Maintain a Roof Maintenance Plan with annual inspections to identify potential issues before they develop into costly damages.

When to Call Your Roofer

Ideally, low-slope roofing systems should be inspected and maintained throughout the year and after severe weather events. However, when the following issues appear, they should be immediately addressed:

Persistent Ice Dam Issues – When ice dams persist despite your efforts, call a roofer. Roofing professionals can assess the situation, identify the underlying causes, and implement effective solutions.

Structural Concerns – If you notice structural damage signs or are concerned about accumulated snow weight on your low-slope roof, consult with a roofer. Structural issues should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

Water Leaks Inside the Building – Water leaks inside your building during winter are urgent issues that require immediate attention. If you notice water stains on ceilings or walls, contact your roofer to identify and address any leaks.

Roofing Material Damage – If roofing materials on your low-slope roof show signs of damage like cracking, breaking, or unusual stretching, consult your roofer. Damaged materials compromise a roofing system’s effectiveness and should be addressed promptly.

Emergency Repairs – During emergencies, like sudden leaks or extreme cold damage, don’t hesitate to call your roofer for emergency repairs. Prompt action can minimize damage and prevent further issues.

Low slope roof winter protection includes making emergency repairs

Winter Protection for Low-Slope Roofing

In this article, you discovered how low-slope roofing systems can be vulnerable to extreme winter weather, how to protect them, and when to call a professional commercial roofer.

Keeping up with roof maintenance and calling your roofer when issues arise will help your commercial or residential low-slope roofing system reach or surpass its intended lifespan.

Ignoring required roof maintenance and roof damage signs will leave you with potentially severe structural damage and costly repairs.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041